Red Bull told Vettel to 'raise his game'
13 June 2014 – Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel was told to "raise his game" by long-time Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko earlier in the season, the latter has revealed ahead of next weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.
Marko voiced his concerns to Vettel shortly after the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, telling the German to stop criticising the sport's new technical regulations and instead focus on adapting his driving style to suit them.
"I told him: 'There are 50 engineers working on this engine and they can't sort it out. 'You're a top driver, it's up to you. You have to do it.'" Marko, who formerly competed in the top echelon, is quoted as saying by the BBC.
He added: "If he can't sort out the car, the easiest thing is the driver. He has to raise his game."
Marko said that following his discussion with Vettel, he instantly saw differences in the German's attitude.
"His main problem was the downshift was always destabilising the rear and he couldn't understand that we couldn't solve it," Mark went on to explain. "With all of these problems, maybe he wasn't as committed as he should have been, but that has changed. Already in Spain we saw a different approach from this guy."
According to Marko, Vettel was also surprised by the pace of new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who sits two places and 19 points ahead in the championship standings after the opening seven rounds of the season.
"[Vettel] was a little bit surprised, like we all were, with Ricciardo," Marko added. "Don't forget we didn't test. We had some outings – one lap or two laps if it was a good day – but no-one could see his potential."