Vettel: ‘I’m to blame’ for missing out on pole

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Sebastian Vettel believes he could have been on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was fastest in Q2 and headed the times after the drivers had done their first runs in Q3.

But he was beaten by both Mercedes drivers on the final runs and ended up just over a tenth of a second off pole position.

“It was very close,” said Vettel. “Mercedes were very quick all weekend.”

“We know they are very quick on one lap but I don’t want that to sound like an excuse. There was a bit more than a tenth missing and I think I had that today. It didn’t come together on the last lap.

“Really I think if anyone to blame, I think the car was very good, I think if there’s anyone to blame it’s me.

“Not entirely happy with the last lap but still quite happy there isn’t a Ferrari or Lotus ahead. Tomorrow I think these guys will have to stop at least as much as us.

“Therefore I think sitting in third is still a good result and should be a good opportunity tomorrow to win the race.”

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Monaco Grand Prix articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

40 comments on “Vettel: ‘I’m to blame’ for missing out on pole”

  1. Nice to hear him being honest about it.

  2. “still quite happy there isn’t a Ferrari or Lotus ahead” Ouch!

    1. It’s a way to admit Ferrari and Lotus have great race pace (also probably more strategic options), which was quite obvious during FP2…

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      25th May 2013, 16:25

      he knows Red Bull is the 3rd best car so far, so his comment is both real and reminding his team he needs some tune-ups

      1. I think fourth fastest on this track. I see the Mercs tyres holding up just fine tomorrow.

        1. i think it is the 10th fastest car

          1. 23rd fastest!

  3. That’s one great thing about Vettel: he rarely puts the blame on the car or claims that it was the best possible result. Kudos for honesty. Still a nice job from Vettel, considering that he beat Webber who is no slouch in Monaco.

    1. He puts the blame on the tires. :)

  4. With all the respect I lost for him after Malaysia, it’s nice to hear him put his hands up and say “I made an oopsie”. Interesting to hear him claim how bad a lap it was, yet Webber said he was happy with his, though Vettel’s ahead.

    1. I think Vettel just sets much higher standards for his own performance than Webber. Vettel seems to be a perfectionist.

      1. Hence he’s a triple world champion

  5. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    25th May 2013, 16:40

    I agree Sebastian, you should’ve been on pole. The RB9 is probably the best car in the wet, and I know the track was bone dry in Q3, but the track temperature was very cold, and that’s where you still need a car that generates good tyre temperature, which the RB9 does. Couple that with Vettel’s phenomenally aggressive “throttle boots” (Vettel essentially turns the car on the throttle in qualifying, often “booting” the throttle before apex, generating controllable oversteer, turning the car and maintaining phenomenal apex speed. This has been the key to much of Vettel’s qualifying success, and is equally not possible in anything other than a Newey designed Red Bull with its immense rear downforce), which generates said tyre temperature and makes Vettel arguably the grid’s best wet weather driver, and it essentially equates to sheer certainty that Vettel had better tyre temperatures at the start of his Q3 than either of the Mercedes. Sebastian, you had more grip than the Mercedes, and yet you were beaten not only by Rosberg, but also by the notably under-performing Hamilton all through nothing other than sheer driver performance.

    (chuckles gleefully…)

    1. Your post is the definition of objectiveness…not.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        25th May 2013, 20:55

        @lancelot – OK you have a point, my man, but that by no means subtracts validity from my overall argument. Red Bull and Vettel have been undeniably awesome in wet so far this year, getting pole in the rain effected sessions of Malaysia and Bahrain, and looking equally fast in the wet Q1-2 sessions. The combination of the RB9 and Vettel’s driving style obviously generates tremendous tyre temperature, which gave him an advantage in the cold track temperatures of Q3. He should have been on pole, but he wasn’t.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          25th May 2013, 20:57

          *rain effected sessions of Malaysia and Australia…I don’t remember any rain in Bahrain

    2. The Merc has immense traction and plenty of tyre-heating capacity also don’t forget…

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        25th May 2013, 21:17

        @vettel1 – Yeah, but you don’t see Rosberg or Hamilton essentially doing a burn-out on the apex of each corner, and let’s not forget that Vettel was on pole in the rain affected sessions of Australia and Malaysia, and again seemed inherently quick, in Vettel’s hands, in the changeable conditions of Q1-2. The RB9 flairs up tyre temperature with relative ease, but its immense rear downforce means it doesn’t slide and wear its tyres to the extent of the often somewhat pointy Mercedes. And to quantify the cold track temperature I would draw your attention to the under-performed Ferrari of Alonso, a car that preserved its tyres brilliantly in the hot races of Bahrain and Barcelona, but quite clearly had warm-up issues in Q3, and finished 0.9 off the pace. For me, Vettel had a clear advantage, over-drove, and squandered it, and in the process jeopardized his chances of a second Monaco win.

    3. Here we agree. One of the best comments that i read here. And nice to see Vettel saying “mea culpa”

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        26th May 2013, 0:20

        @hipn0tic – It’s a lot better than when he said “veni vidi vici” in Malaysia.

