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Vettel stuck to pre-race Ferrari agreement

  • Published on 29 Sep 2019 16:41
  • comments 3
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel states that he stuck to a pre-race Ferrari agreement and calls his race result a shame after looking strong during the opening stint of the race.

Starting from third on the grid, the German found himself in the lead of the Russian Grand Prix at Turn 2 on the first lap, as he used the slipstream of teammate Charles Leclerc to propel him down the straight.

Ferrari had an agreement in place prior to the commencement of the race in order to get both Ferrari cars running in first and second - which worked successfully.

However, he fell behind Leclerc after making a pit stop four laps later before retiring from the race altogether with an MGU-K issue.

"It was quite a surprise when I left the pits I had no MGU-K support, I had no power from the battery, so missing a lot of overall power," Vettel said.  

"We did half of the lap, the car felt great because I had new tyres but I had no power, I lost like three seconds and then I got the call to stop the car.

"I stuck to the agreement. Obviously it was a big shame.  We had a great chance to finish first and second and now we have one retirement and Charles in third, so not what we wanted."

Vettel refused to explain the fine details of the agreement out of respect for his team, who is now 161 points behind Mercedes in the championship standings. 

“I don’t want to put the team in a bad position afterwards because somebody said something here or there," Vettel said. I know it’s not fair because I think people deserve to know. It’s not a big deal.

“I was in third, Charles was in first and we were talking about a strategy to pass Lewis. Obviously I had a very good start so there were a couple of options on the table. Sorry but I really prefer not to.”

Replies (3)

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  • No, Seb. People do NOT deserve to know the inner issues of a team. It is not a show of exhibitionism. Well done you didn't say anything.

    • + 0
    • Sep 29 2019 - 17:25
  • Teamsand teammates should know better by now. If Seb can win a race, he will do whatever it takes, even if it involves damaging the strategy, breaking an agreement, or disobeying a direct order from the team manager. This was not quite as egregious and disgusting as the Multi 21 issue, but it was Seb trying to force his will. Fortunately for Charles, this was not after the last pit stop, or something where the team couldn't interfere.

    • + 1
    • Sep 29 2019 - 18:26
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 239

      That said Sebastian was faster in the race, maybe it was on account of being in fresher air, and even if Ferrari deny the undercut, it worked out perfectly for them till the point of Sebastian's retirement. I would say that stretching that gap actually worked better as a strategy because it gave Ferrari the flexibility to let Vettel drive for a bit longer on those softs and Leclerc effectively undercutting without the threat of Mercedes undercutting them.

      • + 1
      • Sep 29 2019 - 19:31

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