Mario Andretti is confident that Sebastian Vettel can win a championship with Ferrari, despite a winless season for Scuderia in 2016.
Vettel’s move to Ferrari was hailed by many, who were of the opinion that the German could lead the Maranello-based squad to winning ways.
The partnership got off to an optimistic start in 2015 with Vettel becoming the only driver to break Mercedes’ hegemony, winning three races across the season.
However, things took a U-turn this year with the Italian outfit failing to win a single race, much to the frustration of Vettel.
But Andretti has enough faith in Vettel’s abilities, and believes he can add to the four titles he won with Red Bull.
“I would love to see Vettel win a championship with Ferrari because I think he really wants to be there,’’ the 1978 champion told ESPN. “He’s there because it’s been his dream and Michael [Schumacher] was his hero.
“He belongs there and I think pretty much everyone would like to see him be successful at Ferrari. I’m one of those. I’m a fan of him in every way
“He expressed that to me when he was first coming to the ranks of F1 that’s where he would like to be. And I think that’s where he would go on to be,’’ he said.
Vettel has generated a lot of controversy this year for his radio outbursts, with matters reached its head in the Mexican Grand Prix where the German sweared against FIA race director Charlie Whiting.
But Andretti understands Vettel’s situation, saying it is a direct effect of Ferrari’s own lack of performance.
“He is showing his frustration a bit because he feels it could be better,’’ he briefly explained.
The 76-year-old also added that Vettel’s harmonious relationship with teammate Kimi Raikkonen will help drive Ferrari forward.
by Rachit Thukral