Sebastian Vettel urged to take SABBATICAL from F1 from the man who nurtured him as a teen prodigy

‘I find it sad to see… it would be a mistake if he did something similar’: Michael Schumacher’s failure at Mercedes should act as a warning to Sebastian Vettel as he is urged to take SABBATICAL from F1 from the man who nurtured him as a teen prodigy

  • Trevor Carlin has nurtured some of the biggest names currently in Formula One
  • He has helped progress Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo 
  • Carlin thinks Vettel should walk away for a ‘sabbatical’ and wait for the right seat 
  • Suggestions he could join Mercedes but Carlin insists it would be a ‘mistake’ 

Sebastian Vettel has been warned not to make the same mistake Michael Schumacher made after leaving Ferrari by accepting a seat towards the back of the grid. 

It was announced last week that Vettel will depart Ferrari following the conclusion of the 2020 season and will be replaced by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz. 

For renowned motorsport talent-spotter Trevor Carlin, who nurtured Vettel, Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and many other elite drivers in their teenage years, the German needs to walk away from the sport with his legacy intact if he can no longer contend for the drivers’ championship. 

Sebastian Vettel has been told to leave F1 if he cannot contend for a title by his teenage mentor

Michael Schumacher's decline at Mercedes was a 'mistake' that Vettel should not repeat

Michael Schumacher’s decline at Mercedes was a ‘mistake’ that Vettel should not repeat

‘I think the worst thing he can do is to drive for a non-top three team,’ Carlin told Sportsmail

‘I don’t think it would be wise for him to do that. He has a great legacy in the sport, he is a proven winner, a champion and he doesn’t need to do it for the money. 

‘He is young enough to take a sabbatical and see what happens.’

Sportsmail exclusively revealed that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was ‘considering’ forming a dream team of Lewis Hamilton and Vettel at Mercedes.

Vettel (right) raced against Schumacher (left) a decade ago but he was no longer a major force

Vettel (right) raced against Schumacher (left) a decade ago but he was no longer a major force

But for Carlin, whose focus is in the F2, F3 and F4 series, that is a scenario that he cannot see either driver accepting and with Sainz’s McLaren seat gone, Red Bull unlikely to sanction a return and a Mercedes link-up improbable with Hamilton and Bottas a popular tandem, options could prove scarce for Vettel to remain on the grid next year.

Both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have previously accepted lesser roles at teams towards the back of the grid but having seen Schumacher fade away at Mercedes a decade ago, Carlin is wary of another ‘mistake’ being made if Vettel did similar. 

Schumacher, who holds the sport’s record of seven world championships, finished ninth in his first season, eighth in his second and 13th in his third, a shadow of his podiums and race wins that became commonplace while in the red of Ferrari. 

He was eventually replaced by Hamilton and now the Brit is one championship away from Schumacher. But for Carlin, the decline should serve as a warning to Vettel should he insist on remaining behind the wheel in F1 in any capacity.  

As errors crept into Vettel's drives, he has been told not to step away and take a sabbatical

As errors crept into Vettel’s drives, he has been told not to step away and take a sabbatical

‘I find it sad to see,’ he added. ‘To see someone who has done such a brilliant job at the peak of their powers to be scrambling around. 

‘It was a bit like when Michael Schumacher went to Mercedes in 2010. It just had a hollow ring to it. I didn’t feel comfortable watching it. 

‘That was a mistake what Michael did and I think it would be a mistake if Sebastian did something similar.’