(Motorsport-Total.com) – Sebastian Vettel does not make it into the points for the fifth time in his 250th Grand Prix, the tenth race of the 2020 season. The Heppenheimer has to be content with 13th place in the Grand Prix of Russia. After the race he criticized the Ferrari strategy because he only played the “brake block”. (F1 2020 live in the paddock ticker!)
After his qualifying crash, Vettel started the race with a retreaded car from 14th place, but could hardly benefit from the scramble of the competition. Curious: As in Mugello, he had to avoid a Carlos Sainz spin on lap 1 – this time he was able to avert contact.
“I didn’t have a good first lap and couldn’t benefit from the accidents. That was a shame.” Due to the failures of Sainz and Lance Stroll in the safety car phase, he was in 13th place. “Then I got stuck in traffic, probably broke my tires there and in the end played the brake block until the pit stop.”
“Wasn’t a reason to stay out that long”
In fact, the German had a hard time, he got stuck behind his Ferrari-operated Alfa colleague Antonio Giovinazzi on the first laps, but couldn’t get past. The first pit stops meant that Vettel was flushed to seventh place, but his long first stint did not pay off.
“I gave everything I could. But there wasn’t much in it. I was in the slow group at the end of the field for a long time.” He had problems keeping the tires alive. After all, Ferrari only pitted him for his only stop after 30 laps on the medium.
He later criticizes this strategy. When asked what he would do differently if he repeated the race, Vettel replied: “Not really much. I would pit earlier because there was no reason why we stayed outside for so long as we were quite slow . “
And he guesses himself why his first stint was dragged out: “I think it was clear that I was left outside at the time to slow down the Renaults. But of course that didn’t help me . “
In fact, from lap 19, Vettel was right in front of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo. When the Frenchman couldn’t get past the Ferrari after a few laps, the teammates swapped places. Ricciardo finally overtook on lap 28.
In those almost ten laps, the second Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc (P6), was able to make up enough time at the front to land in the Renault sandwich after his pit stop (lap 29). Vettel, however, did not use this tactic, he was thrown back to 16th place after his tire change (lap 31).
“Could have taken one more point”
“I was stuck, couldn’t really overtake. I really had difficulties,” says Vettel and comes to the conclusion: “That wasn’t good. We might have taken another point, but that doesn’t change much.”
He drives to his home race at the Nürburgring with mixed feelings. He is looking forward to the home game – “definitely one of the nicer races” – but the car will not change overnight. “It’ll be the same as here in two weeks, so it won’t be an easy weekend.”
In the world championship he is 13th with 17 world championship points. After Sochi it is clear: mathematically, Vettel no longer has a chance of winning the 2020 World Cup.