Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Singapore, 2017

“I’m really sorry”: 2017 Singapore GP team radio highlights

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel apologised to his team on the radio after the crash which eliminated him and team mate Kimi Raikkonen from the Singapore Grand Prix. Here’s what the drivers had to say during Sunday’s race.

Despite heavy rain falling in the minutes before the formation lap, the race began with a standing start.

To Ericsson: “The rain we see now will last for half an hour.”

To Ericsson: “Safety Car lights are not on so we expect a conventional start for now.”

On Ericsson’s radio: “Can you confirm that the track condition is everywhere on the grid, the rain?”
“Yes, and it’s getting stronger.”

Singapore, 2017
Singapore Grand Prix in pictures
Raikkonen: “Do we expect that it’s going to rain like this? Cause it’s not going to take long before it’s full wets.”
“It’s not going to rain like this for very long.”

On the formation lap those near that back of the grid warned visibility was poor.

To Hamilton: “All cars ahead on the inter.”

Grosjean: “Mate the visibility is terrible back there.”
“OK we’re keeping an eye on it.”

A four-way crash eliminated Vettel, Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso from the race.

Verstappen: “I got damage, got damage, argh. I’m out, I’m out.”

Raikkonen: “Yeah I’m OK but it’s just ridiculous.”

Alonso: “I have been hit massively, I don’t know the car condition.”

Vettel: “I spun, lost the car, I think I have damage on the front left.”
“Damage on the sidepods. Stop the car.”
Vettel: “You sure?”
Vettel: “OK Sorry guys. P0. Sorry. I’m really sorry.”

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Lewis Hamilton took the lead but Daniel Ricciardo was in pursuit.

Alonso: “The car in front of us is a Haas and they don’t have the rear light flashing. It’s a bit dangerous with the visibility.”

Ricciardo: “Is the rain still falling?”
“Yes, but it’s reducing in intensity.”

To Ricciardo: “Hamilton could be getting issues on his front inters so watch your fronts.”

Hamilton: “Already feeling the fronts starting to grain a little bit.”

To Alonso: “We need to retire the car, bring it back to the pits.”

Daniil Kvyat brought the Safety Car out again after hitting the wall.

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Singapore, 2017
Vettel wasn’t the only driver apologising to his team
Kvyat: “I’m sorry guys, I’m sorry.”

Hamilton: “Has everyone pitted except me? Think that was a mistake.”
“They’d’ve done the opposite to us, Lewis. We’d be P2.”
Hamilton: “On these new tyres he’s going to have a lot more pace than me now I imagine.”

Ricciardo wanted to pit for slicks but had to wait until a window of opportunity opened up behind him.

Hamilton: “This track is drying so slow.”

“How far away from dry tyres?”
Ricciardo: “Still greasy, not ready yet.”

Ricciardo: “Think it’s getting very close. The inters’ plateau’d.”
“Understand what you’re saying. We’re watching the gaps behind.”
Ricciardo: “These tyres are starting to go in the rear.”
“We’re watching the gap. There’s traffic, it’ll be difficult to overtake on dries.”

To Ricciardo: “Box, Daniel, box.”

To Ricciardo: “Looks like his warm-up wasn’t very good. One-and-a-half seconds faster than him in the last two sectors.”

To Bottas: “We don’t think it’ll go full distance, we think it’ll go three laps short, so 26 laps to go.”

The Safety Car came out for a third time after Marcus Ericsson crashed, allowing Ricciardo to close on Hamilton again.

Hamilton: “Why another Safety Car? Surely VSC would work.”

To Ricciardo: “So there is now a crane on the track on the bridge. I’ll keep you updated.”

To Hamilton: “We recommend tag mode one. We want to keep the field compressed. Don’t want to give anyone a free stop if a Safety Car comes.”

Hamilton: “Something flapping on my left-front tyre.”
“We don’t see anything on vibration metrics.”
Hamilton: “It’s red.”