  6. I honestly don’t see why he should blame himself for anything, its not like P3 is a bad qualifying and + 0.104 is not that far behind rosbergs time.

    I think this has more to do with a sort of frustration that he is not taking pole position by 4-6 tents a second anymore, in qualifying they are being beaten by Mercedes and in the race Ferrari an Lotus lead the charge. In other words Red Bull is no longer leader of the pack and that most hurt. They expected to be able to extract another year out of this before the rule changes in 2014 and that is not going to be an easy task. To achieve that they need helping hand form Pirelli :-)

    1. I think this has more to do with a sort of frustration that he is not taking pole position by 4-6 tents a second anymore,

      It’s amazing that his comment can be interpreted that way. Furthermore if you had followed his interviews closely enough, you’d have known he did this sort of things plenty of times since years. Acknowledging the blame is on his part and apologizing to the team is really nothing new from him.

      1. That’s something you usually never see from one like Alonso when he was the one to be blammed solely – i.e. Japan 2012 and Malaysia 2013 spring to mind immediately.

      2. @shena I can understand when he apologizes when the car is so dominant that he misses pole by making a mistake but his fastest lap today was without mistakes, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that the competition is faster. But then again that is interpretation.

        1. “Mercedes were very quick all weekend.”, “We know they are very quick on one lap but I don’t want that to sound like an excuse” This is not ‘acknowledging that the competition is faster’? He never denied it.

          his fastest lap today was without mistakes

          Are you sure of that? When Davidson compared his last lap with Nico’s on skypad you could see the mistakes.

          when the car is so dominant

          So you say he only drove ‘so dominant’ car until this year? He’s been like this through his career. There’s no need for twisting his words. Since when taking blame means the guy’s pouting because he doesn’t have the best car?

  7. I guess he’s mostly referring to the mistake under breaking into Mirabeau: he ran wide there and completely missed the apex which probably cost him 2/3 tenths but overall it was a very respectable time I thought! That probably did cost him pole though, so absolutely there was room for improvement but the Mercs were looking mighty over one lap so all in all I’m not surprised at the overall result.

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      25th May 2013, 21:22

      He ran wide at Mirabeau in 2011 on his best lap, even more dramatically to be honest, but he was still on pole by a sizable margin! Oh, how times have changed…thank you Mercedes.

      1. @william-brierty the session was stopped after he set his time in 2011 and the others could not challenge him, hence the sizable margin

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          26th May 2013, 0:23

          Thanks for reminding me, and oh yes, that was yet another ocassion when McLaren and Hamilton should have triumphed but didn’t. In fact its a bit like Abu Dhabi ’12, Singapore ’12, Spain ’12, Korea ’11…

          1. @william-brierty @mnm101– Not really. There was still time for laps to be set after the session was restarted (that was where LH cut a chicane and had his time deleted). And no, Hamilton should not have triumphed at Monaco 2011, he had a nightmare.

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            26th May 2013, 10:37

            @david-a – What? You think Hamilton was quickest in Q1, Q2 and was quicker in the race than the leaders on the very few laps he was in clean air, and you think that wouldn’t translated into a race win had fate been kinder? Actually, you’re probably right, Hamilton may have got pole, and may have streaked away in the race, but McLaren still would have found a way of loosing the win, whether it be a poor pit-stop, strategy or deciding to put half the amount of fuel needed into his tank.

          3. @william-brierty – Well, we’ll never know. But as I said, he still cut a chicane in Q3, and paid the price with a 10th place grid slot and horrible race.

  8. I think he would have got pole, but he shouldn’t be disheartened with P3, as he can probably end up P2 after turn 1, and after the inevitable safety car, he can have a go at Rosberg and go on to win

  9. To anyone saying should’ve/would’ve/could’ve got pole but a mistakes cost him…isn’t that kind of the idea?

    Really looking forward to tomorrow, and we could well see a couple of safety cars.

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    26th May 2013, 7:49

    I’d say Vettel is best placed to win this race.

    He probably won’t be able to overtake the Mercs on track unless their reader tyres give up really quickly, which is unlikely.

    So it will have to be done in the pits, he can probably undercut them, because his pit crew are the best in Formula 1, and the Red Bulls race pace is far better than the Mercedes.

    If Red Bull can get pit Vettel before the Mercedes’s and get him into clean air after the first round of stops, then he’s got to pace to undercut them both and win the race.

    I’m no betting man, but unless there is a crash, my (hypothetical) money is on Vettel to win.

  11. Could Vettel’s “mea culpa” comment be a little bit of PR, a step to fight of the negatives of earlier in the season? Who knows how much of anything that is said to the press is genuine?

    1. Could Vettel’s “mea culpa” comment be a little bit of PR, a step to fight of the negatives of earlier in the season?

      @tenerifeman – Not really, since this is nothing new from him, as @shena explained earlier.

  12. fight of should be fight off

Comments are closed.