Alonso and Vettel went from "big love" to "burnout" at Ferrari - Wurz
Formula 1 champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel suffered "burnout" at Ferrari that resulted in them leaving the Scuderia.
That is the belief of Grand Prix Drivers' Association [GPDA] chairman Alex Wurz, who felt that while Alonso and Vettel enjoyed "big love" upon their arrival at Ferrari, the team's lack of success led to a pressure on their shoulders that ultimately forced their hand.
Although Vettel is a GPDA director and a friend of Wurz, the former Benetton and Williams driver claims he "didn't see it coming" with regard to the 32-year-old German's exit.
"He keeps those cards always very close to his chest," said Wurz, speaking on a SkySports F1 vodcast.
"Just remember the move he did from Red Bull to Ferrari. There were no rumours, nothing. It just happened. It's typical of Sebastian, and I really like his style.
"Personally, if you look at the history of Ferrari, you always have these first few years and months of big love, all these radio calls, you know all the emotions that come out of it, which makes Ferrari in Italy so beautiful.
“But at one point, even Fernando [Alonso], it seems like the whole system makes you go into burnout. Maybe the love is not there anymore, and that seems to happen. Sebastian hasn’t spoken to me about that."
Wurz, though, can understand why it went awry at Ferrari for two drivers who joined the team after experiencing tremendous success elsewhere.
"Ferrari has the full national pride on their shoulders. It is an amazing brand," added Wurz.
“There is more to it than just that racing passion. There is really the national pressure upon you and the drivers go through that.
“Ferrari is very demanding of the drivers. They really love you if you are critical with them and you push them forward.
"But if the success is not coming then suddenly that starts to backfire and they will be protective about their heritage, about their work and about there quality.
"At this point, I can observe there is always friction coming in, and that’s not only for drivers. They have changed team principals also over the years. I think that comes with outside influence but also the Latin lifestyle. That mixture seems to be tricky.
“We look back at the (Michael) Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Jean Todt era, that group went in there and was so strong together that they could succeed, and could push that to the side, this Italian pressure, let's call it like this.
"But ever since they separated, Ferrari is behind its own expectations.”
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