Vettel admits fault for 'risky' move in Giovinazzi's wake
Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari accepted blame for a 'risky' move in Antonio Giovinazzi's wake that saw him spin.
For Vettel, the spin was highly disruptive to his race, which he had primarily run whilst trailing Alfa Romeo's Giovinazzi up until that point. His spin saw him neatly pirouette out of the confines of the race track, stopping on the asphalt run-off area to the left.
Vettel had started ahead of Giovinazzi, but was overtaken by his Italian adversary in the early stages of the race. Worried an Alfa Romeo impeding his efforts might compromise his strategy, the Ferrari driver understood the urgency of the situation, and made an effort to overtake.
Ironically, Vettel's fear that his strategy could become compromised would later prove justified, but not because a car in front held him up. Rather, it would be the attempt to overtake itself that would result in a disadvantageous situation for Vettel, as damage to his tyres demanded he be brought into the pits for an immediate change.
This early pit stop proved costly, limiting his options later in the race, and he ultimately came eleventh. "I think the start lap was actually okay, with the medium tyre compared to the others," said Vettel to TV media. "Obviously we then lost a position to the Alfa and got stuck. It was very difficult to pass, very difficult to follow.
"So I tried to take a risk -- probably too much of a risk. After that, there was a chance to come back: with the safety car there was a chance for points, but it didn't happen. I was only really gaining in the last part of each straight. I think when I was crossing behind him, I lost the car in the wake. I need to have a look again, but was probably too much risk at that time," Vettel added when asked to further elaborate on his incident.
Giovinazzi, meanwhile, managed to score the one point but he felt eighth was possible without the safety car. It was his second points finish of the season as he tries to save his F1 seat for the future. "I am very happy with the performances, both mine and the car’s," he said. "We did a very good race, keeping good pace from start to finish.
"We knew everything was going to be possible on such a day and that we could fight in these circumstances, so I am happy to bring home a point. I had another great start, making up a few places, then we managed the tricky conditions pretty well.
"I think we could and should have finished a bit higher, in P8, but the last Safety Car really hurt us as we lost places to Hulkenberg and Grosjean. In the end, though, finishing in the top ten was the target and we did it. It’s a good confidence boost."
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]