Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Singapore, 2018

Dejected Vettel says Ferrari expected to be “very strong” in Singapore

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel said Ferrari expected better from their Singapore weekend after losing 10 points to title rival Lewis Hamilton , who won the race.

“It’s not the result that we wanted,” he said, “and it’s a disappointment because we came here thinking that we are very strong.”

Vettel ran second behind Hamilton in the opening stages but an attempt to jump ahead of the Mercedes by switching to the ultra-soft tyres backfired. He lost time behind Sergio Perez and fell behind Max Verstappen.

After dropping behind the Red Bull, Vettel told his team they had warned him “too late” about the threat from his rival. However he said the gamble of pitting early and putting on ultra-soft tyres in a bid to get ahead of Hamilton had been a risk worth taking.

“I will always defend the team,” said Vettel. “I think the decision we took in the race, the decisions to try to be aggressive, if it works it’s great, today it didn’t work.

“Obviously it didn’t work by quite a bit and we need to look into that. But I believe we saw something and that’s why we go for it.

“Inside the car it’s difficult to be on top of everything because you cannot see where you come out etc. We were aggressive in trying to get ahead, taking into account that we have to go through traffic, which in the end bit us also, to lose the second place. If it doesn’t work it is always easy to criticise but I will always defend what we did.”

Sebastian Vettel’s radio messages when Max Verstappen got ahead of him

To Vettel:OK push now. Close with Verstappen, close with Verstappen, he’s pitting now. K1 on the straights, fight with Verstappen, exiting the pits.
Vettel:OK, no chance, we were again too late.
To Vettel:OK, copy, easy on brakes.
Vettel:These tyres will not make it to the end.
To Vettel:Copy.
Vettel:Is there anybody else tight or that I should know about before it’s too late?
To Vettel:Not at the moment. Bottas two seconds behind.

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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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  • 34 comments on “Dejected Vettel says Ferrari expected to be “very strong” in Singapore”

    1. Assumption is the mother of all f ups. Very poor showing from both Ferrari and Vettel lately.

    2. For a team that excists 70+ years, were 1 of the first who were in F1, maybe they even started F1, this is really shamefull Ferrari! Sorry seb, I know you’re defending your team, but it’s just shamefull that these things happen for such a team as this…

      1. At this point both Vettel and current Ferrari team deserve each other. The fact that this team didnt discipline their driver after Mexico 2016 or Baku 2017 amd rather backed him makes the situation worse. Also points lost by making silly mistakes- China 2018, Germany 2018, Italy 2018(in front of home crowd none the less) and Singapore 2017 I am surprised they have still kept him in team while drivers have been kicked out for far more silly reasons. Alonso never got a car of this calibre from this team and when the engineers came up with what inarguably is the best car on grid the golden boy has already lost 1 driver title in 2017 and on the way to loose another title in 2018. This is a very disheartening situation for engineers working hard to provide a competitive car.

        1. whole thing is a package!

          + Vettel wanted KIMI, but Kimi not on his prime.
          + Vettel needs someone to push him forward.
          + Vettel would hate Ric as his team mate… Which should have been an obvious choice for Ferrari rather than Lec! Ric was the perfect guy for them but Vettel probably vetoed…
          + Ferrari not comfortable making strategic decisions and Vettel constantly moaning on the radio when they dont work out as he want it, and rather rude over the radio… And at the end defends those decisions, like who believes him?

          Ferrari deserves a complete team, not no1s and no2s. Even if they expect 1s and 2s at least they should be capable drivers… not over confident and or rude or me me me attitude guy… but team players… only then they can win again… currently too many wrong decisions at the wrong times…

          1. Absolutely, all of it, true,
            Alonso in this Ferrari! Wow?
            Kimi was behind 0.6 on average, and now Seb is 0.2 faster than Kimi? (When Kimi doesn’t gets pole!), and that should be because Kimi is driving better? Don’t think so

            Seb can’t win the championship without a car much faster than rival team. Ferrari will not win with Seb if they couldn’t win with Alonso.

            But hey, you know Seb gets some driver of the day!

