Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Vettel: Ferrari now “a lot better” after dropping “major” upgrade

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari’s decision to drop a “major” upgrade it had introduced is the reason why they are much more competitive at the United States Grand Prix

The Ferrari driver qualified just six-hundredths of a second slower than pole sitter Lewis Hamilton for Sunday’s race.

“I would have liked it to be a bit closer an the other way around,” said Vettel. “I was pretty happy with the car, obviously a lot better than in recent weeks.”

The team did not look competitive on Friday when they were out-paced by Red Bull on a wet track. But in dry conditions on Saturday they were immediately on par with Mercedes.

“I think we have our issues,” said Vettel. “A day like yesterday I think showed that we are not entirely understanding what’s going on.

“We went back with major parts and it seems better that way so there’s a lot of understanding we have to do.”

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Ferrari had introduced a new floor for this weekend’s race. However other upgrades the team has introduced recently appear not to have yielded the desired gains.

Vettel admitted the turnaround in Ferrari’s performance has made him more optimistic about the race.

“It’s been very close. Obviously the last weeks you’d probably say no because Mercedes was a lot faster. But today has been giving some hope and hopefully we can have that hope tomorrow as well.”

However Vettel’s race has already been compromised by a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently for red flags in first practice.

“It’s quite annoying,” he said. “With the rules we have maybe you are better off stamping on the brakes to comply with the rules rather than look around and see what is going on.

“But same rules for everyone, it hit other people before me, now it hit me, it’s the name of the game.”

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Vettel’s post-qualifying team radio

Vettel was infuriated after narrowly failing to beat Hamilton:

To Vettel: P2 Sebastian, P2.
Vettel: How much did we miss it? How much did we miss it by?
To Vettel: 60 thousandths.
Vettel: Oh for fuck’s sake. For fuck’s sake.
To Vettel: Kimi P3 for a few thousandths. 32.2 for Kimi. And Bottas 33.6, Ricciardo 33.4.
Vettel: Sorry guys I tried everything. Six hundredths. Yeah, I had a snap in eight, it wasn’t ideal. Scheisse.
To Vettel: Go to the grid on the second position.
Vettel: P1 and P0.
To Vettel: Copy that. Thank you, grazie a tutti.
Vettel: Grazie a noi.

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2018 F1 season

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28 comments on “Vettel: Ferrari now “a lot better” after dropping “major” upgrade”

  1. That Ferrari team radio: great to see Vettel’s multilingual skills in full use :o)

    1. Nicely spotted @david-br – swearing in German and patting the back of his team in Italian! I wonder which of the three languages has the more powerful swear words.

      1. @phylyp I’m going with German, but then my knowledge of the Italian repertoire is almost non-existent. I get the feeling Vettel just says nice things in Italian like ‘grazie a noi’. Has he ever sworn in Italian on the radio?

      2. @phylyp Swearing in English you mean.

        1. “swear in Italian”, silly predictive text.

        2. @jerejj There’s a bit of German too if you look.

          1. @david-br Now I see what you mean. I didn’t notice the German S-word there before, LOL.

      3. Caralho! The best curse word you can find @phylyp

        1. @johnmilk That’s the best you can do? PQP :o)

    1. @phylyp

      Hmm.. I see your point. Technically, they got rid of a major downgrade.

    2. Did you really made a meme about this?

      1. It’s just a couple of clicks away… :-) @johnmilk

  2. Vettel and Hamilton are at their peak, perhaps in ideal condition Vettel can beat, but Hamilton trully fighter at any condition.
    Just amaze how Kimi with 10 years and 10 kg more, doesnt want to yield.

    1. “perhaps in ideal condition Vettel can beat” at same class/type of cars in f2, hamilton beat vettel fair and square, so if conditions ideal, you may a vettel favorite track?

      because most season, ferrari had the better car, yet vettel dropped the balls so many times… ideal conditions are very subjective term, consistency is what gets the wdc

    2. I think if the last two seasons have proven anything… It’s that Vettel can’t beat Hamilton in relatively equal machinery.

      1. I#d put it differently: Vettel could beat Hamilton in relatively equal machinery IF he kept his stuff together for once.
        Also, the past has shown he is able to do so, so the question is why has he become overly erratic since late 2015? Would Grosjean’s former headdoctor have a look at him maybe?

        1. @mrboerns – agreed – some of his actions and driving in that period reek of desperation, which is not beneficial in a 9-month long campaign.

        2. 2010– Vettel and Webber collide in Turkey. At Spa, while passing Button, he t-bones Button’s car.
          2011– On the last lap, he spins out while leading Canadian Grand Prix.
          2012– Abu Dhabi– While going from pit to third, he rear ends Bruno Senna, and later takes out a braking marker– under the safety car.

          Those were just from memory, I’m sure there are others. I wouldn’t say his erratic behavior is a recent thing.

          He’s always been fantastically fast, but a little erratic under pressure. He’s improved over the years, but not enough to match Hamilton right now.

  3. Fastest car on the grid had just restored its performance after messed out a few races. Too bad it’s way too late now, trying harder next year then and the championship will be yours.

  4. Yet Hamilton still dropped a lap sufficiently good to beat Vettel (who lost a bit at turn 8).

  5. Bjornar Simonsen
    21st October 2018, 11:27

    Couldn’t find where he said “a lot better”. Could only find one place where he said “better”. Distorting a bit to make it seem more interesting? Naughty boy. More clicks at the expense of lower credibility.

    1. Bjornar Simonsen
      21st October 2018, 11:28

      Found it. Sorry.

  6. If it turns out that Ferrari’s ‘upgrade’ was so bad it slowed them down and cost the title, that’s just so tragic its genuinely hilarious. They will never win another world championship even with God himself in that team.

  7. This excuse for ferrari’s last minute change to their floor design makes no sense at all.

    They undo an upgrade and suddenly they are faster than they have been in the last two races?

    It seems more likely they were given the green light to reinstate an ‘iffy’ floor design after it was previously judged illegal. Any one remember their last minute changes at Singapore?

    1. Maybe the second sensor upgrade has been removed? Which was the time they dropped out od performance… i think they deemed it was an illegal upgrade and removed the illegal second sensor :)

      1. I was about to make the same point. Seriously, does anyone know if the sensor is still in place?

        1. I don’t even think anyone knows for certain *if* there’s a second sensor.

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