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Leclerc giving Vettel flashbacks to Ricciardo - Berger

Leclerc giving Vettel flashbacks to Ricciardo - Berger

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Leclerc giving Vettel flashbacks to Ricciardo - Berger

Leclerc giving Vettel flashbacks to Ricciardo - Berger

Sebastian Vettel is suffering through a period similar to that which prompted his departure from Red Bull in 2014, according to former F1 driver Gerhard Berger. Vettel departed Red Bull for Ferrari after losing the intra-team battle with Daniel Ricciardo, with Charles Leclerc proving another challenging stable-mate in 2019.

Vettel is 25 points clear of Leclerc in the drivers' standings after the Monegasque failed to finish his home race last weekend, but things have not gone all the German's way this year.

With Ferrari having opted to replace Kimi Raikkonen with Leclerc, Vettel has faced an internal challenge like he rarely did with the Finn.

Recent reports have even suggested that the pressure, ramped up by losing out to Lewis Hamilton in the past two seasons, could even see Vettel retire at the end of the season, with Berger seeing parallels to another key turning point in the German's career.

"Vettel needs to feel at home, to live in a relaxed atmosphere," Berger is quoted as telling La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is suffering and cannot give 110 per cent, as happened when he was with Ricciardo, when he then left Red Bull."

A string of errors hampered Vettel's efforts last year as he saw a tight fight with Hamilton end in the Mercedes man taking his fifth world title and Berger suggested Vettel is destined to struggle against the Brit.

"Lewis has a super ego, before leaving Mercedes he wants to match Schumacher with seven titles," the Austrian added. "He is the pilot that most reminds me of Senna.

"Seb is a hard worker like Schumacher, but compared to Michael he lacks the ability to direct the team, to ask for the hiring of key men.

"But now he is 100 per cent focused to prove that he is still the number one."

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