    3. I feel for Vettel but Hamilton is on another level and is proving it where it matters

    4. Vettel did a flawless race today. Not a single mistake. Overtook Max while being cautious and pushed Lewis. The strategy is all on Ferrari strategists. It is a miracle even though he was coasting that he finished 3rd.

      1. True but you have to wonder what the team spirit is like at Ferrari after the Monza qualifying discord, Vettel’s clear preference for Leclerc not to arrive next season, and the team reconfiguration generally after Marchionne’s death. Mercedes seem fully tuned, while Red Bull have a very happy Verstappen just now.

        1. Sometimes I wander if the reasons Ferrari is losing is because of Seb. Why? Because Alonso and Vettel both didn’t manage (so far for the latter) to take any titles with the prancing horse. They are both champions and it seems Ferrari in one way or another cripples them.

        2. @david-br Things certainly don’t seem so harmonious as they once appeared to be. Marchionne’s death most certainly rocked the boat a lot more than it transpired to the public, and maybe they are lacking a bit their north after that. Vettel doesn’t seem happy about how the team has been handling some things, even though some of their frustrations are of his own doing – something which actually took responsible for, inclusively ahead of this weekend. They need to regroup as quickly as possible to even have a slim chance of taking the challenge to the Hamilton/Mercedes combo over the remaining races.

          1. Ferrari are also allowing themselves to be played by Mercedes and their mind games. Vettel was even saying over the team radio that Mercedes (Hamilton) was bluffing about the tyre degradation and didn’t believe them.

            1. @lebz That Ferrari message passing on Hamilton’s message to his team seems to have been ‘lost in translation’. He apparently said the opposite (so Vettel was right). Maybe when Hamilton then went fyling off next lap, they took it he was going to pit soon after and went for the undercut. Ferrari basically playing mind games with themselves!

            2. @lebz Yes, that seems the case. They have to look to themselves and block the outside noise. Obviously that demands a state of mind which they quite possibly don’t have at the moment, but that’s what they really need right now. Regroup, focus, and dig deep from within as much as they can.

              @david-br Martin Brundle said so during the broadcast, it was a misunderstanding apparently. But I confess that I also understood that what Hamilton was saying at the time was that the tires were giving away, it didn’t seem particularly clear to me.

          2. @toiago The big problem for Ferrari though is that not only is Hamilton at a peak, which he’ll typically continue until the championship is settled, Mercedes seem to have resolved most of their issues, leaving the teams more or less level. So on balance it should be 50/50 for the remaining races and not enough to catch up, unless Hamilton has some major bad luck.

            1. @david-br I completely agree, don’t get me wrong. Ferrari have to be excellent for the remainder of the season, but that may not be enough any more, which was the point I was trying to make. They need luck to strike in their favor once or twice in the next races.

      2. Come on, if Bottas had gone through Hulkenberg, Vettel would have finished 7th

      3. @panagiotism-papatheodorou

        I wouldn’t say he pushed Lewis. Lewis kept him at 1 second, helped him destroy he’s tires and forced him to blink first on the pitstop.

        1. I have doubts about the destroyed tyres part since HAM pitted next lap too, but HAM did not push in the 1st. When VET pitted and Mercedes told HAM it’s time to give it all, he bettered the fastest lap (set by him anyway) by 2seconds. It’s waay too much pace.

    5. I think they were counting on a second safety car, but even that is fraught with risk since Hammy could copy their strategy and mitigate any advantage. Just a bad tire call. They seem to plan for problems, but when things go well they are caught out. Maybe they think too much. Maybe they need to go back to basics and try for the strategy that gets them to the finish with the fastest time. Simple? Seems like the teams with less money are making better calls.

    6. Ferrari were strong Seb – you weren’t!

    7. Better hit the wall on Friday and lost confidence during qualifying, and the race was lost from there.

    8. Ferrari were too aggressive with their tyre choice, with 9 sets of hyper-softs. Their entire strategy was to get pole position, then one stop onto the ultra softs. There was no plan B.

