Formula 1 News

'Pressure effect' is Vettel's new challenge - Massa

Niki Lauda also supports the notion the German struggles relates to the big changes in his Red Bull car and Ricciardo's obvious talent.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014 (GMM).- Sebastian Vettel has "forgotten" how to drive something other than the best car in the field.

That is Niki Lauda's view, as the entire world of F1 contemplates the reigning quadruple world champion's current struggle even to keep up with his new Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, told German television RTL: "He has been very spoiled in the past with many highs and victories, but that performance has gone.

"He has forgotten how to drive another car.

"With the (blown) diffuser cars, he had come up with a driving strategy that made him faster than everyone else.

"But now Ricciardo, who has never driven another Red Bull, only knows this one -- and he is taking it in his hands and driving it," added Lauda.

Lauda is not alone with his theory. Felipe Massa thinks Australian Ricciardo has arrived to be Vettel's teammate at precisely the right moment.

"The best time to change is when everything is changing," he told the Brazilian press.

"I'm sure it would have been harder for him if he had arrived last year, when Vettel was already used to the car for many years.

"I think that is helping Ricciardo, but he's also showing that he is a great driver with a lot of talent," said Massa.

Massa also thinks it will be a tough task for Vettel to get back to the top of the tree at Red Bull.

"When he had a team that was all working for him, for all the years when he was with Webber, life was much simpler, easier (for Vettel)," he said.

"But now he is under a little more pressure and that changes the situation -- the pressure effect," said Massa, who switched from Ferrari to Williams over the winter.

"I am not knocking Vettel's talent, the driver that he is, because everything he did deserves the recognition. But this is a situation that now he has to overcome," the Brazilian added.

"Without doubt it shows that Ricciardo is a good driver, fast and with the talent to be there. He has arrived at a great team and so far he shows he can do a great job," said Massa.

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F1 Standings

Drivers
Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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Last F1 Race

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit
1
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
2
Felipe Massa
Williams F1
3
Valtteri Bottas
Williams F1
Fastest Lap

Daniel Ricciardo
1'44.496s

Pole Position

Nico Rosberg

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