Ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, former Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has hit out at Ferrari over their handling of Sebastian Vettel this season.
As Vettel goes into the Grand Prix knowing that anything less than a win will hand the F1 world championship to Lewis Hamilton, Ecclestone believes that, despite having arguably the fastest car, Ferrari have let the German down off the circuit.
Vettel goes into the race one place behind Hamilton on the grid in fourth, and knows that he must win, and that even if he does, the British driver can take the crown with a seventh place finish.
And while Vettel may have made some mistakes during the season, Ecclestone believes that it is politics and mistakes amongst the hierarchy that have ultimately prevented him and the car from not fulfilling their promise.
"Sebastian did not have the backing and support of his team, while Lewis has the team 100 per cent behind him," Ecclestone told Bild am Sonntag.
"[Hamilton] does not have to worry about what Mercedes does. Everything is perfect with them.
"Ferrari could have done it, but there's a lot of politics there and Sebastian didn't feel the backing he needed. I think he was alone."
Sergio Marchionne, the chairman and CEO of Ferrari, passed away aged 66 in July, and Ecclestone believes that this event ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix played a big role in the team’s troubles.
"I believe a lot wasn't the way it should have been after that," he said.
"He was a strong, respected man and they missed that leadership greatly.
"Ferrari has to decide whether the current management is correct. I don't want to judge that."
Hamilton can clinch his fifth world crown on Sunday and become only the third driver to win five or more.
If Hamilton is successful, Vettel will be left to reflect on what might have been and how, as he also has four wins, it might have been him toasting that achievement.
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