Vettel has struggled in the opening two rounds of the 2021 Championship with Aston Martin, and Watt said it is clear that he is still under pressure despite him leaving Ferrari at the end of 2020.
However, Watt believes Aston Martin won’t sack the German even if his form doesn’t improve, as “he effectively pays his own salary.”
“Vettel is a finished man. It’s a very long time since he did anything good. He also makes many mistakes and looks like a man under pressure,” Watt said.
“I don’t know if he can keep it up mentally. I do hope he stays the year, because he’s probably clinging to the hope that things will start to go his way all of a sudden.”
Continuing, he said: “People talk about him being an expensive guy for the team, but you also have to consider that he will have attracted a lot of sponsorship money, so he effectively pays his own salary.”
Analysis: Is Sebastian Vettel Really A ‘Finished Man’?
While there’s no doubt that Vettel’s start to life as an Aston Martin driver hasn’t exactly gone to plan, it’s far too early to say he’s a “finished man.”
Firstly, it should be recognised that all drivers who have joined new teams this season are struggling, so Vettel being outperformed by Lance Stroll shouldn’t be a major cause for concern for him at this point.
Furthermore, as Vettel completed the fewest number of laps of any driver during pre-season testing in Bahrain, due to a number of reliability issues on his AMR21, it’s not surprising that he is struggling after just two races with his new team.
Lastly, we need to take into account Aston Martin falling down the pecking order this season and currently having one of the slowest cars on the grid.
Even if they are able to improve their package and get on top of the issues that are hurting their performance, it’s unlikely they will recover to having the third-fastest car on the grid, as they did last season.
So, we shouldn’t expect podiums from Vettel this year, but as long as he can outscore or at least match Stroll over the course of 2021, his move to Aston Martin can be considered a success and will leave them in a strong position for 2022 when F1’s new regulations will be introduced.
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