“Slow down.”
Magnussen: “Why?”
“We have lost MGU-K.”
Magnussen: “Oh [censored by FOM] sake.”

To Ricciardo: “Remember to breathe and drink.”

To Ricciardo: “OK seven laps to go.”

“Get in there, Lewis. What an awesome drive, mate. What an awesome drive. Absolutely stellar result. Can’t wish for better than that.”
Hamilton: “Guys, what can I say? What a turnaround today. Fantastic job with the strategy.Thank you so much for all the hard work and continuing to believe in me. What a great day.”

The full race radio transcript will be published later this week.

2017 Singapore 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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53 comments on ““I’m really sorry”: 2017 Singapore GP team radio highlights”

  1. Am I the only who thinks MOST of the blame for the crash lies with Kimi? Yes, he had the best start of the people at the front, but he tried squeezing VER, while he had a LOT of room to his left.

    Well done. Ferrari re-signed this loser for another season and that how he pays them back. Kimi is a has-been. Ferrari wants a “high profile” number 2 driver and thought Kimi is the right choice. Ferrari decision-making process is seriously flawed.

    1. He didn’t have too much space on his left on the asphalt (about half a meter), and if you’re referring to the painted surfaces, nobody will go on that in wet conditions. They would have been OK with Verstappen had Vettel not chopped across the track.

      1. Except Alonso, who braked with half the car on the painted surface.

    2. At what point did Kimi move right? The only driver to move significantly from straight ahead was Sebastian, and then Max as he tried to fit in the narrowing gap. Kimi was ahead of Max at that point and didn’t see him. Kimi, having not seen Max move to avoid Sebastian, didn’t move to avoid Max and the two touched which speared Kimi into Sebastian.

      Kimi was most innocent, Max could do very little to avoid it and Sebastian didn’t know Kimi was there. The overly aggressive move my Sebastian caused the crash but it was a racing incident.

      I don’t understand those blaming Kimi or Max.

      1. I know it is a futile exercise on my part. Everyone, but Ferrari agrees that was VET’s fault, but look at this picture @ and tell me that Kimi did not have another 4 feet of black asphalt to his left. His actions resulted in the wheels interlocking and the whole crash. KIMI’s fault. The driver with the most annoying rants on the radio: Kimi. Overpaid has been.

        1. As you can see on the picture Max was trying to back out of Sebs squeeze because he saw Kimi was driving next to him. I think Kimi was in the best position to see that Max had nowhere to go and Seb was moving to the left so he should have given Max some space. The whole thing started because Seb defended aggressively but Kimi could have avoided the crash by creating more space.

        2. Kimi was ahead of Max and driving straight ahead. Why would he have to make room for a car he already passed? All Verstappen had to do was lift the pedal when Vettel was blocking him, instead of crashing into Kimi. At the very least he could have let Vettel crash into him, if he really didn’t want to lift the pedal, instead of taking out someone who was driving straight ahead in front of him. Of course these are split second decisions.

          1. He did lift.

          2. @br444m It’s not clear whether he did or not. Nothing points to that, but I’ll give you that: maybe he did lift, while driving into Kimi at the same time. Either way he was the only driver aware of both drivers (according to Horner) and the only one who could have stop the crash from happening. It’s silly to assume that he didn’t see Kimi, but if you want to stick to that point, then Verstappen is probably the only driver, apart from the last row of the grid, not watching his mirrors at the start.

            Turning into another driver should never be acceptable in my opinion. It’s just another case of Mad Max. He’d rather crash then yield.

      2. I don’t understand those blaming Kimi or Seb.

        Max saw both Ferrari drivers coming, so he was the only one fully aware of the situation and instead of holding a straight line he turned left into Kimi, who had nowhere to go, nor did he expect it. When Seb saw him moving left he used that space to cut across. His move was aggressive, but it was within the rules. Had Verstappen kept his steering straight, Vettel would have to take a different line. Seb didn’t force Max to turn into Kimi. Max did it on his own.

