LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has criticized four times world champion Sebastian Vettel for the way he reacted to failure this year.
The German, who has now left Red Bull for Ferrari, ended the season without a win after dominating the previous four championships.
Red Bull started the season on the back foot with an uncompetitive and unreliable Renault V6 turbo hybrid engine but Vettel’s new Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo still won three races.
“I’m a super supporter of Sebastian, but I’m a little bit disappointed with his attitude, which I think has changed,” Ecclestone wrote in the foreword to the official Formula One season review.
“He’s acting like a defeated guy, and he isn’t — that’s not his mentality,” added the 84-year-old.
Ecclestone and Vettel, who won the last nine races of 2013, are close and the Briton will be happy at least to see the 27-year-old move to Maranello after achieving all his success with Red Bull.
Ferrari are going through considerable change and, now on their third team principal of the year, are under pressure to perform after a dismal season in which they too failed to win a race for the first time since 1993.
“Ferrari was very disappointing, getting lost somewhere,” said Ecclestone.
“Fernando (Alonso) got a little bit like Sebastian halfway through, so I’m a little disappointed in him, too.”
Spaniard Alonso has made way for Vettel and is now expected to join McLaren, who have not won a race since 2012.
Mercedes won both titles this year, with Lewis Hamilton taking his second driver’s championship, but Ecclestone said the sport had been lucky the Briton and his German team mate Nico Rosberg were allowed to race each other.
“It’s good that Mercedes allowed them to do that,” he said. “If not, we would have had a really lousy championship.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris