Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

Vettel says he didn’t see Stroll when he rejoined track

2019 Italian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he didn’t see Lance Stroll when he collided with the Racing Point driver during the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel spun on his way into the Ascari chicane. He then pulled onto the track as Stroll was rounding the corner, causing a collision between the two. Vettel was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for the incident.

“I struggled a couple of times to get the car going,” Vettel explained afterwards. “I struggled to get in the right direction as well so I couldn’t see him.”

Vettel admitted he wasn’t pleased with his race after taking the chequered flag in 13th. “Obviously I’m not happy with it,” he said. “I can’t be happy with my day today.

“We had a good start and then I lost a position, got it back, reconnected to the cars ahead and then lost the rear and I couldn’t catch it. Simple as that. Obviously I’m not happy and after that the race was obviously gone.”

Leclerc has now won twice when Vettel is yet to score a victory this year. However Vettel, who has fallen behind his team mate in the points standings, says his enthusiasm for Formula 1 hasn’t diminished.

“I still love what I do,” he said. “But surely when you’re not doing well, when you know that you can do well, you’re not happy.”

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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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  • 47 comments on “Vettel says he didn’t see Stroll when he rejoined track”

    1. Absoloute embarassing driver considering his statistics it is hilarious and so wrong but atleast we get to see this huge mess ups season after season. Embarassing he needs Kimi and Webber’s to look good. Ricciardo was faster and won 3 races to Vet 0 and same with Leclerc. So stop with the Vet did not like car in 13. He just could not hack it

      1. He is the type of guy that gets affected. Pressure didn’t always get to him, I just think RB managed his emotions effectively, maybe youth has its merits. Vettel was actually going at Bottas but blew it, got over the edge.
        On the spin, I think the fia doesn’t realise just how bad it must feel to be in that position, same thing for Stroll, same offense different penalty. Stroll was put in that position but that’s life. bad omens everywhere.

        1. @peartree I’m not sure it was necessarily Red Bull that managed his emotions. When you have a superior car to everyone else and you are winning most of the time, it’s hard not to go into every race with a degree of confidence. Because when you are running at the front, managing your pace, knowing that everybody behind you is managing their pace as well, and you can easily go 1-1.5s quicker, everything is nice and rosy. In 2012, when Red Bull didn’t have the best car until Singapore, Vettel didn’t really perform to his best. He clashed with Karthikeyan in Malaysia, he got a penalty in Spain for not slowing down under yellows, messed up his Monaco GP qualifying and had to start 9th, made an illegal move on Button in Germany for 2nd that ended with him 5th, I remember him ranting on the radio for most of the Hungarian GP, and to top it all off, he got only 1 win to Webber’s 2 (although he was unlucky in Valencia). I think he has been the same driver, but just never had to face these situations.

      2. ’14 you mean.

      3. Let me put it this way, what if you were working in a toxic team for a toxic boss that lets you do their dirtywork?

    2. Off course he couldn’t see Stroll, sice his mirrors were showing the wall behind him and you cannot really move your head much to look to the side what with the HANS device and the cockpit sidewalls.
      But it was obvious that at the early stage of the race they were in there were bound to be cars right behind so he should have waited for info from his team or a marshall. Off course then Vettel would have lost places. But in the end, this costed him a lot more IMO.

      1. @bascb not in IMO, it’s reality.

        1. I stand corrected then @peartree

      2. Correct, easy to say with hindsight obviously. If he’d simply waited for all the cars to pass he would certainly have finished in the points, possibly top 6.

    3. I believe him, but that means he didn’t give himself a view of the track when he rejoined.

    4. He seems like a decent bloke but gets caught out over the most basic errors time and time again.

    5. Then he couldn’t even pass a Brit or American driving test…

      1. To be fair, the visibility in F1 cars are a lot worse than road ones on the side and rear.

        1. Side visibility in the cockpit is zero from driver face to rear wheel because of the HANS device and the cockpit side wall protection.

