Distracted Vettel's head must be spinning following Ferrari axe - Brawn
Formula 1's managing director motorsports Ross Brawn has expressed his concern for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari following the season-opening grand prix in Austria.
By the admission of team principal Mattia Binotto, Vettel went into the race "not fully happy" in the wake of the Scuderia's decision not to renew his contract at the end of the year.
Allied to the under-performance of the car, Vettel could only manage a lowly 11th in qualifying and 10th in the race during which he spun at one point, dropping him to the rear of the field.
"It was a difficult start to Sebastian’s final season with the team," said Brawn in a column for Formula 1. "Everything must be swirling round in his head after he found out Ferrari did not want to renew his services for next season.
"Sometimes, the things that put off a driver are quite subtle. Sebastian has appeared surprised and shocked by what has happened and it must be a distraction, understandably so."
As to the woes of Ferrari, a team Brawn has a natural allegiance to given his many years of service, he added: "It was clear Ferrari were in a difficult position after qualifying, their performance by their own admission was disappointing.
"On Sunday, Charles [Leclerc] showed what a talented driver he is, managing his chances wisely to take an opportunistic second place. It is in these difficult races where the determination and talent of a very special driver come through.
"But Ferrari have to quickly improve the situation otherwise they face a very difficult season. They have plans to improve the car for Hungary, which is encouraging, but the start of the year is tougher than they anticipated."
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