F1: The Singapore GP Verdict, Vettel “Fears” Verstappen
Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel’s “fear” of Max Verstappen was a Key factor in the Singapore GP Turn 1 pile-up last Sunday, that according to this week’s F1 Report.
The 3-car crash, which has had huge ramifications for Mr. Vettel’s championship bid, was the latest flashpoint in the Ferrari driver’s developing rivalry with Red Bull Racing’s Teen Bad Boy, Max Verstappen.
Martin Brundle’s Singapore GP verdict
It was the 1st time the pair had lined up on a front-row together in F1, but they have had several run-ins during wheel-to-wheel combat, notably in Mexico and Brazil last year, when Mr. Vettel complained vociferously over team radio about young Mr. Verstappen’s driving.
And experienced F1 journalist Kevin Eason reckons the opening seconds of last Sunday’s race showed Verstappen has got the 4X world champion spooked.
“In Formula 1 there is 1 driver that Seb respects and that’s Lewis. But there is 1 that he actually fears and that’s Max,” said Mr. Eason on F1 Report: Singapore Review, which aired for the 1st time Wednesday
“And I don’t quite know why. Max has got right under his skin.
“As soon as Sebastian knew Max was next to him on the grid the collywobbles were going.
“I’m sure he looked across at that Red Bull car and thought ‘whatever happens today, he’s not going past me’. I think that helped trigger the whole incident.”
The track stewards ruled that no driver in the accident, which included the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, was wholly to blame, but Mr. Vettel was widely criticized for veering left towards Mr. Verstappen from the Pole position.
Mr. Verstappen was among those to question the Ferrari driver’s tactics in a race in which he could have regained the world title lead from Lewis Hamilton, the eventual race winner. Mr. Hamilton now leads Vettel by 28 points with 6 rounds to go.
“If you are fighting for the world championship you should not take those risks squeezing someone that much,” said Mr. Verstappen. “You can see what happens.”
With both Ferrari drivers dropping out on the opening lap of a race for the 1st time in The Scuderia’s 68-year F1 history, the Maranello Outfit now trail Mercedes by 102 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Mark Gallagher, a former engine boss at Cosworth and now F1 broadcaster, was surprised Messrs Vettel and Raikkonen, playing a supporting role to his team-mate’s title bid, did not appear to have formulated an agreed plan for the start.
“As the whole thing evolved, I wondered why could not Vettel and Raikkonen sit down on that Sunday afternoon in Singapore and say ‘how are you going to handle this start’ and ‘what happens if’? said Gallagher. “Run through lots of scenarios.
“The fact is Vettel chopped across and did not see Raikkonen was on the other side of Verstappen. Equally, Raikkonen couldn’t see that Vettel had given Verstappen nowhere to go.”
|NYSE:RACE||112.99||20 September 2017||-0.50||113.28||113.68||112.01||297,911|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.33)||Neutral (0.00)||Very Bullish (0.56)||Bullish (0.42)|