Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

Vettel prepared for damage limitation run from last place

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he is aiming to salvage the best possible result from his compromised Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

The Ferrari driver was quickest in practice yesterday but was unable to set a time during qualifying due to a power unit problem and will start from last place. His championship rival Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
Malaysian GP qualifying and final practice in pictures
“You never know what happens, how the race turns out,” said Vettel after qualifying. “The Safety Car could bring me back [into contention] or whatever.”

“What am I aiming for? I can’t give you a number, I can’t give you a result. I’m aiming for the maximum. Whatever that is. If it’s P1 it has to be P1. If it’s P5, it has to be P5 and so on. The race starts with lap one, not lap fifty-something so we focus on the first lap and then go from there.”

Vettel said he does not feel like his championship hopes are in trouble following this latest setback.

“I’m not thinking that far and I’m not reflecting that much,” he said. “I tend to enjoy what I do, obviously today there wasn’t much to enjoy and much to do in the first place.”

“But tomorrow I’m sure that it will be a good race. We have a very strong car. It is what it is, we have to take out how it comes.”

2017 Malaysian 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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  • 10 comments on “Vettel prepared for damage limitation run from last place”

    1. Assuming everyone gets off the line in grid order, it’d be a good enough recovery if he can get 6th. Although with a safety car he might have a shot at Bottas, maybe even Ricciardo.

    2. Ferrari need to do anything they can to get Raikkonen ahead of Hamilton.

      It’s wishful thinking

      1. Is it really that far fetched @strontium? Raikkonen can be pretty speedy off the start line.

        With mixed weather, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vettel on the podium, I expect him to cut through the field. This is probably one of the best races for him to start at the back, especially if he’s able to load up on engine components, should help for the final races, this is far from over as far as the championship is concerned.

        1. +Dom
          Vettel’s problem, and Ferrari’s problem, I believe going forward may be the penalties they will incur with any more engine problems…they showed a graphic yesterday and I believe Vettel has used up his allowances and any further problems will mean grid spot penalties. Not sure how close the Merc’s and particularly Hamilton are with regards to that, but Vettel and Ferrari really cannot afford what has happened these past two races, one driver error and presumably this is team error, though it may be a problem that could not have been anticipated or avoided. Vettel is going to need a massive amount of luck in the race on Sunday starting dead last, even more luck than befell Hamilton in Singapore.

    3. Vettel can still have a very good result tomorrow. A good start and some rain or a well timed safetycar and he could get a podium. Hes in the best race car with the best tyres available and a track where overtaking will be easy. This weekend isnt over yet.

    4. If the result goes Hamilton and Mercedes’ way tomorrow I’ll be interested to see what they’ll do regarding engine component allocation for the remaining 5 races. Do they give him the freshest possible allocation for the next few races to kill the Championship sooner and run older components afterwards?

    5. He just needs to get through turns 1 and 2 without any contact. Easier said than done from the back of the grid.

      1. @eurobrun, probably safer to be right at the back than in the middle, where accidents are more likely to occur – at least those on the back row have a chance to see what is happening ahead of them and to take evasive action.

    6. Mercedes couldn’t have hoped for a more comfortable situation. Two times in a row now when they run into troubles with performance Ferrari fails to capitalize. Hard time for the reds!

    7. Vettel has got the quickest car on the grid. He won’t need rain for a good result, rain brings more variables i.e bad visibility, plus the fact Ferrari aren’t the quickest in the wet. Could be the extra tread on the wet tyres mess around with their areo/ground affect. Vettel will get through the field quicker and cleaner in the dry.

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