F1: Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Vettel ‘Crashes Out’, What Really Happened?
Sebastian Vettel ‘crashed out’ of the lead as Lewis Hamilton won from 14th on the Grid, that is F1 racing.
With just 15 laps to run Sebastian Vettel had been on course for his 1st Hockenheim victory in a F1 car, having followed up a the Pole position lap with a super Vettel start: nail it and set the pace.
Mr. Vettel’s ability to open up a substantial advantage within the 1st 60 secs of the race is his way, a brilliant, underrated display of race-craft.
Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) subsequent tactic of serving 3rd-placed Kimi Raikkonen early was logical yet keeping Kimi ahead of the later-stopping Mr. Vettel once they cycled through was baffling. Mr. Vettel’s frustration began to crackle through on the radio, the dirty air was not favorable for his tires, and eventually Ferrari and swapped, though not before Mr. Raikkonen saw what was happening.
Once ahead Mr. Vettel’s position was not under threat, though the rain, and Mr. Hamilton on fresh tires, remained a potential fissue.
Mr.Vettel kept up strong pace, braked for the Sachskurve, and then…
The smallest of errors, had the largest of consequences. He pushed it a little too much, a few metres too far, the rear axle locked, and off he went.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen made a similar error at the hairpin, but used the run-off to escape, Mr. Raikkonen went wide at Turn 8, and made the podium finishing #3.
Mr. Vettel’s misfortune was to make his mistake at 1 of the few corners with gravel, and at the 1 where the run-off is so limited that escaping is a near-impossibility.
He was the only driver to crash. The only driver whose race came to an end when the showers turned the tarmac greasy. It was a cruel turn of events, and 1 with huge ramifications in the Drivers’ Championship, as he retired for the 1st time since last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.
A devastated Seb Vettel hammered his steering wheel in a mixture of anger and despair, and skulked across the gravel, kicking a few of the stones, as he thought of what was in his sights for The Scuderia and himself .
The positive for Mr. Vettel was the overall pace of the SF71-H.
His is a very fast car and most likely the fastest on the grid. An 8-point lead, that could have grown to around 20, is now a 17-point deficit, but there are enough races ahead and the mean he stands every chance of recapturing the advantage.
The sight of Mr. Hamilton at the Top of the podium, arms outstretched, clutching the trophy, while being battered by rain, could is a defining image, as his car was stricken.
For Mr. Bottas this marked the 11th event running without a win, and in 5 of those he has finished 2nd. But, showing signs of the character earned him a contract extension for Y 2019 and perhaps beyond.
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