“Huge mistake” by Ferrari caused Vettel’s Q1 elimination

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said it was the team’s fault Sebastian Vettel failed to reach Q2 in today’s qualifying session.

Vettel missed the cut to progress beyond Q1 by one hundredth of a second after he backed out of a run at the end of the session.

“A huge mistake on our side made it impossible for Seb to progress beyond Q1,” admitted Arrivabene after qualifying.

Vettel was keen to put the error behind him. “You can spend a lot of time speaking about what we did wrong, but in the end we know, so now we need to move forward.”

There was “nothing wrong with the car”, he confirmed, “we thought that the lap I had on the soft tyres was quick enough, but in the end it was not. There was also a car in front which shouldn’t have been there.”

“So we misjudged the situation, a small mistake with big consequence, but the race is tomorrow and lots can happen”

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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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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    34 comments on ““Huge mistake” by Ferrari caused Vettel’s Q1 elimination”

    1. Any guesses on what position Seb will recover to by the end of the race?
      I’m going for 5th if all is well in the race.

      1. I think the Bottas and Ricciardo will be fast enough for Vettel not to catch them, so 6th normally but anything can happen.

        1. @alexanderfin

          Ah, fair point.
          I forgot about Ricciardo. He was very solid so far this weekend, so I think you’re right.

          1. @cgturbo I think your guess, is good, do we seriously expect not to see Perez going backwards.




            Maybe Vettel

      2. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t finish between 4th and 6th (inclusive), podium is possible if one of Ros, Ham, Rai have problems of some sort or there is a safety car.

    2. On the one hand it was the teams’ mistake because they had to make sure that he sets a better lap time to be safe. On the other hand, if Kimi could set a time good enough on the Softs to get easily into Q2, why wasn’t Seb able to?
      Seb seemed to struggle a lot on the Softs. Kimi was always quicker on the harder tyre this weekend, while Seb could find more time on the softer compound.

      Seb should be able to recover pretty well tomorrow. A top-6 finish should be possible in the race.

      1. Come on. He always leaves his best till last. Stop grasping.

    3. A team as experienced as Ferrari are, they should not be doing these kind of mistakes this often.

      1. Have they made many others?

        1. Yes with Raikkonen at least twice.

          1. Agreed. And they had some slow slow slow pit stops as well. For example 2 race in a row for Vettel in Canada and Austria. They also had some serious unreliability.

    4. This was done on purpose so kimi finishes third and ahead of bottas on championship.

      1. I’m usually not one for conspiracy theories, but this does have some merit. I found it very strange that Vettel would suddenly back out of a seeming good lap, where he had otherwise made no real mistakes up to that point.

        1. @schooner Saying “RAI is faster than you” during the race would be easier and that’s not even the easiest way to do it….but I guess stranger things have happened…….

      2. Wouldn’t having 2 red cars ahead of the Williams actually be better for that?

        Raikkonen will now have no rear guard against Bottas as I expect him to pass both Ricciardo and Perez.

          1. No because 3rd place is a few more points. This also provides kimi with vettel getting tyre data before kimi pits.

            1. Tyre data? Vettel has to survive first corner for any of that to happen.

            2. They’d be far better off just asking Vettel to help Kimi to third…

            3. Andre Furtado, as Mike says, given that team orders are entirely legal, Ferrari have used team orders in the past and Vettel, as he has nothing to lose by such a move, has stated that he would be prepared to sacrifice his position to help Kimi, wouldn’t it be significantly easier for Ferrari to simply give a team order if needed?

              Fundamentally, putting Vettel towards the rear of the grid makes no sense whatsoever from Ferrari’s point of view – there are multiple negative points and no benefits whatsoever.

              The team could still obtain useful tyre data from Vettel if he was alongside Kimi, and having Vettel so far out of position means Ferrari cannot use Vettel to try and block Bottas, nor can they use Vettel strategically to disrupt Williams by either undercutting Williams to get track position or by forcing Williams to run longer stints than they wanted (given Williams have worse tyre wear than Ferrari).

              Kimi only needs a single point more than Bottas this weekend to take 4th in the WDC – he would be ranked ahead on countback – so it is Kimi’s relative position to Bottas that is important, not the total number of points. It is, quite simply, far better for Ferrari to have Vettel alongside and defending Kimi rather than leaving Kimi more exposed to Bottas, which he will be now that Bottas does not have to try and pass Vettel.

      3. Actually, this was done because the lizard people felt like it.

        1. @npf1 In conjunction with the Reverse Vampires.

      4. Never, there are easier way to ensure KIMI beats BOTTAS, wouldn’t Kimi rather have VET holding BOTT up than starting down in 16. The conspiracy makes zero sense. Also, Mr FERRARI was in the garage, he would want to see a victory if the 2 Mercs tangle. VET is the more consistent to deliver that.

        I think they just erred when he was on his SS flying lap, by telling him your safe, when he wasn’t

    5. When Alonso suffered puncture, I thought to myself – “Seb should back off and save tyres, he is secure now”. I think, Ferrari thought exactly this and told Seb to back off, because he is safe.

    6. From the start alone I expect him to get Nasr and Maldonado. 3 Renault powered cars shouldn’t be too much work after that and over the course of the race I’d expect him to be past Grosjean at some point (I’m expecting Grosjean to have a good start and also be quickly past Nasr and Maldonado).

      But Massa forwards I think is a tall ask. I’m going to predict 8th for him.

      1. He doesn’t need to overtake Massa on track, he can undercut him and gain the position.
        Seb will have much better pace and better tyre wear than the cars in front of him, plus he has lots of fresh sets of tyres, so I think 6th should be achievable tomorrow.

      2. Problem is straight-line speed and it’s not like they have a good chassis to corner better than a RB or STR or even McLaren, so it would even be hard having a better exit out of last corner and getting the full benefit of DRS.

    7. He’s got a pretty big challenge ahead is you’d ask me. Sure he’ll be past most midfield cars within 15 laps, but the Red Bulls and Force India’s are quick around Abu Dhabi and Williams have a high top speed, so that won’t be easy either.

    8. Don’t forget Seb has started from the pits in Abu Dhabi and claimed third. Granted this is not the same situation, but don’t expect him to settle for less.

    9. Seb’s going to have some fun from back there, and hopefully give us a good show on the TV pictures!

    10. This is Abu Dhabi. It’s gonna be hard hard work unfortunately for him. I also think he doesn’t like the soft tyres here but supersoft would probably cost him time. Without some major luck he might barely finish in points. Though I must add that he’s had some weird races in Abu Dhabi so far. He’s won half the races and he’s started half the races from way back (2 of them pits). And starting so far behind must be maddening at a track where it is so hard to overtake. It could feel like Mexico for him tbh. Let’s hope Canada Vettel turns up… Or we have a race like Abu Dhabi’12.

    11. James Allison confessed he did this thing :D

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