Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2018

Sensor fault and tyre choice spoiled Vettel’s race

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel’s race was compromised by a sensor problem and a strategic gamble which didn’t pay off.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene revealed a sensor problem was detected on Vettel’s car before the race began which compromised his pace.

“Right from the formation lap, we became aware of a problem with a sensor on Seb’s car,” he said. “This meant that for the whole race he had to run different settings to those we would have normally used and that made the car difficult to drive.”

Vettel slipped to sixth place and was told to let team mate Kimi Raikkonen past at one stage in the race.

Both Ferrari drivers started the race on soft tyres which were expected to give them an advantage over their rivals on super-softs. But it didn’t turn out that was, as Vettel admitted.

“I don’t think it was an advantage today to start with the tyres that we had,” said Vettel. “We thought it was, it turned out not to be the case.

“[We] struggled to get the tyres to work properly and [were] sliding quite a bit so not a good race.”

Ferrari expected Mercedes and Red Bull would not be as competitive on their softer rubber.

“I thought [our tyres] were OK straight away but they were just not fast enough in comparison,” he said. “The super-soft didn’t struggle enough, let’s put it that way.

“You could see that they had maybe two or three laps where they would get some pain, where I thought now we are quids in. After that, they were fast before and fast after that phase.

“The super soft was fast, faster arguably, and they lasted also long enough. I don’t think before the race anybody thought that super-soft/soft strategy was feasible but it was actually not a problem.”

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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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6 comments on “Sensor fault and tyre choice spoiled Vettel’s race”

  1. Tyre gamble bit them quite hard only Kimi was able to get the best out of the car.

  2. I sincerely hope that’s true because Vettel was nowhere in this race. He did worse than Bottas, which says a lot.

  3. Pirelli random “will it degrade or will it not” bites Ferrari in the bum. Tyre Russian roulette is now an unfortunate reality at most GP’s this year. Super softs not degrading as they should yet again……

    I’m not surprised Ferrari are mystified.

  4. Well that makes sense. Vettel was nowhere in that race. Hopefully he can win in Abu Dhabi. He is gonna need that extra bit of physchological boost for next year.

  5. Good to know reason behind the sub-par showing by Vettel; in the past we have seen him make mistakes, but rarely has he been substantially slower than raikkonen.

  6. Well is this was a no brainier, I thought the car had a problem since the formation lap and all the micro blocks he was having at the beginning also despite kimi being a bit closer in qualifying the normal thing is that Seb is wayyy faster in race pace and if Seb has an off day he normally is right behind kimi.. not slow like he was in Brazil, a track he is pretty good at

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