Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Paul Ricard, 2018

Ferrari are ‘sandbagging again’, Bottas suspects

2018 French Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas believes Ferrari disguised their true pace in practice for the French Grand Prix.

Mercedes lapped over eight-tenths of a second quicker than their closest championship rivals. Bottas, who only covered seven laps in second practice due to a water leak, admitted “we definitely looked competitive today in both sessions.”

Lewis [Hamilton] got a really good lap in FP2 as well,” he added. “I think we’re going to be competitive.”

“But we’ve seen [on] Fridays that Ferrari have been sandbagging. I think they are doing it again, so let’s see tomorrow and on Sunday.”

Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari are “a little bit behind” on one-lap pace but is confident they will be closer in qualifying.

“I think it’s understanding what the car needs [and] what I need to do with the car. On one lap [it] didn’t come together, I didn’t put great laps in and therefore I’m not too stressed about the one-lap performance.

“Usually come quali we are able to pick up the pace. For tonight I need to understand I need to do to the car and what we can do on top of that to make the car faster and then we should be fine.”

Vettel said he got a better feel for how his car was handling during his race simulation. “I seemed to struggle a bit this morning and this afternoon. I think in the long run it was starting to come a little bit more together with more successive laps. So let’s see.

“I feel the car has more potential, it’s definitely there, but I wasn’t able to get it. Hopefully we can find something tonight and I need to have a good night’s sleep and then we should be OK.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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7 comments on “Ferrari are ‘sandbagging again’, Bottas suspects”

  1. As always typical Friday stuff, so nothing new on this front.

    1. i seriously doubt this will be the case… yes ferrari is sand bagging and yes they will turn it up for qualy and be faster than redbull but i feel this race is mercedes, the upgraded engine is getting more than what ferrari got with their update

  2. If theres something Bottas knows about it is sandbagging so i will trust him blindly in this.

  3. Well that is normal for Ferrari, however as Bottas indicated Mercedes are yet to run the new PU at full tilt. Arguably both are sandbagging! Looks very much like a Merc vs Ferrari pole shootout.

  4. Mercedes are the masters of sandbagging, so the Ferrari judgement can stop.

  5. @ho3n3r – I don’t consider at as more than information that driver X believes Team Y is sandbagging in this session – and so what? Sandbagging isn’t illegal – it’s part of the overall tactical game in a race weekend.

  6. How can one tell that a team is sandbagging (apart from the case when they tell you directly, as Bottas has done)?

Comments are closed.