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Vettel gets Di Montezemolo support: Schumacher made mistakes in his first days

Written by  Dec 06, 2018

Former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has backed Sebastian Vettel despite another missed opportunity for the championship in 2018.

Leading the championship at the halfway point, the German's bid fell away when Lewis Hamilton racked up six wins in seven races from Hockenheim, eventually securing his fifth crown in Mexico.

In assessing how this season played out, Di Montezemolo does believe it was the Briton's performance that was the key to his success with Mercedes.

“This year Hamilton made the difference in his best season since his debut,” he told Italy’s RAI radio. “He has had moments of weakness and crisis, but this year with Ferrari he would have won."

The Italian insists that claim is not an attack on Vettel, who was criticised for several errors such as Monza, Japan and Austin where he spun after making contact with other cars.

"I say that not to belittle Vettel, who has every opportunity to rebuild with a competitive car," he continued.

“This Ferrari is a very different Ferrari to the one I left in October 2014, in terms of men and mentality. Ferrari did a good car this year, which in some situations was even better than Mercedes but the final part was missing.

“Vettel made some decisive mistakes, but for the world championship, you have to do everything to keep him up. He is a driver of the highest order and always close to the team.”

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Di Montezemolo concluded by looking ahead to 2019 and warned Ferrari that the backing Sebastian lacked this season must be given next year, particularly with a new teammate.

“In frustration he must be supported, even more so with the arrival of a very strong boy [in Charles Leclerc] with a great future," Luca said.

“Schumacher also made mistakes in the first days, but it is always important to speak clearly in the locker room and support the team in public.”

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