          That doesn’t excuse Vettel reentering the track because he knows he can’t see vehicles coming down that bit of track in his blind spot, but going for it anyway.

          Very dangerous. And Dangerous-Manoeuvres-R-Us was Ferrari’s name this last weekend.


          1. Very dangerous. And Dangerous-Manoeuvres-R-Us was Ferrari’s name this last weekend.


            Nah. Just well aware the spineless stewards wouldn’t do anything to them at Monza.

            This is the REAL mafia.

    6. I don’t doubt this. But after seeing 2 Renault’s go past, you gotta assume that the rest of the midfield isn’t far behind. And the team should’ve been talking to him on the radio letting him now. Just dumb.

      1. @hugh11 – maybe he just has that poor an opinion of the Renault’s pace ;)

    7. Don’t know what’s up with him. People are going to tear into him for it and in many ways rightly so, but I do think some take a weird pleasure in attacking him. He says his enthusiasm for the sport hasn’t diminished but to be honest that’s kinda what it looks like – he doesn’t seem to have any of the energy he had last year or the year before. Perhaps it’s pressure from Leclerc, disinterest that Ferrari are still too far to mount a championship challenge, the car doesn’t suit him or just general tiredness of the sport? I’m not going to stick the knife into him any more than people are already going to because I do think he’s one of the best out there and on a good day he’s unbeatable. He just seems mired in a long, long, very bad day.

      1. On a good day yes. This is how I feel aswell. Yesterday he did a pole lap without the tow.

        Today he had one of his every second race when he simply drops it and makes a mistake, overdriving the car.

        He cannot make this Ferrari work well without good downforce. Real shame.

        Meanwhile to compound the issue on the other side there is Charles who never had a car with briliant handling yet and can drive the wheels of any car issue.

      2. @rocketpanda
        Vettel is a driver who needs everything to be on his side to perform. Dominant car, slow teammate, non title decider race, no pressure at all.

      3. i firmly believe that one of the problems, perhaps the only problem, is the Ferrari culture not suiting Vettel. He is clearly not a happy bunny which is in stark contrast to most of his time in Red Bull.

        What happened to that dynamic confident driver who quoted Monty Python to his engineer during races?

        It isn’t that he has not usually beaten his team mate in previous years, because he has, but this decline has continued for at least two years now. Losing out to Leclerc intensifies it, but it didn’t cause it.

        We can’t see into his private life as he is a very private person, and the ups and downs we all have in that respect come and go. But the intensity of the tifosi and the Italian media and the internal politics at Ferrari are a difficult place to be as other Ferrari drivers will attest. The wall of bodyguards which surrounded Schumacher and kept those issues at arms length are long gone and have been replaced by a failed engineering director as principal.

        If Vettel were in Milton Keynes or Brackley things would be different, not necessarily so different that a new championship would be grabbed, but enough to make it a possibility when he can breathe and relax and not wait for the next political tsunami.

        If Ferrari want to learn the secret of Mercedes success, they should look not at engineering, strategy, finance but study hard their personnel management, the work put in to make it truly a team effort, win or lose together, encouraging the commitment to 110% of each individual’s capacity.

        1. Agreed. While he was at Red Bull, he seemed to worry for nothing but driving. Since he came to Ferrari, it seems he feels he needs to control everything from strategy to tires, you name it. Leclerc comes in and it’s all gravy for him, he just drives and focuses on that alone. He’s way more relaxed as any success he has is just bonus to driving for Ferrari. Seb’s a 4 time WDC and is expected to do much more; it’s what he was hired to do. Yet, he doesn’t seem to be able to deal with a less than perfect car, a less than compliant teammate, or serious pressure from rival teams. I’m beginning to wonder if he would be better off back at RBR. He knows everyone there, Newey can design a car for Vettel, and RBR have their act together in ways Ferrari does not.

