user icon
user icon

Lauda backs Vettel to recover from 2018 loss

  • Published on 20 Dec 2018 13:14
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda says that it is "absurd" to doubt Sebastian Vettel following his championship defeat in 2018. The German lost out on the title to rival Lewis Hamilton, who bagged his fifth world drivers' championship.

The two were neck and neck at throughout the first half of the year, however a series of on-track mishaps from Vettel and failed upgrades from Ferrari allowed Hamilton to extend his lead at the top and take the championship with two rounds to spare.

But Lauda thinks that Vettel will bounce back, revealing that the 31-year-old gave him a handwritten letter while he was recovering in the hospital from his recent lung transplant operation.

"The letter written by Sebastian, in his own hand, was a great pleasure for me, full of fine words and affectionate considerations," Lauda said to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I didn't expect it, usually drivers don't do these things, they just drive. But he's a good person.

"He has had moments of discouragement, we know, but it would be absurd to question him. He will recover, a champion will not forget how to drive. He'll come back strong as ever and he'll still be Hamilton's rival in 2019."

Read: The second chance: Niki Lauda - The fire that was conquered

Lauda missed out on being trackside at much of the races in the second half of the year due to his health, but says that he never skipped a Grand Prix and was able to keep up to speed with the events on the track.

"I didn't miss a single Grand Prix, even though I was in the company of so many IV [therapy utensils]," he said. "I watched all the races, called the pits on the weekends, and they always told me what was going on.

However, Lauda stated that he was "never afraid" during his procedure and recovery, as he was confident he was in safe hands: "I knew it would be hard, very hard. In such conditions I could only do one thing: fight. I did it for every moment, I'm still doing it.

"Being within my walls is something else. The air here is cleaner, the climate is not as bad as in Austria. In a month, they told me, I should be fully fit and ready to start again. I'll follow the Grand Prix as before. Why not?"

Replies (3)

Login to reply
  • I do hope he will. I think Vettel is the more capable driver compared to Hammy once he get his mojo on, but he was just far too clumsy, and Ferrari and their multiple strategical errors didnt help.

    • + 0
    • Dec 20 2018 - 17:43
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Really, not a single mistake all year from Hamilton, everyone's talking about the same....Vettel has some catching to do. He is a good guy though, he's made appearance on british TV on Tog Gear - everyone loved him. Aside Boris Becker, he could be an honorary brit !

    • + 0
    • Dec 21 2018 - 09:38
    • I mean, have you seen the raw amount of praise Hammy's gotten all around? He has gotten his share. 'sides, this is motör jurnalizm, some degree of repetition (being a lot) is bound to go around. :)

      • + 0
      • Dec 21 2018 - 17:11

AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Friday weather-image

    Saturday weather-image

    Sunday weather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Race

    15:10 - 17:10

  • Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

    Fastest lap

     

AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

    15:10 - 17:10

Related news

Test calendar

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Where will Sebastian Vettel be in 2021?

World Championship standings 2019

Show full world champion standings

Driver profile

  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 1,945
  • Podiums 81
  • Grand Prix 102
  • Country GB
  • Date of b. Jan 7 1985 (35)
  • Place of b. Tewin, GB
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
13 - Mar 15
Australia
20 - Mar 22
Bahrain
3 - Apr 5
Viet Nam
17 - Apr 19
China
1 - May 3
Netherlands
8 - May 10
Spain
21 - May 24
Monaco
5 - Jun 7
Azerbaijan
12 - Jun 14
Canada
26 - Jun 28
France
3 - Jul 5
Austria
17 - Jul 19
United Kingdom
31 - Aug 2
Hungary
28 - Aug 30
Belgium
4 - Sep 6
Italy
18 - Sep 20
Singapore
25 - Sep 27
Russian
9 - Oct 11
Japan
23 - Oct 25
United States of America
30 - Nov 1
Mexico
13 - Nov 15
Brazil
27 - Nov 29
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
13 - Mar 15
Australia Albert Park
20 - Mar 22
3 - Apr 5
Viet Nam Hanoi Circuit
17 - Apr 19
1 - May 3
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
8 - May 10
21 - May 24
Monaco Monte Carlo
5 - Jun 7
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
12 - Jun 14
26 - Jun 28
France Paul Ricard
3 - Jul 5
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19
United Kingdom Silverstone
31 - Aug 2
Hungary Hungaroring
28 - Aug 30
4 - Sep 6
Italy Monza
18 - Sep 20
25 - Sep 27
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11
23 - Oct 25
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
30 - Nov 1
13 - Nov 15
Brazil Interlagos
27 - Nov 29
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar