Ex-F1 driver criticises ‘not amazing’ Sebastian Vettel

Scott Speed was replaced by Sebastian Vettel at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Scott Speed believes four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel received “golden child” treatment from Red Bull back in 2007, after the German replaced the American mid-season.

Speed raced for Red Bull’s sister side Toro Rosso (known now as AlphaTauri) for roughly a season and a half, with him having formed the team’s first ever line-up in 2006.

He went on to race for Toro Rosso for the first half of the 2007 as well, before he was replaced by Vettel from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards.

Speed never appeared in F1 again, meaning his stint at the pinnacle of motorsport ended without having ever scored a World Championship point.

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Vettel, of course, was viewed as Red Bull’s shining star, something he ultimately proved after scoring consistent points for the Faenza-based team, whilst he also won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

Speed recently shared that he received a phone call informing him that the 35-year-old was going to be taking his seat after the European Grand Prix, something that frustrated the American.

“They called and said they were gonna put Vettel in the car,” Speed told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

“I thought ‘awesome’ because at that point Vettel was the golden child. I was thinking ‘great let’s get him in that thing’ and see what he does.

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“Sure enough, Vettel qualified 19th (in the Hungarian Grand Prix). I don’t remember where he raced but it wasn’t amazing at all.”

Whilst Speed never competed in F1 again, he did hold talks with Williams over a potential move; however, nothing ever came from the discussions.

Since departing F1, Speed has gone on to race in several different championships, including, Indycar, Formula E and Nitro Rallycross to name a few.

What didn’t help his situation with Toro Rosso was that he reportedly had a bad relationship with team principal Franz Tost, who is actually leaving the team at the end of this season.

Whilst Speed’s career in F1 was considerably shorter than he’d been expecting, he remains “super happy” with what he achieved.

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“I thought I can pack my bag and go wherever I want,” Speed said.

“I know that I’m elite. Maybe I’m not the best but I’m so far beyond what I thought I’d achieve as a kid. I was super happy.

“Then came opportunities, the meeting with Williams and the chance to race other stuff. But, ultimately I said ‘Man I want to go home. Can we race NASCAR?'”