Ferrari should have paid Vettel ‘to go’ – Irvine

Former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine says the Scuderia should have paid Sebastian Vettel not to race rather than have its drivers endure a “screwed-up dynamic”.

Vettel was informed back in May of Ferrari’s decision to dispense with his services at the end of the current season.

Irvine, who won four Grands Prix with the Italian outfit, believes the team is now basking in a “destructive” situation that is unlikely to improve.

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“At Ferrari, the pressure is second to none, it’s a tough situation but I think now it’s even tougher, because Ferrari are stuck with a driver that knows he’s getting sacked at the end of the year,” the 54-year-old F1 veteran told Omnisport.

“Really the loyalty is not there, and Leclerc is their number one hope, so I just think it’s a really screwed-up dynamic.

“I would have got rid of Vettel this year to be honest, just paid him to go and taken a young guy, or anybody.

“I think it’s destructive having Vettel there, but they had their reasons, I guess.

“Maybe they didn’t want to pay so much money for a guy to do nothing, I don’t know.”


Assessing last weekend’s pitiful run-in between Vettel and teammate Charles Leclerc in the Styrian Grand Prix, Irvine agreed that the Monegasque had wrongly attempted to force the issue, but insisted Vettel had also been partly responsible for the blunder.

“The problem is with Vettel – and I’ve said it many, many times – he makes way too many mistakes,” Irvine said.

“At the weekend, even though it was Leclerc’s fault, he left the door so wide open.

“He waved Leclerc down and then when Leclerc got in there Vettel had to turn right because the car was to his left, but he really did leave a massive gap that sucked Leclerc in.

“It was Leclerc’s fault, but I’d put five per cent of the blame on Vettel.”

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