For the second time this season, Sebastian Vettel failed to make it past Q2 for a race. It’s unclear what the problem is, but Vettel simply isn’t anywhere near the pace worthy of a top 10 finish. The German driver reflected on his miserable qualy performance and revealed that he was “out of answers”.
P10 last week, P12 this week. Same car, but the results appear to be going backward for Sebastian Vettel. It’s unlikely for a man with 53 race wins and multiple World Championships to suddenly “forget” how to drive a race car.
Think we’re pretty much stuck: Sebastian Vettel
But Vettel’s lack of pace is mystifying to Ferrari and its fans. The only logical explanation for the German’s struggles could be a lack of confidence with the SF1000. Vettel claimed he gave it everything on his final Q2 run but the timing sheets told a different story.
To make matters worse, the 4 times World Champion couldn’t make it to Q3 on the softest tire compound on offer. His teammate, on medium tires, managed to drag his Ferrari well into the final shootout.
“I tried everything I had so I was reasonably happy with the laps,” said Vettel.
“The car, I think we tried lots of things since last week, but it doesn’t really make a difference”
“I think we’re pretty much stuck.. so, yeah, try to reset and try again tomorrow, that’s all I can do”
“I don’t know, run out of answers” replied Vettel when asked why different strategies with the car weren’t showing any results.
The only positive takeaway from Vettel’s Q2 disaster is the free tire choice for Sunday’s race. Starting P12 on mediums or possibly hards is a much better prospect than starting tenth on softs. But that still doesn’t guarantee a promising points finish for tomorrow’s race.
At the British Grand Prix, Vettel’s race pace was almost non-existent. The German spent the entirety of the Grand Prix stuck behind Esteban Ocon and barely scraped through to finish in the points.
With Pirelli bringing a softer set of tires for this weekend’s race, teams are wary of exploding tires after last week’s tire drama. Many teams are likely to opt for a two-stop strategy to avoid a repeat of the British Grand Prix.