        1. Obviously Max didn’t see Kimi coming.

          1. @br444m He did. That’s what Horner said trying to justify Max, while telling everyone to get their eyes checked: “You can see Sebastian comes quite aggressively left, Kimi goes to the right and Max, he can’t disappear. He held a straight line and just desperately unlucky for him to be eliminated like that.”

            Yet it’s plain to see from the replays that Max didn’t held a straight line. I don’t know why he didn’t, but it was his mistake to turn left into Kimi.

          2. @maroonjack From that quote I wouldn’t say that Christian states that Max actually saw both coming. He describes the situation a split second before the crash occurred. Max couldn’t do anything anymore at that point. Kimi came so quickly that I don’t think Max noticed untill he was right next to him. The only one who possibly could see both was Raikonen, and he didn’t anticipate either. But visibility was pretty bad, due to the spray. He may not have seen Vettel pinching.

          3. @br444m Watch the replays again. Max opened the door wide for Kimi and must have noticed him. Are you implying that Verstappen is the only driver not watching his mirrors at the start?

    3. Yes you are. Even Verstappen blamed Vettel.

      1. I think even Kimi blamed his teammate on radio during crash.
        I remember him saying: “What is Seb doing?” before the “Yeah I’m OK but it’s just ridiculous.”

        1. *they not Seb.

    4. Totally agree. It was like when that iceberg drove into the Titanic. Maintaining a straight course is absolutely unacceptable.

    5. I don’t think he had much option. He had a better start and Verstappen moved right out his way, providing the gap to use his extra speed. However at some point maybe he should have recognized danger signs for his team mates sake – i.e. that the 3 cars were converging, and he should have steered left and sacrificed getting to the corner faster to ensure Vettel could get away with his sweep across track. The fact he didn’t kind of shows ‘number 2’ didn’t factor into his decision making at all. I mean, I don’t blame him and I’m quite happy he went for the scrap. Just not sure that’s what Ferrari really wanted…

    6. After watching it again in slow motion I tend to agree. Because Räikönnen cliped Verstappen before Vettel has made contact with anyone while Räikönnen was indeed going slightly right. But you could argue that Verstappen was already going left trying to avoid Vettel leading to the first contact with Räikönnen.

      1. This. In slow motion you can see Verstappen moved maybe half a car’s width to the left in response to Vettel, just as Raikkonen was drawing level on the other side.

        It’s not even an argument, nobody in the incident made a greater lateral movement across the track than Vettel and the immediate apology over the team radio says it all; let’s be clear here that when Vettel feels wronged he’s not one to hold back.

        I don’t think his move was dirty but the level of aggression was certainly a miscalculation on his part.

    7. @ svianna: yes, you are. VET is at fault. It’s his problem that he didn’t knew about RAI. Should have known by now that not all drivers have an average start, so some other drivers might have a lightning start and come strong from behind. It happened before, happened now again. Wonder if he’ll acknowledge this for the next race and not zig-zag the track anymore.

    8. lol yes you are the only one. It was 100% Vettel’s fault. Kimi did nothing wrong.

      1. @ svianna: It was VET who almost hitted Kimi too. VER was there and did block that incident. You can see that from the video, it is so clear. VET tried to cut both VER and Kimi, but why? There was no reason to do that, it was so stupid move.

        1. Just check 2010 Singapore GP start

        2. I’m still watching the replays. Not seeing that. I see Vettel approaching, I see Verstappen turning left and Seb using that space to cut across. None of that would happen had Max kept driving straight. Vettel isn’t stupid, he wouldn’t drive into another driver who’s just keeping his line. He’d probably try to squeeze him while ahead, but prior to that Verstappen had no business turning into Raikkonen, unless he wanted to block him, in which case it was just bad judgement.

          1. @maroonjack are you the Ferrari Twitter admin by any chance?

