Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Vettel seeking answers after “horrible” qualifying

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel described his qualifying session as “horrible” after slumping to seventh on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix.

“That was horrible, horrible,” Vettel told his team on the way back to the pits. “I think the rear was better the end of the lap but overall grip was down at the beginning of the lap,” he added.

Asked after qualifying why the team had struggled he replied: “What, you didn’t watch?”

Kimi Raikkonen fans banner, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
Mexican GP qualifying in pictures
“We were just not quick enough,” he continued. “Struggling on the super-softs.”

“On the softs it was very good and we were quicker than on the super-softs, which isn’t right.”

Vettel told his team during qualifying the soft tyres were performing better than the super-softs. “These are better than the other ones,” he said. “I have more grip than on the super-softs. Think about what we can do.”

“We don’t have any more of these,” his race engineer replied.

Vettel also incurred the ire of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo who both reported they had been held up by the Ferrari driver in the final sector of the lap.

“I did [block Hamilton],” Vettel admitted, “but I had no idea he was coming.”

“I was told too late but it’s my mistake, if they give me a penalty then go ahead. Nothing I can do now.”

Kimi Raikkonen qualifying sixth on the grid but complained of a loss of power. His engineer said there had been a problem with his engine.

2016 Mexican 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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  • 28 comments on “Vettel seeking answers after “horrible” qualifying”

    1. We’ve been seeking answers for years!

    2. You really can only wonder what happened in the past winter. How they went so high between 2014 and 2015 and sunk so low in 2016. I hope 2017 brings a more competitive field, not only for us but for the further existence of Formula One, especially on days when we race at utmost boring tracks like Mexico.

      1. i think it was all pretty predictable. Last year was the new team carrying the good work from a previous generation

        This year is really their first full year(almost from the top down to the drivers) and they are struggling. It shows the other combo were doing more than ok.

        That being said a knee jerk reaction to get rid of any of them won’t help. They have to let the team mature together. Sadly this is ferrari and they only ever did that once… when they won 6 constructor championships.

        1. Are you kidding? They a a FOUR time world champion on their team who is meticulous and perfectly suited for Ferrari, almost too perfect. Maybe they get 1 young-blooded driver in 2018, but getting rid of their lineup now is a joke

          1. Team lineup, not driver lineup.

          2. The 4 time world champion who is making a 37 year old Kimi look like Ayrton Senna.

            1. Check your stats

      2. Think its more about Seb under preforming than Ferrari…Kimi seems on his game…Seb loves playing the blame game for his owning failings, eveyone is a idiot!!

        1. That is an exaggeration. Seb has never blamed Ferrari for any of his own shortcomings. He is the first to blame himself whenever he is at fault. He could have made so many excuses for blocking Hamilton, but he didn’t. He blamed himself for his poor show in the qualifying in Austin and was also self- critical in Austria.

          Also, you can’t help but think that there’s something wrong with Ferrari as well after the never ending string of disappointing results they have managed to create this season.

        2. Jonathan Parkin
          30th October 2016, 10:54

          One such failing being incapable of winning a race from outsider the top three on the grid – and he’s only won from third on three occasions

        3. Are you kidding?
          The blame game was perfectly played by Alonso while in Ferrari. I think Vettel complained, as much, less than 10% than Alonso did.
          In fact, I think Vettel has been quite polite, since he had plenty of issues with his car, tyres, and strategies.

      3. The gap between Mercs and Ferrari has not increased, its just Red-Bull have improved and slotted in between. Also lets not forget for the first half of the season Ferrari were generally better. Red-Bull drivers have gotten more out of their equipment.

    3. Should have brought more softs. Another mistake by the strategist. Not saying no names.

      1. Don’t the drivers choose the type of tires they will race on for each circuit?
        If so, Vettel has only himself to blame.

        https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2016/3/pirelli-reveal-driver-tyre-choices-for-australia.html

        1. Vettel out qualified by kimi with an engine that was losing power…. Lol

        2. The choice is allocated to tye driver but I’m pretty sure a strategist of aorts is tasked to make the choice, not the driver

        3. No it’s the team, maybe with driver input.

    4. Vettel is finished. He was behind Ricciardo at Red Bull 2 years ago and now behind Kimi at Ferrari. I thought it was a good driver years ago when he was at Toro Rosso. He lost his mojo after driving those cars on rails made by Newey.

    5. He needs a webber comeback. 10/9 vs kimi is poor. I would like vet vs similar age driver. Hope ric joins ferrari

      1. Ricciardo would beat Vettel even more than Raikkonen is doing now.

    6. Seek & destroy mode: on. Show no mercy champ ;)

    7. Apart from the Ferrari mess, what is the qualifying tally now between VET and RAI?

    8. Sviatoslav (@)
      30th October 2016, 11:22

      I am happy that Ferrari loses more and more. I wish them to be 4-5-th at best in the 2017 championship next year.

    9. Just as other manufacuters needed more than one lap to get the tyres up, Ferrari had issues. Since they always have this issue, more than Merc and Redbull, the end result was they couldn’t get the rubber within the narrow optimal window. I guess we’ll see today what this means in the race.
      Seems to me the Ferrari is rather mechanical grip limited, or can’t generate the downforce levels without loads of drag.
      But at least now the balance is decent, which suits Raikkonen better than the years before.

    10. It’s awesome to see Kimi get the better of Seb. It would put a massive smile on my face to see Kimi finish ahead of the wonderkid at the end of the year.

      Kind of makes sense why so many people rated Alonso as a better driver than Vettel for all these years.

      1. @todfod Although Alonso isn’t in a great place right now with McLaren, he must have a smile on his face looking at where Ferrari are now. Here comes the “great” driver who can develop a car while Alonso can’t. Yeah right…

    11. Vettel needs to find answers within himself.

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