“I’m satisfied,” says Sebastian Vettel after the Formula 1 race at Silverstone.
Because after the poor qualifying and P18 on the starting grid, he crossed the finish line in P9 and took two championship points with him. Considering the circumstances, still a good haul for Aston Martin. And one that the team urgently needed, as Vettel explains on “Sky”.
The four-time Formula 1 World Champion admits that the Q1 failure of both vehicles at the home race in Silverstone weighed heavily on the mood at Aston Martin. He himself was then “quite on the ground”.
The result in the race was therefore “of course positive,” says Vettel. “We’re very pleased that we turned it around and took something countable with us. It helps us because we need points. We need the results so that the mood stays good.”
At least in the Grand Prix, Aston Martin has shown “good pace”, says Vettel. His AMR22 was also “very consistent”. And the team “dared” something about the strategy, with an early first tire change for Vettel on lap six.
According to the German, it was worth it. “We then had very, very consistent lap times, actually no off at all. And I think the safety car at the end maybe took seventh place away from us. I think we could have managed it to the end.”
Vettel lands behind Schumacher
Because the safety car was used due to Esteban Ocon’s broken Alpine, Vettel also made another pit stop. Just like it was “of course the plan,” he emphasizes. “But because the tires held up so well and because we paced it so well, I think we would have it [auch ohne weiteren Stopp] made.”
In retrospect, however, he did not quarrel with his performance. “It’s great that we took points,” says Vettel. “I’m also particularly happy for Mick [Schumacher]that he scored his first points today.”
In the end, Vettel crossed the finish line 3.3 seconds behind Schumacher and fought a direct duel with his German compatriot. Did that bring back memories of Miami? In the USA race, Vettel and Schumacher collided in a duel for points and fell out of the top 10.
But there was no danger at Silverstone, says Vettel. “I know that he was faster at the time. I had Max [Verstappen] more or less waved through, or didn’t put up much resistance because I found it incredibly difficult on the medium, compared to the cars on the soft tires.”
“I knew there was no point in holding back like a bull. I thought maybe it would be my turn, but the group was too fast for me,” says Vettel.
“Good to hear Zhou is okay too”
Incidentally, the ex-champion almost didn’t get past the first corner: Vettel was involved in the consequences of the serious accident at the start involving Guanyu Zhou on the home straight.
How Vettel experienced the scene? He describes: “I had a really good start and then wanted to drive next to it. I was just pulling over when Alex braked [Albon]. By the time I braked, the contact could no longer be avoided.” Albon first crashed into the wall, shortly afterwards he collided with other vehicles.
“I’m really sorry because his race was over,” says Vettel. “All in all, it’s very nice to hear that nothing happened to him. I just watched the replay. It’s good to hear that Zhou is okay after the big accident.”