          2. Vettel isn’t stupid, he wouldn’t drive into another driver who’s just keeping his line.

            If you say so…

          3. @offdutyrockstar Funny. I’m laughing my buttocks off. No, not a Ferrari fan at all, nor Vettel’s fan for that matter, but I don’t see his fault in this case.

            I think we can all agree that Max drove into Kimi, right? The single most important question is: why?

            Most of people seem to think that it was OK for him to drive into Raikkonen, because he was scared of Vettel approaching from the right. Let’s entertain that for a second. He thought that Vettel could hit him and decided to hit Kimi instead to avoid the clash with Seb. Great decision making there. Either way his race was over. In my opinion it would have been better to keep a straight line and wait, lose position to both Ferraris, but save the car.

            Worst case scenario: he gets hit by Vettel and it’s clearly Vettel’s fault.
            Best case scenario: Vettel yields and the accident doesn’t happen.

            The only other explanation as to why Max drove into Kimi, is that he wanted to keep him behind, but if that was the case, again: bad judgement on Verstappen’s part.

          4. Max didn’t see Kimi

          5. @br444m That’s not what Christian Horner said after the race. It looks like Max saw both of them.

    9. How can you blame Kimi. Vettel had no business aiming for the pitlane wall, because that was where he was headed. Kimi and Verstappen would have been just fine had Vettel not driven like an idiot. He was practically going to run over Max’s front wheel. Total madness.

    10. @svianna, I’m with you. Kimi had half a meter to the left and was coming from behind so he could see Vettel was moving to the left. Still, he tried to go to ever so slightly to the right and touched wheels with Verstappen.

    11. @svianna How could Kimi be held responsible for Verstappen to hit him while he was driving straight? He’s the only one that seemingly did nothing wrong.

      Verstappen looks like he initiated the crash as he was surprised by Vettel’s foolish move. Had he kept his line it’s Vettel that would have taken all three out anyways. They were doomed not to pass the first corner.

      Look how Raikkonen went just straight and Verstappen ran into him

      Racing incident is the good call on this one IMO. So I think you’re wrong, but maybe it’s the camera angle?

      1. Kimi had still room to the left, instead he moved to the right.

    12. Your hateful rant about Kimi might explain why you see him as the main cause of the collision.

      1. No blame. Racing incident. All this woulda coulda shoulda forgets these guys are racing and everything happens so fast. Try not to use hindsight so much, and put yourselves in their shoes at the start, without the benefit of hindsight.

        What did SV know ahead of the race start? That Max can be a real threat in the wet, and that his commentary after qualifying was that his best chance to win would be to take the lead at the start. SV did a very normal maneuver at the start…other drivers have swept across the track much more aggressively many many times. It is only in hindsight that people are saying he risked too much. Is it reasonable to say that SV should have been thinking and acting conservatively at the start? Why? Just because LH was starting 5th? Did SV think LH was always going to be finishing off the podium? Or did SV in fact go into the start of the race with a healthy respect for Max as a threat, as well as LH?

        1. @robbie 100% agree with you on the “woulda coulda shoulda” perspective. Everything happens REALLY fast, and the guys are simultaneously managing grip, gearshifts, watching for brake references for the corner, trying to see through the spray, and monitor where all the cars around them are. Also, at 150 kph or whatever the speed was at that point, given the low seating position in between the tires, 4 meters of lateral space looks like less than one meter.

          However, I have to disagree with you on how you let Vettel off the hook. His commentary after qualifying does give one insight into his start plan, which was to take the lead out of the first corner. But every experienced racer will tell you that you have to be ready for that plan to go out the window the moment the green flag flies (or, in this case, the lights go out). To risk such an aggressive sweep in wet conditions on a standing start (first one in a long time) WAS risking too much. You have to remember that other cars cannot see, brake, or steer as well in the wet, so they cannot adjust line or speed quickly to what you do. Only if he got a good start could Vettel even remotely justify such a sweep. He knew right away that his start wasn’t great, and in that instant, yes, he should have transitioned to a more conservative approach, because his first priority was to get out of the first corner cleanly, the second finish ahead of Lewis. It mattered not if Verstappen won the race, Seb’s race was to be Lewis +1. That was the only race that mattered on this day.

