Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

F1 is “back to how it should be” – Vettel

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Formula One’s new rules for 2017 have brought back the driving challenge, says Sebastian Vettel.

The Ferrari driver praised the current generation of cars which he says allows drivers to operate at the maximum of their potential.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017
Chinese GP qualifying in pictures
“I think in general I like this formula a lot where you can push on the limit,” said Vettel after qualifying today.

F1 has dropped the high-degradation tyres which were used for the last six seasons and given Pirelli a new brief to provide tyres which are more durable. It has also opened up its aerodynamic regulations to allow the cars to generate more downforce. Vettel is pleased the sport has turned back the clock.

“Probably the last couple of years it was creeping away from all of us, step by step, and with this year’s cars it’s back to how it was a long time ago and back to how it should be,” he said.

Vettel missed out on pole position by less than two tenths of a second but said he didn’t feel his car was quick enough to take the top spot. However he expects Ferrari will be more competitive in race trim.

“Being pragmatic, I think if you take the average of what we’ve had so far, then you can say that in qualifying we’re still lacking a bit and in the race I think we are a good match.”

“I think Lewis [Hamilton] was struggling a bit in Australia with his tyres. We weren’t as much. I don’t know what happens tomorrow. It will be a lot cooler.”

2017 Chinese 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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  • 22 comments on “F1 is “back to how it should be” – Vettel”

    1. It’s difficult to fully agree with him when the cars still sound like vacuum cleaners. Or hair dryers.

      1. If either of those appliances sounds like a current F1 car, your appliance is seriously broken, and will eat either your face or your floor (depending), the next time you use it.

        I seriously wonder what you guys are listening to these races on– I’m running a basic 3.1 surround setup, and Hamilton’s on-board for the pole lap sounded pretty amazing.

        It didn’t have the shrill whine of Formula E or the 18k RPM scream of the V8 era, but I actually consider that an improvement.

        1. Hamilton, Vettel, current drivers, former drivers, I haven’t heard a SINGLE one that thinks these cars sound good. Not one! These aren’t joe average giving their opinions.

    2. angelic (@angelicdarkness)
      8th April 2017, 17:25

      And your return to the front of the grid has nothing to do with it I assume! Real sporty Mr. Vettel!!

      1. This is incredible. Congratulations.

      2. @angelicdarkness Because Hamilton has totally won MORE titles than Vettel in the Pirelli, F-Duct/DRS, KERS/ERS/MGU-K, stupid rear wing era

      3. Assumptions, like generalizations, are usually wrong. ;)

        1. I assume they are generally not ;)

    3. Michael Brown (@)
      8th April 2017, 17:38

      I thought the 2014 regulations made the driving tougher. I’m confused

      1. Tough trundling along running delta laps conserving everything to the extreme, unable to push themselves or their cars to any limits? I’m confused that you’re confused.

      2. @mbr-9 There was alot of talk about torque making the cars hard to drive but really the only problem was some bad drivability from the early hybrid engines. The hard part about the 2014 cars is as Robbie says driving to a delta which shouldnt be the mainfocus in F1.

    4. Pure self interest, at least 80% of the grid has zero chance of winning a race, and the gap between the teams has expanded due to over complicated engines that add nothing to the entertainment.

      1. Still better than last year, with only one team? Don’t write RB off just yet too.

        And it is not like the engines are new, it’s the fourth year of the hybrids. Pretty much everything is complicated in F1 not just the engines.

      2. Vettel has been one of the more outspoken drivers over the last few years, both when he was winning a lot and when he wasn’t winning so much – such as in 2011 (!) when he noted that the Pirelli’s “wear down too fast”, or in 2015 when he won three races: “I think we need better tyres that allow us to go quicker. Drivers want to be quicker. So, I think the solution is very simple. Unfortunately the sport is very political with different interests from different people.”

        1. @cashnotclass – thank You for this clarification of the fact that Vettel airing this view of how F1 should be, isn’t new and not a consequence of Ferrari being competitive this year. I think it could have been mentioned in the article, without making the article.
          Re the noise issue: When You are leaned back in Your armchair looking at the TV, the present era of engines might even seem like an improvement, but when You are at a racetrack, a very very big part the experience and awe of the V8 era, was for me the fact that even in the farthest corner of Spa, You could hear when an F1 engine was cranked up in the pit, and waiting an the strait above Eau Rouge, You could hear the cars revving up, leaving the startline and the tension build-up was amazing because You could hear this roar increasing before You could see the first cars coming over the hill at Eau Rouge.
          After the introduction of the present engine formula, we could see the cars before we could hear them – that was the first year. They have improved the noise since, but still.
          At the track it must be very noisy and rocking to make for the perfect experience. Also, at the trackside, before the hybrid engines, You could feel more air pressure coming from the cars, due to the higher speed, and You can feel it especially when being near the entrance to a corner, where the cars come in at very high speed and brake hard.
          Thus, this years cars, have made me much more eager to plan a trip to an F1 race again, so I agree with Vettel.

      3. @emu55 “at least 80% of the grid has zero chance of winning a race”-that’s been the case since the 1980’s.

        “the gap between the teams has expanded due to over complicated engines that add nothing to the entertainment”-the gap has expanded because of the new complicated aero in 2017. The engines are basically the same as last year. I agree though that the increase in tire width and a bigger diffuser should have been accompanied with simplification of dirty aero(wings).

        1. The 2012 season had 8 different drivers win a race, a freak year but it had an entertaining unpredictability. Red bull will be competitive by the European races, which should make it better

    5. I think he is about right, there are a few things that still need improvement, but the sport seems to be in a better direction.

      Cars definitely look demanding, and drivers have to battle them again. Qualifying today is a great example, quite a few cars out of place because drivers didn’t manage to get it right at the first try and then they paid for it.

    6. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      8th April 2017, 19:56

      I like to see how this year drivers look like sweating to tame the car, making a big effort to control the steering wheel and the helmet that wants to behead them.

    7. Calum Menzies
      8th April 2017, 22:36

      Vettel can smell victory. Of course he’s happy with the new rule set! :P

    Comments are closed.