Former Renault F1 driver Jolyon Palmer feels Sebastian Vettel may not see out the season with Ferrari due to the ongoing friction between them with regards to the race strategy.
It has already been confirmed that the four-time world champion will vacate his Ferrari seat at the end of the current campaign to be replaced by McClaren’s Carlos Sainz.
Vettel will no doubt want to finish his Ferrari career on a high, but things have been exactly the opposite so far and he has accumulated just 10 points from the first five races of the 2020 season.
At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix last weekend, the German started 11th on the grid and he made the worst possible start with an early spin dropping him to the tail of the pack.
Charles Leclerc and Vettel started the race with the medium and hard tyre compounds respectively and they had their opening stops in the 18th and 22nd lap.
For the second stint, Ferrari opted for hard tyres for both players and it initially appeared that Vettel could cover up the vast majority of the race with the compound before changing to mediums towards the end.
However, to the driver’s astonishment, he was asked to pit for new tyres after just 11 more laps and he ended up racing with the mediums for the final 19 laps of the race.
On both occasions, he was released in between traffic and Vettel was far from pleased with the team’s strategy and told the pit wall that they had messed it up.
Meanwhile, his teammate Leclerc had a smooth one-stop race as he managed to last 34 laps with the hard tyre. The Monégasque driver finished a credible fourth in the standings and that is some result, considering Ferrari’s lack of pace to compete with Mercedes.
Vettel, on the other hand, ended outside of the points in 12th. Speaking on BBC Five Live’s Chequered Flag podcast, Palmer believes there is a ‘toxic’ situation building between Vettel and Ferrari and that may lead to the German’s early departure.
“I don’t know if he can [see out the season with Ferrari]. It’s just getting more and more toxic by the day, not even by the race. He’s basically performing really badly compared to Leclerc, who is the golden boy at Ferrari,” He told.
Stats from F1.com