It was a disappointing day for Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel in Spielberg last weekend at the Styrian Grand Prix as he and his team-mate Charles Leclerc were involved in an incident which forced both men to retire without scoring any points.
The two drivers started in the midfield, and Leclerc attempted to make up some places at the start, trying to seize an opportunity to gain some good points early on in the season. Vettel found himself involved in a battle with two other cars, using the inside line going into turn three, so he had not expected anyone else to be nearby or to try and pass him. He could not see Leclerc, and was squeezed out in the corner, giving him no option but to make contact with his team-mate.
Following the incident, Vettel received terminal damage to the rear wing on his car and was forced to retired to the pit garage. Leclerc was able to continue, pitting under the Safety Car for a set of hard compound tyres, but had to also retire a lap later as the damage to the floor was too severe.
Vettel said: “I was really looking forward to racing today and had a good feeling about it. I didn’t get a very good start, losing a bit of momentum off the line.”
“Then, it was very busy in Turn 3 and I was already fighting two cars. I had the inside line so I was not expecting anyone to try anything. I could not see that Charles was coming and unfortunately, I had nowhere else to go as there just wasn’t enough space.”
Despite what has happened, the German said he is not angry, and he considers it to be a racing incident, noting his positive mindset. He believes they will be able to secure the points they lost this weekend when racing resumes next week at the Hungaroring.
“However, we are both mature enough to move on from this incident. It is very disappointing, but in my mindset, I am generally optimistic and at least I don’t have to wait long to be back in the car, so let’s hope that Hungary will be a better place for us,” he said.