Villeneuve: Vettel finished at Red Bull
25 June 2014 – 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks Sebastian Vettel is 'finished at Red Bull' and should switch teams next season.
Vettel took his fourth F1 Drivers' title in succession last year with the Milton Keynes-based squad, but has struggled to adapt to the new regulations this year. In contrast, Daniel Ricciardo has come in after Mark Webber retired and has been very impressive, often outperforming his illustrious team-mate, as he did again in Austria last weekend, Red Bull's home event.
"Sebastian is a four-time World Champion who has earned the titles won, but now Red Bull Racing is treating him like they were Mark Webber. They seem to have decided to focus only on Daniel Ricciardo. Now they want to 'kill' Sebastian because the German is not able to give another image of Red Bull," Villeneuve told OmniCorse.it.
"Of course he cannot stand one more season [like this]," added the Canadian. "[Red Bull adviser] Helmut Marko has also now started to criticise him. When you lose control of the team and the policy begins to have an ever-increasing weight, you are finished.
"They are always looking for something new and are now dedicated to Ricciardo. Vettel is finished there and needs to change teams."
Villeneuve also noted that it is not beyond the realms of possibilities in his view that Vettel could end up at Ferrari in 2015 and he thinks the Scuderia are on the up.
"Who said the door is closed at Ferrari?" Villeneuve asked.
"I think that Fernando [Alonso] is tired of working for nothing and it shows that he no longer has the same joy of driving like he did two years ago. He carried the team on his shoulders. But last year he gave up. He no longer has the strength to drag the team alone.
"You can see that it is starting to work now though with [Technical Director] James Allison there. At Lotus he made interesting cars without having a driver that could push developments. Only now are we starting to see the fruits of his labour and that could motivate the drivers'.
"I think that next year we will see Ferrari in recovery - and if Fernando has the patience to wait he could reap the benefits..."