Rosberg: Vettel looked like Barrichello at Belgian GP

Sebastian Vettel looked like Ferrari's most famous number two driver, Rubens Barrichello, at the Belgian Grand Prix, according to former world champion Nico Rosberg.

Despite locking out the front row of the grid at a circuit which suited its advantage in outright engine power, first-time race winner Charles Leclerc was Ferrari's only representative on the podium. Vettel quickly faded in the race and was asked to let Leclerc through at mid-distance after they had been shifted on different strategies.

Vettel then played a key role in delaying the charge of Lewis Hamilton, which turned out to be crucial as the reigning world champion finished the race just 0.9s behind Leclerc. The four-time world champion finished the race a distant fourth behind the Mercedes drivers.

Ahead of the current season, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said Vettel would get the benefit of team orders in 50/50 situations, and there were several instances of them being implemented to help the four-time world champion at the start of the season. Ferrari is perhaps the team most known for using team orders in the past -- Rubens Barrichello famously played second fiddle to Michael Schumacher between 2000 and 2005.

Rosberg thinks Leclerc's supreme form has flipped the hierarchy at the Italian team.

"Poor Vettel, Vettel was like a Barrichello in that race," the 2016 world champion said on his video blog. "Just waving past your teammate and helping him out. Amazing, for a four-time world champion, impressive. Let's see how that plays out for Vettel, but he won't be very happy with that, that's for sure.

"Vettel is just struggling with that car at the moment, especially with the rear end, because it's very very nervous and needs the confidence from the rear end and he's just not getting it from the car."

Vettel, who has now not won for over a year, a run stretching back to last year's Belgian Grand Prix, had no answer for his lack of pace after the race, saying that he had to play the team game when it became obvious he was slipping down the order.

"[My race] was about the team. After the first couple of laps I felt I was not able to look after the tyres the way I would like, and from that point onwards I was just there to try and help the team, which I did.

"I couldn't hold him off for a very long time. I tried to obviously make him lose time in order to give Charles a cushion, and in the end it was just enough, so it did the job.I couldn't stay in range to look after myself, and I was sort of playing a road block to make sure that Charles was gaining some time."

Leclerc's emotional win at Spa-Francorchamps, which came just the day after his friend Anthoine Hubert was killed in an F2 race at the same circuit, saw him finally achieve what he had failed to do at several other opportunities this year.

Rosberg thinks Leclerc is red-hot favourite to win again at Ferrari's home race this weekend, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

"Awesome job he did," Rosberg added on his blog. "He's driving so well this year and I think this is going to be a really, really important breakthrough for him mentally. Getting that first win gives you so much confidence as a driver, so he's going to get another step -- he's just on it and he feels so good with that car.

"Next race is Monza, another very high-speed track and that's where Ferrari's car is best so Leclerc is the definite favourite again. Which would be epic, the tifosi in Monza, that will be a huge party. That's good for F1 that we get a bit of change there."