While Vettel endured one of the worst races of his career, Leclerc continues to confirm his status as a major new star in F1

Charles Leclerc’s recent rise is starkly contrasting with Vettel’s form lately. While Leclerc stood on the podium as a winner for a second time, Vettel had to talk to the media about the latest in a long line of errors which date back to June 2018.

This was Vettel’s ninth major mistake in 27 races since last year’s French Grand Prix. He has been keeping up a hit rate of one every three events and if he is bemused and perplexed by what is going on, he is far from the only one inside Formula 1.

Vettel’s latest errors add to a series of mistakes in race conditions over the last two seasons – but Ferrari’s chief executive, Louis Camilleri, insists people are unwise to write off one of the F1’s most-successful ever drivers.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 as Ferrari celebrated Monza victory, Camilleri admitted “we’re going to have to lift his spirits” but insisted: “I don’t like the fact that people are trying to write off Seb.

“He’s an amazing driver and I have every confidence that Seb’s going to come back.”

Yet, it’s hard to look past the fact that Leclerc has qualified ahead in the last seven races and claimed the first two wins of 2019 in consecutive weekends. Leclerc has also moved ahead of Vettel by 13 points in the Drivers’ Championship.

The concerning thing is that the errors keep happening. After making a series last year, Vettel was supposed to go away for the winter and think about how to stop it happening. But they have continued into 2019 with more or less the same frequency.
Vettel said the qualifying controversy had not affected him, and that he had not lost any love for F1.

Vettel has another year on his Ferrari contract, but the way things are going he will have gone, within the space of one year, from the team’s lead driver to a de facto support act to Leclerc. He is a proud man and is unlikely to take kindly to that.
Right now, for Vettel, it is hard to know what comes next.