Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Istanbul Park, 2020

Vettel surprised by first podium for more than a year

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel was surprised to claim his first podium finish for over a year with a last-lap pass on his team mate in the Turkish Grand Prix.

Vettel began the final lap in fourth place but grabbed an opportunity to take third place off Charles Leclerc when his team mate ran wide in the final sector.

He came within three-tenths of a second of beating Sergio Perez to second place, but nonetheless secured his first podium finish since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.

“It was quite intense,” said Vettel. “Quite long, but good fun. Obviously it was very intense on the last lap, a bit of a surprise to snatch the podium in the end but certainly I’m very happy.”

Leclerc ran wide after trying to pass Perez at turn 12 on the final lap. “I saw that Charles was quite close to Sergio and I’d heard that Sergio was struggling with his tyres. So the laps before I was already chasing them down and I could see them fight.

“As soon as I saw Charles locking up I saw that there was an opportunity for me. It was very close as well with Sergio. I think he had nothing left on his tyres.”

Vettel enjoyed the best result of a challenging final season for Ferrari in Turkey after out-qualifying team mate Leclerc and gaining eight places on the first lap.

“I had a really good opening lap and already found myself in [third],” said Vettel. “I was quite happy on the wets and then we switched to the intermediates. It was a bit more difficult in the beginning and only towards the end I started to find the pace again.”

He resisted the temptation to switch to slick tyres in the closing phase of the race as the track gradually dried out.

“With 20 laps to go I was thinking about dry tyres because the circuit was constant,” Vettel explained.

“The tyres were already worn anyway, so effectively we had slicks. I think it’s just a matter of nobody dared to put them on.

“There was some rain forecast for the end which in the end didn’t come. I would have really liked to have put them on because I think that would have been a chance to win but I’m equally happy with third.”

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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18 comments on “Vettel surprised by first podium for more than a year”

  1. I bet he was surprised that the positions for 2nd and 3rd on the podium were switched around from where they usually located. It surprised the person who puts the flag graphics on the podium for sure – originally showing Vettel from Mexico and Perez from Germany until it was replaced by F1 logos and then shown correctly.

    1. Notice that too regarding the podium! Spent the whole of the anthems trying to work out if the flags were wrong or the drivers were standing in the wrong places!

    2. Haha, I hadn’t noticed that. Weird

    3. Haha, that was hilarious. Clearly it threw FOM too cause the flags were wrong. Someone was nudged and they disappeared until it had been rectified.

      I only realised when they started playing the second national anthem that the 2nd and 3rd steps were reversed too.

      I’ve never seen a flag mixup since Irvine got shown an Irish flag and we all know how well that went down.

  2. Great to see Seb back on the podium. One of the sports gentlemen. A great champion in his time, I hope with this, his mojo comes back and he gets many more podiums with Aston Martin.

  3. A wild Vettel appears on the podium.

    Well all in all it was a solid race from Vettel. Where has this guy been all season..

  4. old school defensive driving against VER and HAM during the first stint. hopefully he bounce back with Aston Martin next year.

    1. Yeah, it was good to see that given the opportunity Vettel can still bring the goods @naylamp, that gives me hope that he can really show us some good stuff to impress us at Aston Martin.

  5. Top wet weather drive. 12th to 3rd without a SC was quite something.

  6. Seb and Checo on the podium makes them the 11th and 12th different drivers with a podium finish in 2020.

    The last year with as many drivers finishing on the podium in a season was 2012 with 13 drivers.

    1. Wow, that’s impressive considering how crazy the competitive level in 2012 was and mercedes’ current dominance.

  7. He didn’t spin once when everyone else was
    Seb still has it

  8. I’m very pleased for Sebastian. I don’t know whether or not this will be his last podium, I hope it isn’t, but if it is then I think it was a good illustration of why he became a World Drivers’ Champion. Winning isn’t just about when everything goes to plan, winning is also about being alert to the opportunities presented to oneself. I like his “a bit of a surprise to snatch the podium in the end but certainly I’m very happy.”

    1. Yes, I guess, I criticized vettel a lot and I think it was deserved but this was a really good race for him, the best of the year I’d say.

      I think in recent times he’s a bit like raikkonen the last ferrari years, does like 3 good races a year and rest nobody saw him, that I recall there was certainly hungary where he drove well this year, don’t know if there’s another or if it still has to come!

  9. Binotto talked to charles to congratulate him and that he should not feel bad about the late error.
    He “forgot” to talk to Seb..
    Equaling the best performance of ferrari this year.

    1. Absolutely Erijke,
      Ferrari must be a dreadful environment for Seb right now. That’s poor by Binotto.

  10. I think for the whole podium trio, it was experience that ruled the day. All three drove really good, really solid level-headed races and it paid off. The inexperience showed with both Verstappen and Leclerc being a little overeager to make passes that cost them position. All in all, excellent race and a really good argument for cutting downforce in half and making the drivers really drive!

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