Vettel: Spin battling Hamilton "nothing to do with pressure"

Sebastian Vettel has denied his spin during battle with Lewis Hamilton in the Bahrain Grand Prix was related to mounting pressure following the multitude of mistakes he made last season.

Vettel: Spin battling Hamilton "nothing to do with pressure"

Vettel had made several costly errors as Ferrari’s 2018 Formula 1 championship challenge unravelled.

He spun again while fighting Hamilton for second in Bahrain on Sunday, losing control as he tried to cut back underneath Hamilton’s Mercedes at Turn 4, having been overtaken around the outside.

Vettel flat-spotted his tyres so badly the resulting vibrations shattered his front wing as he tried to make it back to the pits.

Instead of being in position to inherit victory or even second when teammate Charles Leclerc’s engine problem struck, Vettel ended up a lowly fifth.

He lies fifth in the championship after two difficult races, and this latest error has led to suggestions Vettel is increasingly feeling the pressure at Ferrari.

“To be honest I don’t think it has anything to do with pressure,” Vettel said. “I got surprised when I lost the rear that sudden, and once I was in the spin it was already too late.

“Certainly, I had a look at it again. It was my mistake so I need to digest that.

“I thought it was not too bad. During the turnaround [spin], I think the rear left tyre delaminated – Pirelli are still searching apparently where the rest of the tyre is.

“Due to that I had a lot of vibration and when I was going down the straight that caused the front wing to break.”

 

Williams rookie George Russell was trying to pass Vettel’s ailing Ferrari on the back straight when the wing shattered.

Russell sympathised with Vettel’s predicament considering the extreme windy conditions prevalent in the race.

“I've never experienced conditions like that before,” Russell said. “The wind was extremely high - you were having laps down the straight [on which] you were literally being blown across the straight.

“It kind of shows the level of the drivers that not more people biffed it off, and I know Vettel had his moment when he spun but I can totally understand that in the circumstances because it was lap-to-lap.

“I think for everybody on track it was a nightmare, because of conditions – one corner was massively understeer, one corner was massively oversteer.

“The gust of winds were huge, and that had such a huge effect on these cars with this much downforce.”

More F1 insights:

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto was quick to defend Vettel, too.

“I don’t think we should discuss mistakes,” he said. “We need to encourage our drivers because it’s only by driving to the limit that they can achieve the best result.”

Notwithstanding his error, Vettel admitted he has “plenty of homework on my side” after struggling all weekend and consistently falling short of Leclerc’s pace.

Vettel will test for Ferrari in Bahrain on Wednesday as he will hope to find the answers to his pace deficit in the grand prix.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, heads to the pits with a broken front wing

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, heads to the pits with a broken front wing

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Bahrain Grand Prix driver ratings

Previous article

Bahrain Grand Prix driver ratings

Next article

Assen to chase Dutch GP deal as Zandvoort exclusivity ends

Assen to chase Dutch GP deal as Zandvoort exclusivity ends
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Sub-event Race
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Author Ben Anderson
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021