No, the Formula 1 season for Sebastian Vettel could not have started much worse after the epidemic year 2020 at Ferrari. (Formula 1: Race in Bahrain on Sunday from 5 p.m. in the LIVETICKER)
On his first racing weekend for Aston Martin in Bahrain, of all things, things started to get worse. Especially since his team-mate Lance Stroll, who is not exactly considered to be the greatest talent in the driver field, landed in 10th place.
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Vettel was “naturally angry” because of the unsuccessful start, which will probably make points in the race extremely difficult, and saw part of the blame on himself and the team: “We should have been more careful and maybe should have positioned ourselves better.” (The voices for qualifying)
Vettel: “Wasn’t our fault”
The fact that the result did not spoil his mood too much was mainly due to the fact that the car’s lack of speed or a mistake by the 33-year-old did not lead to the end. “It wasn’t our fault, and you have to put up with something like that,” said Vettel after qualifying.
In fact, the four-time world champion was still in 13th place before all the teams started their crucial final attempts in Q1. And Vettel saw “a lot of air” after a mistake in the first run – but any chances of improvement were quickly taken from him. (All news about Formula 1)
Formula 1 debutant Nikita Mazepin spun on a flying lap for the second time in Q1. The first time he had hailed his team-mate Mick Schumacher, the second time, among other things, Vettel received yellow flags.
On the net, users compared the Russian, who has been the most unpopular Formula 1 driver since his sexism scandal and even faced petitions for his expulsion, with the container ship “Ever Given”. As is well known, this is currently blocking the Suez Canal. Mazepin would similarly block drivers on their fast lap.
Ferrari driver raises yellow flags
Any hopes of still driving a good time vanished for Vettel in turn 8 when he was shown yellow flags again. His Ferrari successor, Carlos Sainz, of all people, had taken care of this. In the end, the Aston Martin driver was missing four tenths of a second to jump into Q2.
“It was chaos on the way to the finish line. I was just able to start the lap and then I was too close to the car in front of me. Then there were also two yellow flags,” Vettel argued with the situation on his fast lap. (SERVICE: driver standings)
As usual, the pilots had tried to cross the finish line as late as possible by driving slowly on the formation lap, which caused a small traffic jam. Mazepin didn’t feel like doing this and, despite the gentleman’s agreement, overtook some drivers.
An action that shouldn’t pay off, because the 22-year-old was already spinning in the first corner and thus triggered the yellow flags. “You don’t usually overtake at this point, but maybe he didn’t know that,” commented Vettel on Mazepin’s action.
Vettel takes Mazepin under protection
Vettel also took the controversial Haas driver under protection: “We were so close to the time limit, maybe the team told him to accelerate. To be fair, I have to say that I also overtook Perez. I would not have him should overtake, but otherwise I would not have been able to start the lap. ”
Vettel was apparently in such a hurry that even after the spin and the following yellow flags he did not take off the gas sufficiently. The stewards at least saw evidence of this and began an investigation. He and his team should take a stand on Sunday lunchtime, and another move back on the grid would be possible.
According to Haas team boss Günther Steiner, Mazepin could hardly prevent the second turner. “Not everything was reset when the engine was started. That is why the entire braking force went backwards when the engine was braked for the first time. Then it turned, we assume,” said Steiner Sky.
The South Tyrolean explained that Mazepin had to make the mandatory visit to the scales in Q1: “If you start the engine afterwards, you have to go through a procedure. Something must have gone wrong.”
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Vettel: “The learning curve is still steep”
Vettel suspects that without the yellow flags he would have been “maybe a second faster”. Like his team-mate Lance Stroll, he could have slipped into Q3.
He doesn’t think he has a lot of chances for the race because they’re “far away from the points” – but for the rest of the season the messed up qualifying gave him courage: “We’re not where we want to be yet – but we’re going to do it Progress every time. The learning curve is still steep. ”
In the next qualifying, Vettel will also make sure that he does not turn into his last fast lap in the immediate vicinity of Mazepin.