F1: Ferrari’s Vettel, Red Bull’s Kvyat Tangle on Lap 1, Rosberg Drives Away
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel retired Sunday without completing a lap of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix after crashing in a wild start in Sochi.
Starting from 7th on the grid, Mr. Vettel was hit from behind by the Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat into Turn 2. That pushed the Ferrari into Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull racer.
As the 2 Red Bulls continued on, Mr. Vettel’s Ferrari spun into the wall at Turn 3, having picked up a puncture from the contact and then been hit again by Mr. Kvyat, who was handed a 10 sec Stop-Go penalty. It was the 2nd straight race that Messrs Vettel and Kvyat clashed at the start. This time Mr. Vettel was forced out of the race.
Mr. Vettel was furious, so much so that he went on to have words with his former boss Christian Horner, Mr. Kvyat’s team principal.
“Obviously he was slightly frustrated,” said Mr. Horner, when asked what Mr. Vettel said. “All I could do was apologize because it was unfortunately a mistake by Daniil Kvyat.”
Mr. Horner added, “The emotions run high with all these guys. At his home race I think he’s just gone for too much too soon.”
Having made his point, Mr. Vettel left the track without his usual press interviews
MercedesAMG’s Nico Rosberg drove on and won the Russian Grand Prix after making it through the 1st few corners cleanly and remaining cool throughout the race, unaware of the dust up.
Mr. Vettel was not pleased even before he knew who had caused the accident. “I’m out. Crashed. Somebody hit me in the f__king rear at turn 2 and then somebody hit me in the f__king rear again in turn 3,” he shouted. “Honestly, what the f__k are we doing here?”
Mr. Vettel said, “I think it’s a shame because today we had done everything right. I had a really good start, I was a bit stuck at the first turn, but then I was able to go. Of course there’s always a bit more risk in starting behind, but P7 is not P15. I was going into second corner, I was already attacking and approaching fifth place, but it doesn’t help when people behind don’t brake. What Kvyat did was completely unnecessary. I had a massive hit from behind, then another big hit in turn 3 and that finished my race. As far as I know, the race is 53 laps, but not everybody seems to remember. I don’t think I need to say much, I think if you look at the footage you’ll have the answers to your questions. Today it was not my fault, there was nothing I could have done differently, nothing I would change. I don’t dislike him (Kvyat), but I think he did a mistake two weeks ago, he made a mistake today but it doesn’t help me now. Obviously I would have loved to drive the car today to feel if we could keep the same balance into the race, but for the future nothing has changed. Of course I’m disappointed but we’re already focused on the next race.”
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who finished 3rd said, “Overall it hasn’t been a very easy weekend, but today we tried to make the best out of it. I had a good start and managed to get second position but then, like last year, after the Safety Car I could not hold up the Williams behind me on the straight. After that I was trying to fight them back, but I lost one place to Hamilton. So we decided to run longer to gain positions and we did quite a pretty good job. The car was handling very well through the whole race, even if we were forced to do some fuel saving and this affected our lap-times. The 3rd place we managed today is what we were able to achieve, but is not ideal, because we want to be at the front with both cars. It’s a pity not to be fighting for the win, but we take this result and keep on working to put ourselves in a better position.”
MercedesAMG’s Lewis Hamilton finished 2nd and did not say anything, he looked very upset, as Mr. Rosberg joined the ranks of F1 heroes winning 7 straight races.
In 2 weeks, the Formula One F1 series will kick off the European leg of the season at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona., stay tuned.
Have a terrific week.