Formula 1
Formula 1
09 Jul
-
12 Jul
Next event in
31 days
R
70th Anniversary GP
06 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
59 days
13 Aug
-
16 Aug
FP1 in
67 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
FP1 in
88 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
FP1 in
102 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
FP1 in
109 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
FP1 in
145 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
FP1 in
159 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
FP1 in
172 days

Ferrari: Costly Vettel stoppage dictated by safety

shares
comments
Ferrari: Costly Vettel stoppage dictated by safety
By:
Sep 30, 2019, 8:23 AM

Ferrari couldn't have avoided bringing out a costly virtual safety car after Sebastian Vettel's failure in the Russian Grand Prix, as team boss Mattia Binotto says it had to stop the car immediately for safety reasons.

Vettel encountered a hybrid issue shortly after making his pitstop, and he obeyed instructions and parked on the circuit just sort of the pit entry. He then jumped out, as he had to assume that the car was “live.”

The stoppage led to race director Michael Masi ordering a VSC.

That in turn allowed Lewis Hamilton to make a quick pi stop, allowing the Mercedes driver to jump erstwhile leader Charles Leclerc, who had previously stopped under green-flag conditions.

“We had a problem on the hybrid side of the power unit,” said Binotto. “We had a loss of insulation on the car.

"And for safety reasons, we could stop immediately. It’s a shame because maybe 100 metres later we had the pitlane, but it was the safest action we could do for Seb, and obviously safety is first.

“[It was] only for safety. If it would've been for the rest of the car, we would've maybe stopped in a different position. But there was really an instruction, ‘As soon as you can, stop,’ because of the safety."

Read Also:

Asked if such situations usually involved safety issue for the driver, he said: “Normally not. But obviously, not being fully aware on what was the damage and the problem, we knew that there was a loss of insulation, and you're right, normally there is no issue for the driver.

“But you're in areas of maybe it's not fully well-known, because you don't know exactly what's the issue. For us it was safety.

Binotto believes that despite the control electronics being damaged Vettel won’t face a grid penalty in Japan, as he still has one in the pool from earlier in the season.

“Now we will need to see, probably we lost the power electronics, but we've got another one. So [a penalty] is not intended, we'll instead use the other one.”

Race director Masi explained that a VSC was inevitable, given that the marshals had to deal with a hybrid issue.

“[It was] because the car was unsafe from an electrical point of view, and it stayed unsafe for the rest of the race,” said the Australian. “To recover it in the safest possible manner and put marshals out there to do so, it was a very simple decision to put out the VSC.

“Moving it back into that hole because of the electrical issue, we made sure it was well and truly clear and in a safe position before going forward. From our end you’ve just got to be far more cautious.

“Putting people trackside in that area, there’s a reason there’s a whole lot of TecPro there. It’s because people can go off. Wasn’t even a second thought [about the VSC]."

Masi praised Vettel for stopping where he did, saying: “Sebastian did a fantastic job pulling it up as close the vehicle opening that he did.

“Even the fact he virtually turned it around to make it as easy as possible to get back into the hole, he can only do so much. In the circumstances I think Sebastian did absolutely the best job he possibly could.”

Next article
Debate: Was Vettel justified in rejecting team orders?

Previous article

Debate: Was Vettel justified in rejecting team orders?

Next article

Steiner may face scrutiny over FIA criticism

Steiner may face scrutiny over FIA criticism
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Sub-event Race
Drivers Sebastian Vettel Shop Now
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Adam Cooper