Rosberg: Vettel facing most difficult mental challenges of his career

Sebastian Vettel endured another difficult Formula 1 qualifying session, this time in Spain on Saturday, prompting Nico Rosberg to declare that the Ferrari driver is enduring the toughest mental challenge of his career.

For the third time in six races, the four-time F1 world champion qualified outside the top 10 with an out of sorts Ferrari whose handling remained something of a mystery despite a change of chassis.

This time Vettel missed out on taking part in the final phase by an agonising 0.002 of a second to McLaren’s Lando Norris. The #5 Ferrari will line-up 11th on the grid.

“It must be so tough for him mentally now…” commented 2016 world champion and compatriot Rosberg on Sky F1 television. “That’s like 10cm at the end of the lap.

“For him, that must be very, very frustrating. I think he’s facing one of the most difficult mental challenges of his career at the moment.”

Vettel, who has scored just 10 points compared to teammate Charles Leclerc’s 45, is 13th overall and has only once started higher than 10th this year.

He is leaving Ferrari, after they decided not to renew his contract, at the end of the year with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz coming in to replace him.

Leclerc qualified ninth and was also unhappy with the performance. Read the Ferrari qualifying report and driver quotes here>>>