Jun 14, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has explained how Sebastian Vettel has had to change his approach to Formula 1 after a difficult start to the 2014 season.
For the past five years, Vettel has enjoyed racing the fastest car on the grid with Red Bull, winning four world championships. However, Red Bull has not enjoyed the same kind of advantage at the beginning of this season, with Mercedes instead dominating proceedings.
Speaking to the BBC, Marko explained how Vettel has had to change his approach to deal with the new style of F1.
“Sebastian was complaining about having such a bad car,” he explained. “Sebastian wants everything absolutely right. His main problem was the downshift was always destabilising the rear and he couldn’t understand that we couldn’t solve it.
“Furthermore, he thinks the way F1 is going is not the right one. The cars should be monsters, not relatively easy to drive. With all these problems, maybe he wasn’t as committed as he should have been, but that has changed. Already in Spain we saw already a different approach from this guy.”
Marko also revealed that he had given Vettel a pep talk to up his game – something a four-time champ may not expect to get.
“I told him ‘there are 50 engineers working on this engine and they can’t sort it out. You’re a top driver, it’s up to you. You have to do it.’
“If he can’t sort out the car, the easiest thing is the driver. He has to raise his game.”
Vettel secured just his second podium finish of the season in Canada last weekend, but he has been outclassed in 2014 by teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who claimed his maiden grand prix victory in Montreal.
With four world titles under his belt, though, it is unlikely that Vettel will be kept down for long. As we saw in 2012, it takes him a bit of time to become accustomed with a new set of regulations, and although a fifth championship might not be on the cards in 2014, a race win before the end of the year will certainly be the target.