Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Vettel’s spin cost him an “easy” win – Wolff

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel could have won the United States Grand Prix easily if he hadn’t spun on the first lap, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes.

While Kimi Raikkonen won the race for Ferrari, Vettel lost further ground to championship rival Lewis Hamilton by finishing fourth behind the Mercedes.

Wolff admitted the initiative swung back to Ferrari at the Circuit of the Americas.

“This has been the most difficult season so far,” he said. “The whole season you could see two or three races were going in our favour, then Ferrari was again very strong and then we had a good run and now Ferrari had a very good weekend.

“I imagine if Sebastian had not spun out in lap one then he probably would have won the race easy.”

Despite Ferrari’s strong showing Hamilton moved closer to clinching the drivers’ championship. Wolff said he is more concerned about the situation in the constructors’ championship.

“It’s stressful,” he said. “The drivers’ championship we’re in a solid position but I’ve always said we mustn’t drop the ball. We’ve seen that in the past with other teams.

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“And in the constructors’ championship that is very important for the team, nothing’s done yet, there is 129 points to be scored with the 66 that we have. That is a good buffer but no reason to go away and think you have the trophy in your hands because we can see that we haven’t got it in our hands.”

Having enjoyed a strong run in recent races, Wolff said it had only been a matter of time before Ferrari hit back.

“In the media, somebody has a run with good races and he’s world champion and the greatest on the planet and the other ones are the biggest idiots on the planet and you write them off. But that’s not how Formula One runs.

“It’s cyclical – you have a good momentum, you win a race, two or three and then it bites you and it bit us today. And that was always something we expected and it’s honestly tiring to sit out there and discuss about winning trophies when the bloody trophy’s not won.

“They are a strong group of racers – they have won many races, they deserve the respect of still being able to compete with us and today they were stronger and they won it. Now we need to keep our calm and go to Mexico and perform.”

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@HazelSouthwell contributed to this article.

2018 F1 season

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12 comments on “Vettel’s spin cost him an “easy” win – Wolff”

  1. Everyone finds their job tiring, and hearing the press is a part of yours, so cry me a river.

  2. Just like Hamilton would have won going away if he was put on an actual two stop strategy or at least boxed when the whole world could see his tires were shot. Ifs and buts.

    1. Indeed, they could have stopped in time to come out ahead of Verstappen. Also, maybe if they hadn’t pushed as hard as they did right at the start of that second stint Lewis might have made it to the flag on those tyres.

  3. If Lewis didn’t pit VSC he would have won. Should, would etc. come on Toto no reason to play mind games.

      22nd October 2018, 4:54


  4. Hm, well, sure Vettel did have himself to blame for (again) coming off worse at an incident on track. But on the other hand, it seemed to me that Mercedes lack of focus on Bottas (all thinking along with how to clinch Hamiltion’s title) left their other car out in the dry to miss another couple of points towards that constructors’ title.

  5. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    22nd October 2018, 10:59

    People pour hate on Toto and the Mercedes team for being the best but at least they talk to the press and the team has a face and a personality and a visible culture. Years ago who would have thought a Mercedes team would be the characterful one and Ferrari the cold, clinical and corporate one.

    1. @ftruth – good point.

    2. @ftruth Maybe because the management of the Mercedes team were actual racers themselves, not tobacco merchants.

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        22nd October 2018, 12:44

        @david-br yep, 110%. Hence my comment on this story about how there is a management gap at Ferrari at the moment:

        1. @ftruth Thanks for the pointer to the comment, interesting observation about Vettel hanging around the Red Bull ‘home’.

  6. Winning or losing, Toto always manages to say something stupid post race.

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