Vettel admits car failures “hurt” as his title chances slip away

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel admitted the two car failures he’s suffered in the last nine days have “hurt”.

Ferrari confirmed a spark plug failure caused his retirement shortly after the start of today’s Japanese Grand Prix. One week ago in Malaysia he was unable to take part in qualifying due to another problem with his power unit.

2017 Japanese GP in pictures
“Of course it hurts and we’re all disappointed,” Vettel told the media at Suzuka during the race. “But now I think the best is to get back, get some rest, go flat out for the last four races and see what happens.”

“It’s normal you’re critical, especially when things go wrong,” he added. “So it’s part of our job.”

“I think I need to protect them. We’ve done an incredible job so far, obviously bitter the last two races with the reliability issues. But it’s like that sometimes.”

Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead by winning in Japan and can clinch the title at the next round. Vettel is now 59 points behind with up to 100 available over the remaining races.

“We still have a chance this year,” said Vettel. “Obviously it’s not as much in our control as we would like.”

“But overall I think the team is in a good way. I think we are improving race by race, I think we’ve got a lot further than people thought. There’s also some positives but for now you don’t look at positives because it’s not a day to look at positives.”

2017 Japanese 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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    21 comments on “Vettel admits car failures “hurt” as his title chances slip away”

    1. At least now he can blame Ferrari for losing 2017 WDC and not the opposite (for Baku).

      1. @mg1982 I hardly think Vettel is the one who will start pointing fingers at the end of the season, same for Hamilton. Both are very strong on the track but when things are not where they should be they are both tremendous team players too. Your stab at Baku is also quite uninspiring,…

        1. “same for Hamilton.”

          I remember something entirely different from last year. But I guess we’ll read that when ‘the book’ comes out.

    2. ^^^ lol whatever. Ferrari are getting hard to root for

      1. @sjzelli, so are you going to start with your xenophobic abuse of them as well?

        1. I don’t think that’s how xenophobic works

          1. @davidnotcoulthard, @sjzelli has a habit of making accusations about various parties based on nationalities – for example, accusing members of the FIA of conspiring to give Hamilton the title because they are British, and therefore must be corruptly working for Hamilton because they want a British winner.

    3. Just heard he’s got a reprimand for missing the anthem too. Which is nonsense, but that aside, isn’t going to help him.

      1. Maybe he should abide by the rules that every other Formula 1 driver abides by. His level of self entitlement is ridiculous.

    4. Ferrari should not be having these minor issues… this stage of the season running out of engine components..possibly…but not these ones…going back to the bad old days of unreliability??.
      And see he has a reprimand for not going up for the National Anthem, choosing to stay and assist with his car repair…which is far far more important….only a World Championship at stake…another reprimand and he has a grid penalty……That rule needs to be looked at

      1. Have to say, grid penalty – sucks for the driver and fans but being a devils advocate, we can see counter strategy and lot more overtaking at work.

      2. While Vettel staying due to concern over his car, and the championship, is understandable, the rules are in place for that very reason. Many drivers would be “assisting” the engineers and mechanics in the run up to the race and be late for the anthem without the reprimand hanging over their heads, which would not be a good look for F1.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          8th October 2017, 19:41

          Good. I despise the anthem ceremony and the drivers having to stand there like school children. Just reminds me of Bernie’s love in with Putin and the generic “Thank you (whichever country has lined my pockets)” messages we used to get imposed on the tracks.

    5. Dammit, the recent reliability of Ferrari, LOL.

    6. Must be tough to take. Handling adversity with class though, fair play.

    7. I’M SOOOOOOOOOO GLAD! You thought Ferrari was back to the Schumacher years, eh, Seb? haha, no way! And you can see how they are going to react! they are going to fire everyone Macchione points his finger on, ala Montezemolo. And it’s going to start aaaaall over again!

    8. I have to wonder if Alonso is smiling a little on the inside. I believe he must feel validation to see Ferrari collapse again when the pressure is on. Lord knows they collapsed under the pressure several times when he was driving for them. Driving for the woeful McLaren Honda team is hard but is it as hard as being close and continually getting let down?

      Another season like this and Vettel will be looking for the exit as well.

      1. @sidziner Ferrari bottle it every time they have had a chance of the championship in the last 10 years. So you are right, it does validate Alonso’s departure.

        However, on the flip side, I can’t help but think (and I know a lot of people might disagree here) that Vettel just isn’t on the same level as Alonso. Maybe had Alonso stayed and extended his previous contract and still be driving, he could have won in Baku and Singapore, in which case they’d still be within reaching distance. I can only speculate.

        At the risk of sounding unfair, I wouldn’t be too sorry to see Vettel looking for the exit. He has shown he can sometimes make too many mistakes under pressure. I think Vettel is a great driver, but just not quite great enough. I’d rather Ferrari snatched Ricciardo for 2019

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          8th October 2017, 19:26

          My thoughts entirely @strontium. I admire Vettel’s work ethic, his speed and the way he pulls a team together but he just has a few too many misdemeanours on the track and can be hot headed. I think Alonso would have over achieved in his usual fashion and would still be in the hunt. Purely a bit of fun speculation of course.

    9. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      8th October 2017, 19:01

      Just hope Ferrari re-group and go again next season building on the foundations they’ve put together to get so close this year. Rather than the alternative of sacking everyone, overreacting and ruining their great work. They got close in 2010 and 2012 but then we’re nowhere the following seasons.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        8th October 2017, 19:01


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