Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Criticism of my mistakes is fair, says Vettel

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says the criticism he has received for his mistakes in recent races is “fair”.

The Ferrari driver’s championship chances have faded rapidly in recent races. Vettel spun in three of the last five rounds following collisions with championship rival Lewis Hamilton (at Monza), Max Verstappen (at Suzuka) and Daniel Ricciardo (at the Circuit of the Americas).

Following the Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton told the media to show Vettel more “respect” and that “being humans we will make mistakes”. But Vettel admitted today the criticism was warranted.

“No, it’s fair, I spun,” he said. “If you’re the one spinning then obviously something didn’t go right so I think it’s fair.

However Vettel said his errors had not been the result of “silly” moves which were unlikely to work.

“Obviously inside the car it always looks a bit different. Then you look from 13 different angles and in slow motion and so on and by that time even the last person in the paddock might have an opinion. It’s obviously different, every opinion might be different.

But I think the main thing is that fundamentally I didn’t try to do anything silly or anything stupid. I wasn’t hard-headed, trying to something that would never work.”

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He admitted he may be more cautious about future moves. “Obviously now it’s happened a couple of times, too much. Next time there [is] a gap I’m sure I will go for the gap but surely it’s in the back of your head trying to keep the car facing in the right direction.”

Vettel can only remain in the championship fight if he wins and Hamilton finished outside the top seven places this weekend. With Hamilton very likely to win the championship, Vettel said it was “not fair” to claim Hamilton had won the title because Vettel had thrown it away.

“You should always look at it as a championship won by the driver who scores more points than anybody else,” said Vettel.

“Obviously arriving here with the deficit in points we have, surely we could have had more but at the end of the day you need to ask yourself whether you’ve always been in a position to get the rest that you needed, that you wanted.

“I think we’ve had races where we were very competitive but we also had races where we were not. I think at the end of the season you look at the points you have, you add them up and then you know yourself what’s been missing or not.”

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17 comments on “Criticism of my mistakes is fair, says Vettel”

  1. A nice honest appraisal from him.

    First Steiner, now Vettel… What’s going on?! 😊

    1. It’s the Racefans effect, @phylyp.

      We won’t know for sure until Dieter posts the Claire Williams: True Confessions article.

    2. It just takes the fun out of it doesn’t it?

    3. @phylyp, the art of the mea culpa must be spreading on social media, everybody is at it, especially top management in big business’ like Banks, financial funds, insurance companies etc. when caught cheating, lying and ripping off their customers, here in Australia we have seen an endless stream of board “chairs” and CEOs saying, ” it was wrong, it never should have happened, we apologise unreservedly” and not saying ” now if you don’t mind I’d like to get back to it asap”.

    4. Vettel has always been fairly honest and self-critical @phylyp

      1. @jimmi-cynic – LOL :-)

        @johnmilk – Indeed. It takes the wind out of the sails of us keyboard warriors. Just look at how quiet this comments section has been!

        @hohum – LOL at the “getting back to it” part!

        @neutronstar – I’d probably qualify that as “usually” and not “always” :-), recent case in point being his attempt to rationalize his behaviour under red flags at COTA.

        1. @phylyp This is a human being we’re talking about 😡😡😂😂😡😡

          I just hope he stops making these mistakes and can have some fun before the season ends…

  2. You have to admire Vettel for his self reflection.

    When Hammy made a litany of mistakes in 2016 costing him a title, he instead focused on the mechanical problem he had in Malaysia rather than the 7 starts he blew, the crash in Baku qualifying, the crash in Spain, the dummy spit in China.

    That’s why Hammy didn’t win the title in 2016.

    Vettel’s made mistakes, but in the end it hasn’t cost him the title. The Mercedes is a far superior car and has been throughout most of the season. Vettel only built a points lead because of Mercedes blunders and poor driving early in the season.

    1. @anon

      Vettel’s made mistakes, but in the end it hasn’t cost him the title.

      Pfft… Sure. Keep telling yourself that. Don’t ever let facts get in your way.

    2. C’mon man. Don’t you think that had he not made those brutal mistakes in his and the team’s home races, Ferrari would’ve stood a good chance of having the confidence to not make the strategy errors they did, and therefore be leading the championship?

    3. you are partly right, of course, Hamilton’s 2016 season was far from ideal, but you could argue that he would have won the championship had it not been for the engine fail in Malaysia.
      would Vettel have won without Hockenheim and the points lost by other bad races / qualifying? don’t know, but I’m sure he would be in contention until the last race!

    4. Vettel’s made mistakes, but in the end it hasn’t cost him the title. The Mercedes is a far superior car and has been throughout most of the season

      @anon the only part of the above that is correct is that Vettel has made mistakes. I respect him as a formidable talent and I respect him for being forthcoming about his mistakes, but he has to accept that he would still be fighting for this title if he hadn’t made so many.

      Ferrari has been just as fast, if not faster, the majority see that, why can’t you?

    5. Anon, weird, normally I agree with your comments, but not this time.

      I see that some people criticize your comments automatically cause you call hamilton hammy, I don’t, I just read the content.

      And I see you’re blaming hamilton for 2016 mistakes, why? Rosberg had as many or more bad performances, the difference were the 28 points lost due to engine in malaysia, that doesn’t even include the qualifying issues etc.

      Mercedes 2018 far superior car? That’s only true for a handful of races, overall they’re pretty even and reliability is also a component of a car’s performance and ferrari has been better in thar respect, don’t forget it.

      Pretty positive if ferrari is at least at mercedes’ level even the last races vettel is the one who lost the title, too many points thrown away.

  3. Good honesty.

  4. This is an important step – owning your mistakes.

  5. To be honest I think he has been unlucky that such minor mistakes have led to such devastating consequences on his behalf.

    In monza and Cota the contacts were just little love bumps but both saw him end up at the back of the field on both occasions. We see similar contacts all through the field every week without any driver spinning and carrying on as if nothing happened. As for Suzuka I really don’t think he was to blame. Max pinched him on the apex.

    Even in Germany it was the most pathetic crash ever and just happened to occur on the one corner of the track with no run off!!

    So yeah you should always admit your mistakes but sometimes the racing god’s decide its just not your day.

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