Vettel suspects error cost him higher points finish

2021 French Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he was pleased with his recovery into the points during the French Grand Prix after going off early in the race.

Vettel started from 12th on the grid, seven places ahead of team mate Lance Stroll who failed to set a time in qualifying. The pair finished in ninth and tenth, Vettel taking his third points score in a row.

“It was a good recovery drive,” said Vettel. “Good to have both cars in the points. It’s not a lot of points for ninth and tenth, but it’s good.”

Vettel took advantage of a long opening stint to move into the points, but lost time when he went off at the long Beausset corner.

“We had to try something different and I think it worked,” Vettel said. “Unfortunately, I had one off in the first stint where I lost a lot of time. Otherwise I think maybe we could have been closer with the group at the very end of the race and we had better tyres, maybe score some more points.”

Vettel was only four seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo in sixth place at the end of the race.

“But it’s quite windy and the car was quite inconsistent for all of us today,” Vettel continued, “so that was very tricky to judge. I was pushing quite hard and maybe in that one lap pushing a little bit too much.”

With the performance of teams in the midfield varying each race weekend, Vettel says it’s important for Aston Martin to maximise its opportunities to score points.

“I think the team in general is strong. Obviously we are not where we would like to be with the car but I think overall the team is doing very, very well. I think we have been catching up a little bit, which is important.

“It’s very tight and we need to score points like today, even if it’s not a lot. We did good. We are fighting with AlphaTauri and Alpine as well. It’s going to be a long year, hopefully we are getting better and better and starting to have a bit of an edge, but it’s a long way to go.”

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2021 French Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
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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7 comments on “Vettel suspects error cost him higher points finish”

  1. But you couldn’t get Alonso and you are fuming for it, Seb

    1. Seb doesn’t care one bit about Alonso. It is usually Alonso who is jelly of Seb.

      Reply moderated
  2. Ah, I was wondering about that a bit (where he lost out early in the race).

  3. So Seb had a moment on Lap 28 (had to check it on F1 TV, cause they have not showed it anywhere). It was the entry of Turn 11, just kept it before the Red extreme grip part, lost over 3 seconds there. Hadn’t he had this, he could have had a shot at P7, P8..

  4. I think this reflects well on vettel, that despite a mistake he still gets almost all he could get out of the car, I wouldn’t have imagined this after 2020 or the first races of 2021 really.

  5. His fastest lap was faster than that of Hamilton. Only behind Red Bulls and Bottas. Also with Hard tyre he had great progress, but I felt they put him out there too long on that Hard tyre. Well he ran out of laps to get to P7 in the end. Wish he had a bit better qualifying.

    Reply moderated
  6. Suguna Varma
    21st June 2021, 6:04

    He is really feeling it at home at Aston Martin. A few weeks back Vettel had reminded that : “Mercedes & Aston Martin are biggest sufferers of this year’s changes. But Aston Martin’s struggles are getting noticed than that of Mercedes because they were already too far ahead last year.” Now at Paul Richard his predictions have come true. Mercedes are all over the place without a huge pace advantage. Bad strategy, confusion in the team, politics boiling over via radio. Vettel sure has helped Aston Martin by owning up his errors, trying to bring the best out of the situation and above all pushing that car further and some incredible racing [albeit the first race is better to be forgotten]. Due to the contract situation at Mercedes and the ownership structure of the team (1/3-Wolff, 1/3-Ineos , 1/3-Mercedes – CEO not so much amused by F1) lot of fingers will get pointed at each other.

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