Ecclestone: Formula 1 needs a Sebastian who wins

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 25: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates in his changing room with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone as he finishes in sixth position and clinches the drivers world championship during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 25, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian Vettel; Bernie Ecclestone

Sebastian Vettel’s old mate Bernie Ecclestone is adamant that Formul1 needs Sebastian Vettel at the top of his game, in an era when Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton looks set to threaten Michael Schumacher’s record of title and wins in the top flight.

Vettel has not won a Grand Prix since Belgium in August last year, and this year has got off to a dubious start with a very strong car but his form is questionable as young upstart Charles Leclerc to the pit garage next to him and with dial up the pressure on the German.

In an interview with Sport Bild, former F1 chief Ecclestone said, “Formula 1 needs a Sebastian who wins. He has that competitive gene that drivers used to have, and people underestimate Sebastian.”

Heading to the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend, after two rounds, the Ferrari driver is already 22 points adrift of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas who tops the points table at this early stage.

After a forgettable race in Bahrain, in which he spun while tussling with Hamilton for second place, Vettel’s temperament under pressure was again thrust in the spotlight.

“He will also fight his way out of his current low,” insisted Ecclestone, who added, “There is no reason why along with Lewis, Sebastian cannot match Michael Schumacher’s seven titles.”

It took five years for the great Schumi to deliver the first of five drivers’ titles to Maranello, notably this is Vettel’s fifth year with the Reds and it is fast becoming a case of now out never for the world title.

Of Schumacher, Ecclestone said, “His problem was: he knew no limits. The scandals brought a lot of publicity, but not necessarily the ones we wanted.”

As for the great German’s second coming as a Mercedes driver, Mr-E said, “It was good for Formula 1, but not so good for him. But that’s what I meant with the limits, he did not know where his were.”

Big Question: How does Seb get his mojo back?

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