        2. Racing incident caused by rain during a night race where drivers are dealing with a ton of glare. But one major thing is that VET did not see Kimi until he was pretty much hit. If Kimi would not have been there, VER would have yielded more space. VET anticipated him to move. It is already hard enough to see in those mirrors. In this case Kimi was the wall and and VER had nowhere to go and VET did not know the wall (Kimi) was actually closer. This could have happened to anyone.
          But Hamilton called it on the NBCSN broadcast on saturday after quali. He said to Buxton that VET is next to VER. Anything can happen at turn one with VER up there.

  2. The way Max sounds when he tells the team the second time he ‘s got damage, followed by that aaargghh; absolutely awesome.

    1. Totally agree with you. The crescendo aaaAAAAAHHHHHH. Scary and real.

    2. Haha, yes. Glad I’m not the only one that enjoyed that (sorry Max, terrible luck).

      He didn’t say I’m out I’m out at the end though like the article states, more like..

      “I’ve got damage, I’ve GOT DAMAGE…. AARGH…. Yep.. Yeah.”

    3. The “aaargghh” moment was probably when he hit Alonso.

  3. “I’ve got damage, I’ve GOT DAMAGE…. AARGH…. Yep.. Yeah.”

    I’m not sure but I think the “Yep…Yeah” was a reply to his team on the radio to “are you ok Max? “

  4. Clearly Raikkonen’s fault. At first I also thought it was Vettel’s fault for blocking Verstappen too agressively but in the slo mo you can clearly see Verstappen keeping his line and Vettel in front of Verstappen BEFORE Raikkonen hits Verstappen the first time. Raikkonen had no business moving right when he did.


      Not really, Kimi moved only a little to right when Verstappen made a evasion right into Kimi’s right back wheel. In the first corner you can’t be in the far left so small turn to the right was normal for Kimi, + he was ahead already.

      1. @peterh
        He wasn’t ahead. Not by the physical sense nor the f1 sense. So he has to leave space for Verstappen. Deciding to go on the inside was his first mistake but would not have caused anything if he maintained a straight line.

        1. I can’t believe the number of people providing a thorough assessment of this from a single gif…

          Look at the onboards. Raikkonen went left, because that’s where the gap was. Any racing driver with an ounce of talent would’ve done the same…

          Then one of the off board cameras from the original feed clearly shows Raikkonen wheel spinning constantly in the damp and fighting the car straight. This “turning right” people speak of could simply be in response to that.

          That gif shows us a shot looking back from where the drivers came from, not where they are going. They are looking forwards, at the rapidly approaching turn 1. Raikkonen doesn’t want to drift any closer to that white line otherwise he will never make the turn, so he’s holding his line a few feet from it.

          The contact was caused by Verstappens sharp jink to the left in response to Vettel drifting rapidly over. That’s not to say it’s Verstappens fault. He’s simply reacting to what he’s seeing, which is a red car approaching to his right, so he instinctively turns away. It’s a racing incident.

  5. I’m really sorry… if I made you cry.

  6. Michael Brown (@)
    19th September 2017, 14:19

    No Boomshakalaka?

  7. Thank you all for the passionate replies. It is, indeed, very interesting how reasonable, educated and knowledgeable people can review (hundreds of times) the same video coverage and reach different conclusions. Our bias impact our ability to be objective. @peterh, you are correct. Kimi is not worthy of a Ferrari drive, in my opinion; he is past his prime a long time ago. But, obviously, Ferrari thinks otherwise.

  8. Only 1 real radio highlight, really: SAI (and Matassa) celebrating P4.

  9. is never Max fault but he crash just about every race, until he avoids other mistakes around him he wont be world champion. a.k.a like Ricciardo.

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