(Motorsport-Total.com) – While his team-mate Charles Leclerc surprisingly landed on the podium at the Formula 1 season opener in Spielberg, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel only remained tenth after a difficult race with a spin. Instead of fighting for positions, the German fought mainly with his car on Sunday.
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The weak engine and a nervous tail made his life difficult. But Leclerc, who struggled with similar problems, showed what would have been possible given the opportunities the race offered. Therefore, Vettel met harsh criticism afterwards, not only from team boss Mattia Binotto.
Above all, his spin on lap 31, when he was trying to brake past Carlos Sainz (McLaren) in eighth place, caused harsh words. “It was a blatant misjudgment of the whole situation, as has happened to him many times,” says Nico Rosberg, world champion of 2016, about the action on ‘RTL’.
Button: “That was a pretty embarrassing spin”
“Inexplicable somehow,” he continues to scold. “I also found it sobering how he talked himself out of it. He says Ferrari is only sixth or seventh at the most, but his teammate is second.” Vettel had announced after the race that the SF1000 can currently only fight for ranks five to seven under normal circumstances.
Now Leclerc in Spielberg was actually “a bit lucky”, as he analyzed himself. But unlike Vettel, he was able to take advantage of the opportunities offered – mistakes, failures and punishments by others. For Vettel, on the other hand, it went far back after his spin: he fell back to 15th place.
“It was a pretty embarrassing spin,” says ‘Sky’ expert Jenson Button. “Actually, I’ve always made a strong case for Seb, but that was one he will look back on and will be very angry with himself,” he is certain. “Fortunately we will be driving again next weekend.”
Schumacher sees Ferrari decision confirmed
Then Vettel would have the chance to drive a better race. From Ralf Schumacher’s point of view, TV expert at ‘Sky Deutschland’, this will also be bitter. “To be honest, it’s more of a thing that should happen to a young driver – but not Sebastian,” he comments on Vettel’s spin in Spielberg.
“I also don’t know what’s going on in him sometimes. Of course it’s not good for him in the current situation and now basically confirms the decision (by Ferrari; note of the rule). Of course it’s very early, but that it just happens to him again and again … He’s so experienced and then drives into a gap that doesn’t exist. “
And how does Vettel assess the situation with Sainz himself? “I tried to keep in touch with the cars in front of me,” explains the German. “I think Charles (just in front of Sainz) was trying to defend his position and Carlos turned in quite aggressively at the last second. I think he was getting ready for the next straight.”
Vettel criticizes the drivability of the current car
Finally there was contact on the inner track in curve 3. “I was a little locked up and didn’t really have a place to avoid contact,” said Vettel, who turned and had to let all the cars behind to continue his journey. “It was a shame, of course, that I lost the car there.”
From 15th place, favored by further cancellations, only tenth place was in the end. “During the entire race, I generally struggled to feel confident with the car, even when braking,” Vettel sums up. “It probably didn’t help to have the most accurate judgment on my side.”