    9. Mercedes are far stronger in developing their car and erasing shortcomings technically, while Red Bull are superior at strategy and pit-wall desicions. Ferrari may have a strong car but they simply don’t know what to do with it; an issue they had with Alonso just as much as Vettel. Guy gets too much flak – some of it deserved, but nowhere near all of it. Ferrari’s drivers are fine, it’s just the rest of the operation that isn’t 100%, or at least deficient compared to their two direct competitors.

      If Red Bull get a competetive engine, Ferrari will struggle to see the podium let alone fight for a championship.

      1. @rocketpanda Agree on the most part. It’s a good point, maybe the drivers overdrive a bit because of the team’s shortcomings, but I don’t think it justifies Vettel’s mistakes this season. Even on worse cars, Alonso didn’t really put a foot wrong…

    10. Would’ve loved to see what whould’ve happened if Seb got ahead of either Max or Lewis with those tyres. Losing those positions even served them well, and Seb could switch off and take care of the rubber covering Bottas.

      I think Ferrari’s strategy backfired twice. First in losing a position to Max and not being able to challenge Lewis, and then because they put Vettel on a tyre in which he was never going to have the chance to fight back.

      They clearly had the speed to at least get Max in 2nd. Having the soft tyre might have enabled Seb to push much harder.

    11. 2 cents. Ferrari screwed themselves with one set of soft tires. I presume that Ferrari only requested one set because they assumed they would be out front and could more easily manage the race and tires specifically at these “Ferrari tracks,” Monza and Singapore.

      The general consensus is that Ferrari should have put Vettel on the soft tire assuming it would not have degraded as much but, when they tried the tire in Monza theirs degrade more than everyone else. Thus, there is no reason to assume the soft tire would not have degraded just as bad considering they had no time on the tire. The only strategy that would have worked for Ferrari is if they were out front. As soon as they lost P1 they were screwed.

    12. Essentially, Vettel lost the championship way back at the German GP.

      From that point on it seems that Ferrari has maintained its typical “panic mode” and Vettel has been overdriving, I suspect to try to be that far in front that the team calm down.

      The Ferrari is not faster than the Mercedes by anything other than a tiny margin (if at all) and when you get two equally talented drivers, one with a team that family goes about it’s business and one that is constantly in panic mode, the results are pretty easy to understand.

      Unfortunately the WDC has been won again by Lewis and the Constructors to Mercedes. Mathematically it’s not over but really … do we expect Ferrari to come back from this?

      1. I think it’s pretty fortunate that a driver doing a stellar season like the one Hamilton has been doing is the one clinching the WDC.

        Vettel already made too many mistakes to deserve it. He said a lot of times that they lacked the ultimate pace to win last year, and now they don’t. It is up to him and he is failing.

    13. Hey @keithcollantine, a small suggestion, instead of writing “to drivername”, is it possible to write “pitwall” so it is easier to read for everyone?

    14. SV needs to be looking over his shoulder very well, from here on in, this season.
      His psychological make up is too fragile this year.
      His harsh comments over the radio indicate his mental fragility.
      Forsa Ferrari? Yes Italian in the extreme.
      Criticism is unforgivable to the teams latin machismo pride.

    15. I read 1 of the coments saying ferrari need drivers thats all me me me… But that is d way of all champions in any sport. And i dmt mean that in a negative way but to be d best they hav to believe they are d best and expect the best. Thats why whnlen they speak it may sound self centered but they are actually speaking champ-speak… Something the average joe will never appreciate.

    16. Vettel is lucky that Bottas didn’t put pressure on him, to force him to have another pit stop

    17. “I will always defend the team,” said Vettel

      You’d better defend the team Seb. because they still defend you even though you have consistently screwed up and are the sole reason you are not ahead in points.

      He’s trying to remind Ferrari he’s not the divisive character Alonso (supposedly) was .
      Maybe not, but Alonso wouldn’t have made the mistakes he has made in the last 2 years and the race for the WDC would be a hell of a lot more interesting with Alonso in his seat.

      And I’m sure Ferrari and especially the Tifosi know it.

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