Sebastian Vettel looks on while wearing a mask
Sebastian Vettel chose Aston Martin to begin a new chapter for his F1 career, but so far worrying signs of the old Seb remain.

Last September Sebastian Vettel was locked in a volatile battle for supremacy inside a nascent Ferrari, but just 12 months later the four-time champion has stitched up a deal to flee the sinking scarlet ship for greener pastures.

Lewis Hamilton won his fifth race of the season to extend his championship lead to nearly two clear race victories at the Belgian Grand Prix, but the biggest story of this staid Sunday came at the back of the field and well out of the points.

Ferrari, motorsport’s most famous and best-funded team, lumbered home to its worst result in a decade in a hellish weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc crawled to 13th and 14th, beaten by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and only five seconds ahead of Williams rookie Nicholas Latifi in its lowest meritorious double finish since 2010.

Sebastian Vettel led the way for Ferrari in a very wet second practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, while first session pacesetter Lewis Hamilton was among those who chose not to set a time in the saturated conditions.

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Never has the Formula One paddock been more intensely pressurised than in this most unusual 2020 season.

We’re two rounds into an unprecedented run of 10 races in 13 weeks, and with the full schedule of events still undetermined, every grand prix threatens to make or break a championship.

The pressure has never been higher. Fortunately Lewis Hamilton thrives on it.

Ferrari blows up the driver market, Daniel Ricciardo blows up Cyril Abiteboul’s heart and the news cycle blows up the timeliness of our podcast.

Sebastian Vettel on track at the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel has ended Charles Leclerc's nine-race winning streak with pole in Japan.
Sebastian Vettel at the Japanese Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel says all is well between him and Charles Leclerc despite their Sochi fracas.
Sebastian Vettel on track at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel has won his first race in more than a year with a strategic victory in Singapore.
Sebastian Vettel smiles in the press conference ahead of the 2019 German Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel says he isn't feeling the heat from his extended run of underperformance.
It would be hyperbole to say Vettel’s past it, but at Silverstone it was hard not to wonder whether his rivals have passed him.
‘Rage quit’ isn’t a phrase heard thrown around in Formula One.
If you were monitoring that renowned bastion of reasonable and level-headed debate known as Twitter during the Canadian Grand Prix, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Formula One had folded overnight, never to be seen again among the ranks of top-tier motorsport.

Sebastian Vettel remains confident that Ferrari has the package to beat Mercedes — so long as his team can find its setup sweet spot.

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Nothing fires up the formula one public quite like team orders, and it’s taken only three races for the sport’s favourite subject to become a major talking point in 2019.
Mercedes has been Formula One’s dominant force for five long years, but that could all be about to change in 2019.