Shaken, sebastian vettel wipes his face with his hand, eyes briefly closed. "Stop when you’re mude," advises a stern female voice – and suddenly this video clip can also be understood as a snapshot of the ferrari driver’s entire dilemma.
The world governing body actually wants to use the pictures to advertise traffic safety, but vettel’s expression during his brief appearance also seems to reflect the scuderia’s renewed plight ahead of the fifth formula 1 race of the season in barcelona.
His fifth year at ferrari, which was finally supposed to be a crowning achievement, could hardly have begun much worse. Four double victories by mercedes duo valtteri bottas and lewis hamilton have pretty much demolished vettel’s world championship hopes. Once again, the 31-year-old has to prove his ability to find the strength for a counterattack. It wears on him, you can hear and see that. "If we had the choice, we weren’t going to want to rely on a comeback. But that’s the way it is," says vettel.