The 2014 season was one to forget for Sebastian Vettel as he was bested by a teammate for the very first time in a Formula 1 campaign, but was his lack of pace genuine or was there an element of gamesmanship at play. Former driver turned pundit Martin Brundle has his own thoughts on the matter.
Coming off the back off four consecutive championship winning years, Vettel was comfortably beaten by new teammate Daniel Ricciardo in 2014, a year which saw the German fail to score a win for the first time since his debut half season in 2007.
“I never understood Seb’s awful season, when Ricciardo arrived,” Brundle told F1 Racing magazine.
“He kept on about how he hated the hybrid cars – but when he got to Ferrari [in 2015] he was immediately on the pace.
“I’ve always wondered if he went slowly in 2014 because he needed to trigger his Red Bull exit clause.
“Whatever, he had to leave because another year like that with Danny Ric and his value would have dropped to almost nothing…”
Ricciardo took three wins on his way to third in the championship standings in 2014, while Vettel ended the year winless, with just four podium finishes to his name and on 167-points - 71 behind Ricciardo.
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