'Overrated' Vettel slammed by ex-Ferrari driver

Wednesday, 23 january 2019, 13:10 , by Matthew Scott

Former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine has launched a scathing attack on current Scuderia star Sebastian Vettel, branding the German "massively overrated" and a "one-trick pony". Vettel has fallen short to Lewis Hamilton in the past two seasons, prolonging Ferrari's now decadelong wait for a title win in Formula 1.

The 2008 constructors' title is the last crown to have made its way to Maranello, while Kimi Raikkonen's success the year prior is the team's last drivers' championship win.

Vettel was an outside shot in 2017, with Ferrari still recovering from a slow start to the V6 Hybrid era, but he was the favourite for spells last year, having traded the lead with Hamilton in the first half of the campaign.

However, his bid fell apart soon after he slid out of his home race in Germany, with Hamilton putting together a seven-race winning streak as Vettel and Ferrari became beset with errors.

Irvine says Vettel's standing as a four-time world champion belies his true ability – claiming his racecraft is not worthy of such a lofty tag.

"I think Vettel is good if he is at the front and doesn't have anybody to race," the Northern Irishman told BBC Sport.

"When you watch Lewis race, he's focused on racing and Lewis is really focused on getting ahead of the other guy.

"Vettel, when he is racing is someone, is focused as much on the other guy as he is on where he is going and inevitably crashes into the other guy, which happens nearly all the time.

"I think Vettel is a good driver, but as a four-times world champion, I just don't see it. I think he is massively overrated, he's a one-trick pony and Lewis has a much broader talent."

Irvine partnered Michael Schumacher at Ferrari in the 1990s and finished second in the championship in 1999 behind Mika Hakkinen after Schumacher had broken his leg at Silverstone, forcing him to miss a chunk of the season.

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Comments (51)

  • Jeff Martin
    Not a Vettel fan - BUT! Vettel is one of the hungriest out there still. Whines at times yes, as does Lewis and half the field. Vettel was at the front most of his time at Red Bull. However, remember his gutsy pass on Alonso (when @ Ferrari) on the outside at Monza. He has started from the back many times in his career and comes up through the field just as good if not better and Faster than anybody. Not overrated, sorry...Rated: one of the greats.
  • Karl Davy
    agree .... proof is in the pudding ... he only won when he had a fastly superior car and even then the title chase was close with other teams i also believe because he won so early in his career and never struggled thro hard times like hamilton button etc etc did early in thier career he never really had chance to develope his race craft he didnt have a need to in the redbull
  • Christoph Büscher
    I'm not saying Irvine's right here, but perhaps we should entertain the idea that not everyone who criticises a driver with a better track record is automatically motivated by pure jealousy. They may have a point.
  • Mark Hornsby
    I am no Vettel fan, but coming from Eddie Irvine of all people? Really? I'll pay attention to comments like that when they come from someone who has actually won the drivers championship at least once.
  • James Bursley
    ZERO Championships. FOUR wins. TWENTY SIX podiums. ZERO poles. ONE fastest lap. NINE years. THREE teams. ONE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT races. Perhaps your opinion of yourself is overrated Mister Irvine.
  • Michael Hess
    Honestly I can see his point until I think back to Vettle in the early years. He won his first race in appallingly wet conditions on a track that required perfection.
  • Jose Antonio Perez
    Vettel is 4 times world champion, who is Eddie Irvine? He used to said he was the 2nd best driver after Michael Schumacher but he only was an overrated second fiddle.
  • Troels A. Dalgaard
    Just a bunch of pissed off Ferrari fans in theese comments....the usual childish shit when someone trash talks Ferrari or their drivers
  • Henry James Judd
    Coming from a driver who never won a race on merit and had to have a driver deliberately drive slowly and still let him through TWICE so he could win. This is laughable.
  • Michael Swales
    Oh well Eddie being such a winning driver!!! how many world championship was it Eddie ??? what was that NONE !!! go away and get a life.
  • Cynric Edevane
    I remember Jackie Stewart once said something like Sebastian Vettel is a great driver in a great car, but a good driver in a good car
  • Marco Vinicio
    Says the guy with 0 poles in 147 races over 9 years, even driving 3 of the best Ferrari ever.
  • Joshua Hege
    The dude with no championships and only 4 wins under his belt? Who gives a shit what he thinks?
  • Jonathan Carre
    I love Eddie, but he's way off here. Like him or loathe him Vettel is one of the best out there.
  • Kenneth Petrie
    I think that is harsh. There may be just a bit of truth in his comments but only a little.
  • David Raw
    What’s his trick, Get pole and fuck off on Sunday, some trick mate, it’s called Grand Prix Racing.
  • Matthew Finch
    Remind me how many championships Eddie Irvine won? Even when driving a championship winning car.......
  • Tom Thorsen
    Irvine is a hack who didn’t even have one trick for his pony. What a sack.
  • Nick Bennetts
    Says the driver who failed to win a race at Ferrari for three full seasons
  • Giancarlo Lino Drago
    Eddie who?? Irvine you are over rated..he has 4 championships to your 4 wins..gtfoh

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