    8. Some drivers improve with age, others stay fairly constant, others have a shelf life.

      I can’t see Ferrari having the pace to win in Singapore, but if Vettel doesn’t at the very least outpace Leclerc I’ll be inclined to think the quick, competitive Vettel of old has gone and won’t be coming back.

    9. It was Lap 6 or 7, and he should’ve knowns cars tend to be bunched at such an early juncture.

    10. I don’t think we’ll ever see Vettel win another race.

      1. That’s an interesting statement, was thinking of that as well, remembering canada 2019, and I think with this ferrari, props for them for winning the 2nd race, more than deserved, but due to the features of the car, it’s unrealistic to win other races this year unless red bull AND mercedes have a disaster somewhere or they improve chassis considerably.

        And then have to see what happens next year, both car performance wise and driver too, cause vettel seems much more often off than on this year.

    11. So, bright pink car invisible, OK

      Should we paint future stealth craft this colour- I’m convinced!

      Sorry, too easy to mock, I’ll get my coat

      1. High flying WW2 planes would often be painted pink underneath as it made them difficult to see against a blue sky. Odd, but true.

    12. Helmet, HANS device and raised sides of cockpit… OK, I see how they might conspire to block his view.

      But the onus is on the driver who’s gone off to re-join safely, not come barrelling back onto the track.

      “Sorry mate, didn’t see you” is as silly to hear in F1 as it is when a motorcyclist is run down by a car.

      1. Agreed, he endangered others. I know it was not an easy decision to make given the bad visibility and the very split second difficult decision to balance performance (getting back to the race) and safety (not endangering the situation further).

        But given what happened to F3 this week and F2 last, safety should be paramount.

    13. He started moving when hulkenburg was right in front of him

    14. Of course he didn’t see/know. After all a racing track will be empty all the time. Didn’t he see the Renault’s go past and think that means other cars will be close behind?

    15. Yeah right.

    16. Another episode in the downfall of Sebastian Vettel. As a supporter it hurts to watch.

    17. Seb.
      He thought it was very fine to cook a strategy with the team at Monaco 2018 that involved keeping his team mate in the dark. He pushed like crazy while the team led his team mate into thinking the win was his.
      Gave him the win, but for Pete’s sake, how …. sneaky. ugh.

    18. If you can’t see that the track is clear, you don’t rejoin. Simple.

      These are meant to be top drivers, you can’t do this. If anything Strolls penalty was too lenient, but I assume the stewards took the fact that the pink car was only in that position because of Vettel into consideration.

      I think Vettel is finished in F1. Assuming this rout continues, that’s twice he’s been beaten by young team mates, further proving that he can only win in the right circumstances. Maybe Ferrari want him to stay, but I think he’ll want out rather than become Massa or Raikonnen. Mercedes won’t want him to replace proven consistency and he won’t want to go up against Max and further embarrass himself.

      I see no option for him other than to do a Rosberg and quit rather than get his pride handed to him. Of course, Rosberg quit while he was ahead for the only time in his career….

    19. Ever since the introduction of the V6 turbo-hybrids, Sebastian hasn’t really set the world alight in the same way he did during the back end of the V8 era. In terms of driving, he seems to like a completely stable back-end which was what the Red Bull gave him, particularly when blown diffusers were around, hence why he was able to take 15 pole positions during 2011 and win nine races in row in 2013.

      But then all of a sudden when the V6 turbo-hybrids come in, the rear end becomes a bit more nervous, and Vettel gets beaten convincingly by Daniel Ricciardo in 2014. He has had flashes of brilliance during 2015, 2017, and the first half of 2018, but he’s never really been totally comfortable with the V6s.

      All that plus the pressure of being a Ferrari driver are why he hasn’t won a championship since 2013, and why he may never win another.

    20. Jose Lopes da Silva
      8th September 2019, 23:08

      There is a Formula One 1950-1985 and a Formula One 1985-2020.
      Until 1985, only Fangio was able to win back to back championships.
      Since 1986, that became the norm – although the feat of Prost, achieving it in a inferior car, was amazing. Technical conditions changed a lot. Over-professionalism brought drivers the ability to win several championships.

