Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015

Ricciardo’s pass attempt wasn’t on – Vettel

2015 Mexican Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says Daniel Ricciardo wasn’t going to achieve anything by trying to make a move on him at the start of the Mexican Grand Prix.

The pair made contact leaving Vettel with a puncture which ruined the Ferrari driver’s race.

“It’s turn one, it’s the start of the race, closing the door… I mean he was never really next to me.” Vettel told reporters after the race. “And then I saw him in the last second and I opened so just his nose… but by then it was too late.”

“I’m sure that this kind of stuff you can’t do it on purpose so I’m not blaming him but in the end where did he want to go? No room.”

“But we’re all trying our best. Obviously it’s a pain but when it hits you, obviously in turn one but that’s how it is.”

Ricciardo admitted he wasn’t expecting to pass the Ferrari but presumed Vettel would leave him more space on the first lap of the race.

“I was just there, I wasn’t necessarily making a move or anything,” said Ricciardo, “but at the start you’re all bunched up, I was just there on the inside, I didn’t feel I could go anywhere else and he just basically took the apex as if I wasn’t there.”

“I don’t really know what else I could have done.”

The stewards ruled that “no driver was wholly or predominately to blame for the collision”.

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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...

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31 comments on “Ricciardo’s pass attempt wasn’t on – Vettel”

  1. I think that the move was on. Vettel left the door open and closed it as they were turning into the corner. Racing incident but Vettel should have given a bit more space in my opinion. Very uncharacteristic race by him. Raikkonen and Bottas had a similar incident but Raikkonen should have also given more room.

    1. Disastrous race altogether from Ferrari, and the car was not to blame.

    2. Vettel has a habit of doing this. Take Brazil 2012 as a perfect example.

      Everyone blamed Senna for that, but it was Vettel’s fault 100%! He went way wide and then just cut straight across the apex taking Senna and Perez out of the GP. Vettel should have been penalized for causing a collision!

      1. @nick101 Since when did we all start blaming the car in front from being hacked off? I don’t understand a couple years ago, everyone blamed drivers like Bottas today and Kimi in Russia for diving up on the inside and expecting the opponent to get frighten off avoid contact and give way. Wasn’t Rosberg’s who hit Lewis in Spa 2014?

        1. Yeah, but starts are another different situation. The track positions are all messed up, everybody everywhere trying to gain places and survive.

          You can’t be over defensive, it’s the first lap and there’s too much to lose and nothing to gain.

          1. Indeed Ed. Compare for example with Perez’ first lap too (which Sky showed), he was away well, but held back at several corners (including behind RIC,VET) where there wasn’t room, to not end his race before lap was over. Compared to his sometimes rash moves in 2013, showed a lot of composure and thinking.

        2. At least the stewards are consistent this time (Rosberg/Spa 2014 and Bottas/Mexico 2015)

      2. So what are all the other times, if you say it’s a habit. Maybe a handful of times in 156+ races, no worse than most other top drivers. This incident was a 1cm piece of space at 200 km/h. Nobody fault

    3. Don’t talk crp for the sake of it

      If the move was on and there was enough space RIC would have gone for it , they would have banged side pods, both cars would have been damaged. RIC nose glanced his rear wheel, 1cm that’s all. Ricc said the move was not on, so why should we all have an opinion, if he was driving the car, do we know better.

    4. The Ferrari drivers have a hard time admitting when they’re wrong. Vettel did the same when he was at Red Bull, when he got into an incident with Webber or another driver, it was always the other guys fault. And don’t even talk about Kimi…I Kimi’s eyes he’s never made a mistake on the track. Unbelievable.

  2. I agree with the stewards on this one, but the Rai/Bot collision was more Raikkonen’s fault I felt (Bottas was clearly alongside whereas Ricciardo took a bit of a dive on the brakes).

  3. Not a good day for the ferrari boys..

  4. If you aren’t clear from the rest of the field, you don’t do what Vettel did.

    He made a mistake. No one was to blame, but if there was someone who could avoid it, was him, not Ricciardo.

    1. Wrong, you don’t understand the ABC of racing, the car behind as to yield

      1. He wasnt behind anymore.

        You should be a steward, since you know so well the ABC of racing. Lol.

      2. First corner incidents are not looked at the same way as incidents later on in the race. At the start they are all so bunched up that you cannot just close the door and expect all other cars to yield.

        That’s why Massa was blamed for the crash with Magnussen in Hockenheim.

        With the Bottas/Raikkonen incident I’d say it’s pretty clear Bottas should have yielded because there really is only one line through that corner. But then he was pretty far alongside.

        Still I’m glad the stewards ruled this way and I hope they can the gentlemen’s agreement that was valid until the nineties (when Schumacher came to F1) can be worked into the actual rules. When the attacking car has a front wheel ahead of the rear wheel then he can’t go anywhere anymore. It’s likely to flip a car even.

  5. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    1st November 2015, 22:27

    From the very beginning of the weekend, Seb was quite sick for the altitude. The move on lap 1 was a racing incident, where Seb could have avoided it.

  6. I have criticized Ricciardo in the past for his overly excited driving in some circumstances, but I think that he has a point. It’s the start of the race, everyone is close together, he was on the inside because there was a bit of space there.
    But I think that they both did a good job trying to avoid the collision as soo as they noticed. The contact was very very light, it’s just unfortunate that it ended up in that way. Racing incident, nothing more.

    1. Shame FOM failed to show us what was going on many times during the race really

    2. @keithcollantine

      Any word on the outcome? From the sounds of it, he must of have gone straight on at all the esses to minimize the lost of time to get back to the pit after the puncture. I was surprised that with a 24-27 second loss for pitting, he came out only 50 seconds off the lead – after limping around on 3 wheels the whole lap.

    3. Yeah Keith – REAL problems (thick sarcasm). He retired from the race so who cares about ‘gaining an advantage’ or the thoughts of a bitter Spaniard in last place who didn’t see anything.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        2nd November 2015, 10:28

        If he broke the rules, then he broke the rules.
        The fact that he retired from the race should have no bearing on the decision by the stewards.

    4. He’s been cleared because he had a puncture. Makes one wonder if the stewards didn’t notice that right away.

  7. Nice to see that Vettel is human and actually can make mistakes.

    Overall great race.

    1. Great race, yeah right.

  8. Have watched it back a few times and still think it was mostly Vettel’s fault (well, racing incident, but if either was at fault, it was Vettel). Braked quite early and turned in without considering that someone might be on the inside.

    1. Right, I guess the main problem was that he saw Ric quite late as he said himself. But yeah, only he could have avoided it.

  9. Meh, these 90 degree corners just breed these kind of incidents IMHO.

  10. Ricciardo often does just stick his nose in and see what happens and is involved in a few contacts. Stewards said know one to blame and so know one was to blame, these kind of moves happened a lot in the early 90’s and before and everyone just got on with it, just a racing incident. Vettel is wrong there was something to gain as Ricciardo did not have to race against Vettel for the rest of the race. Interesting about peoples opinions if Maldonado was in place of Ricciardo though.

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