‘A failure for him’: Mattia Binotto opens up on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari stint

Sebastian Vettel joined Ferrari in an attempt to dethrone Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, to no avail.

It was a bold move for Sebastian Vettel to leave Red Bull for Ferrari, especially considering the German was coming off the back of his fourth consecutive world title with the energy drink giants just a year before he left.

The German driver, who has now retired following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, spent six years with Ferrari, which unfortunately coincided with Mercedes’ dominance where Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg cleaned up every available title.

Vettel came ever so close in 2018 to finally achieving the elusive title with the Scuderia, but crashed out of his home Grand Prix while leading to essentially hand the title back to Mercedes.

Team principal at Ferrari Mattia Binotto has now opened up Vettel’s spell with the Scuderia in the wake of the 35-year-old’s retirement, suggesting that their time together was a failure.

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“When he joined Ferrari, his ambition and objective was to win the title with Ferrari and it was our dream and objective as well,” Binotto said.

“So it was a failure for him but it was a failure altogether as a team.

“He was very close, or the closest he was was in 2017 and 2018, so we had a few opportunities but we didn’t get it.

“I think when your final objective is to do that and when you do not achieve it, it is a failure.”

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Binotto’s comments come in response to Vettel’s farewell interview, where he discusses his shortcomings at Ferrari, claiming that he is slowing becoming at peace with his failure to win a championship in red.

Vettel also reveals in the interview that he had the opportunity to leave Ferrari in favour of Mercedes, as the Silver Arrows looked for a partner for Lewis Hamilton, but such was the German’s desire to win a title specifically with Ferrari, he declined the opportunity.

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Things have not got any better for Ferrari since Vettel departed for Aston Martin two years ago, as Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc has also so far failed to mount a serious title challenge with the team.

Ferrari did make huge strides forward under the new regulations, however the eventually fell some way short of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, who blew away the competition in 2022.

With Red Bull hindered by their cost cap breach penalty in 2023, next season could present a serious opportunity for the team to get back to their title winning ways of old.