(Motorsport-Total.com) – Sebastian Vettel’s race at Le Castellet was not as flawless as it was in the analysis immediately afterwards. A closer look at the French Grand Prix revealed that the Aston Martin driver was once clearly off the track – a scene that went unnoticed because it was not captured by the TV cameras.
© Motorsport Images
Sebastian Vettel at the French Grand Prix in Le Castellet 2021
The mistake happened on lap 28. “I’m off the track in turn 11,” radioed Vettel. “Can continue, no problem.” After a short pause, he added: “There must have been a gust of wind. Please let me know.”
His racing engineer Chris Cronin radioed Vettel back: “Yes, I can confirm. A big gust of wind. 30 km / h, 30 km / h.”
How Cronin Vettel confirms that the mistake was not solely his fault is a good example of the feel-good atmosphere that the four-time world champion recently missed at Ferrari and has just rediscovered at Aston Martin.
Because Vettel, you know, has never been particularly good at easily putting away criticism from outside and standing above things. An experience that David Coulthard also had: “Sebastian hardly speaks to me anymore because I said that he is only a shadow of himself,” says the former Red Bull driver and today’s Formula 1 expert in Interview with ‘Sky’.
Coulthard: ” Vettel hardly speaks to me anymore ”
David Coulthard on Sebastian Vettel. (Video length: 38 seconds)
“I loved that he finished on the podium in Baku. His performance in France was good too. But in other races, be it in the Ferrari or Aston Martin, he wasn’t the Sebastian I knew. But I was I understand that he sees it differently. I was also a racing driver. You see someone who says something negative about you as an enemy. I understand that. “
Vettel lost around four seconds due to the mistake on lap 28. He had just cracked the 1:40 barrier for the first time while the fuel load was decreasing when the mistake occurred to him. In the remaining nine laps up to the pit stop he only drove three times under 1:40 minutes because the light tire flat cost him performance and additional seconds.
If you consider that Vettel was only three seconds short of Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) at the end of the race, then it seems reasonable to assume that his initially undiscovered mistake probably cost four championship points.
After four zero numbers at the start of the season, Vettel has recently scored three times in a row: fifth in Monaco, second in Baku and ninth in Le Castellet. He has 30 points in his account – 14 more than was the case with Ferrari a year ago after seven races.
“The goal is to maintain our consistency and to get back into the points in Austria,” he said, looking ahead to the coming weekend. “It’s a great track because it’s short, but with lots of fast and difficult corners. Adding one lap feels great.”
“Driving twice in a row on the same track is a challenge because the gaps are already so small and the more laps we drive, the smaller the gaps. But on the other hand, that makes it kind of exciting,” says Vettel.
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