After the qualifying farce on Saturday, the German committed his own mistake on Sunday. As in the previous year, he lost control and spun going through a chicane, this time the Ascari chicane on the sixth lap. Worse, when he attempted to return to the race track he overlooked Lance Stroll from Racing Point.
They touched, Stroll spun when trying to evade Vettel. The race stewards imposed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty against Vettel. In the end, Vettel finished thirteenth overlapped by his team-mate.
Vettel to German TV RTL: “I came closer to Valtteri. A small carelessness of mine and I lost the car…. “
“I didn’t see anything, but it wasn’t good, as I came back there. I’ve already talked to him.”
Ex-pilot Martin Brundle defended Vettel at Sky: “With the HANS system on the helmet and the high cockpit walls, it’s impossible to look sideways or turn your head, but Sebastian should have been aware that being upfront in the field that there were cars coming from behind…”
On top of that, the stewards imposed three penalty points for Vettel’s action after the race. Hence, Vettel’s points account rises to nine penalty points which brings him under additional pressure as he can’t allow himself anymore mess-ups without consequences!
With twelve penalty points and he would receive a race block. At least he can relax after race in Japan in mid-October, as his points will be deleted after twelve month period.
“I’m not satisfied with my performance. Of course, it was a good day for the team, but not for me.”
After all: In the team’s group photo, he shakes Leclerc’s hand like a fair loser. Ex-Formula 1 driver Jacques Villeneuve believes, however, that Leclerc already impacted Vettel on Saturday – mentally, when he didn’t help Vettel in the qualifying.
“With the action (on Saturday) he mentally impacted Sebastian. Vettel is an absolute team player. The fact that you can act differently, is inconceivable for him. For me his mistake is a consequence of it. “
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.