      I think History will end up stating that Vettel is the less rated of the four-time champions, below Schumacher, Fangio, Hamilton and Prost. Many more considerations could be made. Either way, I think that even if we can question his status, I don’t think there is a reason to question his wins. Piquet once said: in Formula 1, results are what matter. You must seize the opportunity when you have one.

      I don’t think Damon Hill or Jenson Button (especially the former) showed enough talent to become champions on their own right, but they earned it and deserved it, because they seized the opportunity they had. They might have become champions too in the pre-1985 era, where one-time champions were the norm. Same for Rosberg – he deserved his title, although one can’t think he lost several titles, like we think about Alonso.

      For those who like Formula One for the show, it’s sad to see Vettel’s status crumbling. In a growing and never ending all time list, we’ll rate him below a number of drivers with less wins. Yet, I still think Vettel is a deserved four-time champ of the post-1985 era. Alonso and Webbed blew their chances in 2010. Webber could not get second places in 2011, while Vettel was winning. Ferrari blew it in 2012 (…and Alonso was not 100% perfect, but no season is). In 2013 he was in his sweet spot. He seized those 4 opportunities.

      1. Seb is so frustrated with how things are developing that he pushes too hard to win and ends up making newbie mistakes.

      2. Stop underrating ascari! Not talking just about you, but everyone does, you just stated: drivers to win back to back championships, ascari did, fittipaldi did, probably even more but these come to mind immediately, and they were before 1985.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          9th September 2019, 12:13

          Sorry, I underrated Ascari. Somehow I keep doing it because of the “F1-F2” thing.
          Fittipaldi did not win back to back. He won 1972 and 1974. Please mention any other driver who did the same before Prost, aside Ascari and Fangio.

    21. Exactly Seb. You don’t see things you don’t watch out for.

    22. Probably the worst place to spin on the track! Was very unlucky to spin there, in terms of trying to rejoin safely

    23. Vettel didn’t see Stroll, and all the TV watchers couldn’t see Stroll hitting Vettel either because of live feed showing the audience instead!? Why? TV production must step up

    24. Vettel is just being Vettel again. The day after day he is not just ruining his recent reputation, but also his entire career. Schumi was also not successfull after first retirement, but, -even I hate him- he didn’t made what Vettel is doing now. It is not a champ’s carrer supposed to be.

    25. I am honestly concerned for Vettel. I honestly thought this way for the last two years. Yes he had some run ins with Team mates, other drivers and such in the past, but in recent years I wonder what occupies his mind. I have seen many very successful athletes, professionals fall down that huge spiral without ever realizing whats going on. I am 100% sure he wants to and tries to give everything he has, but when your mental health is affected, may it be Depression, OCD, ADHD or whatever else it may be, you often don’t don’t realize what’s wrong with yourself. For us, he makes these big mistakes and drives dangerously and many here call him a joke. I feel like there is a deeper issue at play that maybe even Vettel is not realizing is happening. As an outsider, one doesn’t thing a successful and wealthy person could ever struggle. But that’s not how it works. We are just now starting to accept that Mental health issues are a thing, but we seem to struggle to accept it in Sports like F1 or where we just think that these guys are supposed to be like Machines.

    26. The people that comment badly now are the same people that don’t know anything about F1 and what these athletes need to go through. When you are in the same seat, having barely a view ESPECIALLY from the side, when the cockpit gets hot, when you are tired having to cope with g-forces, when you are having psychologically difficult times, seeing the management of Ferrari having trouble and shouting at eachother in a toxic environment,… It is very easy to make mistakes. Vettel needs to get out of Ferrari ASAP and go to antoher team, or even another motorsport or he’ll end up badly hurt afterwards, mentally and physically…

    Comments are closed.