Horner: Fatigue a factor in Vettel struggle
13 August 2014 – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Sebastian Vettel's below-par performances so far this season have been brought on by numerous factors, including fatigue after five years of fighting for world titles.
Vettel, the winner of the past four Drivers' crowns, has struggled to adapt to Formula 1's latest regulation overhaul, leaving him 43 points behind new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo after the opening 11 races.
"It is a combination of several things," Horner explained to Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport. "First, when you have fought for the title for five years, it does wear you out a little bit, but that is not the fundamental problem.
"The way Sebastian brought out those extra tenths of a second from the car in recent years was quite unique.
"He is very sensitive to the behaviour of the car, especially when braking. With the new electronic brake (brake-by-wire) there is less feedback than before. This is why Sebastian has lost part of his feeling for the car."
Horner went on to explain that Vettel used to drive "like a ballerina, dancing on the throttle and the brakes".
"These were his special little tricks that made him faster than everyone else, but he cannot use them today."
Horner is certain, however, that Vettel is getting back to his best after an encouraging display in Hungary.
"His pace in Hungary showed that he is getting the feeling for the car back again," Horner commented.
"And we cannot forget that Sebastian has suffered many mechanical problems. Often little things have stopped him and these have disrupted his flow. So he has had no chance to adapt his driving style."