The focus on Sebastian Vettel has been incessant since it was announced in May 2020 that he will leave Ferrari after six years with the famous Italian marque. Former F1 star Gerhard Berger feels it would have been better if he had taken a sabbatical.

After initially pondering his next move with some suggesting retirement or a one-year sabbatical, it was announced prior to the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix that the German four-time F1 world champion will join the newly anointed Aston Martin Racing Team for the 2021 season.

Vettel struggled in his final year with Ferrari and it was not only to do with the poor machinery that he was handed. The German struggled to get the best out of his car and finished an astonishingly low 13th in the Drivers' Championship standings. More startling was his 45-point deficit to teammate Charles Leclerc.

The German racing driver was expected to turn his fortunes around following his move to Aston Martin Racing, who were expected to be competing at the sharp end of the grid unlike Ferrari. However, the Italian team seems to have made a bigger step forward than the Silverstone-based team, which has compounded Vettel's problems.

The former Red Bull driver's poor showing in the first two races of the 2021 season has increased the pressure on him with former Formula 1 racer Gerhard Berger suggesting that Vettel should have taken a sabbatical instead of joining Aston Martin while also stating that he can still turn his form around.

"As of today, he would have done better to take a sabbatical," Berger said, as quoted on Planet F1. "But it must be said that two races are too few to draw conclusions."

"I am sure he is putting all his effort into trying to change the current situation for the better," he added. "Sebastian just needs to recover form and Aston Martin to work on a technical level."

Berger also touched on the subject of the new rule changes, which Aston Martin team members feel were put in place to slow the low rake cars – mainly them and Mercedes. The Austrian former Ferrari driver rubbished the claims, saying that if that was FIA's aim they would have only targeted the reigning champions, who have been utterly dominant in recent years.

"I don't think the rules have been changed to slow down Mercedes and Aston Martin," Berger added. "Not at all. If we are to think so, then they should only have acted against Mercedes."

"But each team has had the opportunity to adapt to the new rules: we are talking about 1,500 people, with the engineers who can't wait to prove their worth."

Sebastian Vettel
Plenty to think about: Ferrari's driver Sebastian Vettel