Webber tips Vettel for a year off from F1 having been worn out by Ferrari

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Sebastian Vettel will take a year off from Formula 1 having been worn out at Ferrari, Mark Webber claims.

Last month it was confirmed the four-time world champion would be departing the Scuderia at the end of 2020 after six seasons, with Carlos Sainz chosen as his replacement.

Vettel's exit will bring to a close a partnership that promised so much initially but was ultimately unable to break the dominance of Mercedes, something Webber puts down to a culture clash.

"Sebastian has done his best with what he had to set the team up and put it in a position to win a world championship in the last few years [but] it hasn’t happened," he told the At The Controls podcast.


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"So I think his confidence has been very much rattled with the lack of penetration that he was able to have with the Italian culture. That’s a big thing.

"There’s a sort of Germanic way of going about things, borderline robotic as we know they are. The English, Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans are somewhere in the middle and then you’ve got the [Italians] at the other end.

"So that marriage I just think really wore him out. You can see he doesn’t look his age right now, I’ve told him that several times."

Webber also thinks that mental exhaustion of carrying Ferrari is what allowed Charles Leclerc to step up and out-perform Vettel last year.

“Charles comes in, clearly massively quick, full of energy, appetite, and naivety – naivety’s bliss, it’s a great thing, you come in and just go for it as you don’t know anything else, whereas Sebastian’s been toiling, getting things going," he claimed, speaking on the F1 Nation podcast.

"Charles will know this in 10 years time, he’ll know about setting up things, putting the groundwork in.

"Leclerc is world-class, great for F1, good-looking rooster, [speaks] languages, great for the camera, he’s brilliant.

“But Seb, I think short-term they’ll miss someone of his experience, and vision, the good, motivated Seb, but he’s clearly not getting out of bed motivated to drive a red car and that’s an issue."

As for what the future holds for the 32-year-old, Webber doesn't think his former Red Bull teammate is ready to retire, but also doubts we'll see him in F1 in 2021.

"I think he will have a year off," he stated. "I hope for all of us he can rejuvenate himself back into the spirit of wanting to be competing at the front again.

"He can reinvent himself, but he has got to have the atmosphere. I think he really misses the English way about going racing, I think he really enjoyed that."