Sebastian Vettel had another lacklustre race in his penultimate race with Scuderia Ferrari. The Sakhir Grand Prix wasn’t a happy affair for the team as they walked away with no points.
Vettel finished the race in twelfth, his third twelfth place finish this year. He currently sits a lowly thirteenth in the Drivers’ Championship standings with just next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to go, and he cannot move up the order even if he wins at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The race around the outer track of the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday was a rather boring one for Vettel, with him not being able to challenge anyone or fighting to gain on the grid.
“Today we didn’t have a very exciting race. I really fought hard trying to get a good result but in the end it was very difficult. I was defending today rather than attacking. Even at the end, when I had a small advantage in terms of tyres it was not easy at all, so for me it was a bit of a boring race,” said Vettel.
“We tried to do something different going quite long in the first stint and then fitting Hard tyres. From then on, I tried to look after the tyres and drive sensibly, but I don’t think that it made a difference today.”
Leclerc Accepts Blame for First Lap Clash with Pérez
Charles Leclercs’ race came to an early end on lap one. Leclerc hit Sergio Pérez which put Pérez rock bottom and Leclerc into the barrier. Max Verstappen was caught in the cross fire and found himself also colliding with tyre barrier as he attempted to avoid the incident. Leclerc admitted he was at fault and race control have given him a three-place grid penalty for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Leclerc said: “It was a shame to be out of the race on the first lap. I was on the inside of Max, a bit behind, and I tried to go side by side with him to the first corner and tried to brake a bit later. I had seen Checo in front of me but expected him to stay round the outside of Valtteri, which didn’t happen because he braked a bit earlier than Valtteri and came back towards the inside of the corner.
“As soon as I saw him coming back, I braked but it was too late as I locked up my front wheel and collided with him. I am not putting the blame on anyone else, if anyone is to blame, it’s me. Of course I am disappointed and it will be good to be back in the car in just a few days so that I can put this race behind me.”
Binotto Looking to Get 2020 ‘Done’ so Ferrari can Concentrate on 2021
Team Principal Mattia Binotto congratulated Pérez for his first win in Formula 1, with the victory coming despite the Mexican facing the wrong way at turn four following his contact with Leclerc. Binotto says he cannot wait for the season to be over so they can turn their full attention onto 2021.
“Charles’ race ended after just four corners when he collided with Perez, whom we congratulate by the way for his first Formula 1 win. The Stewards investigated the incident and have imposed a three place grid penalty on Charles for the next race in Abu Dhabi, so that ends any discussion about the rights or wrongs of it all.
“As for Sebastian, it’s a shame we could not get a single point out of such a crazy race. We have to look ahead, get this season done and then concentrate fully on next year,” said Binotto.
Whilst the Sakhir Grand Prix was disappointing for Ferrari, Binotto was pleased to see Mick Schumacher claim the FIA Formula 2 title on Sunday, just ahead of fellow Ferrari Driver Academy star Callum Ilott, with the duo alongside Robert Shwartzman all taking part in next week’s test in Abu Dhabi. Binotto was also delighted to see Gianluca Petecof, another member of the Academy, winning the Formula Regional European Championship title.
“While it was a disappointing day for the Scuderia, it went very well for the Ferrari Driver Academy,” said Binotto. “Mick Schumacher took the Formula 2 title and we also had Callum Ilott in second place and Robert Shwartzman fourth. In Formula Regional, Gianluca Petecof won the title ahead of Arthur Leclerc.
“Out of 91 races across F2, F3, F.Regional and F4, our guys won 20 and were on the podium 59 times. These are amazing statistics that show what a great job our Academy is doing, as is the fact that Mick, Callum and Robert are all taking part in what is known as the Young Driver Test on 15 December in Abu Dhabi.”