Vettel admits to mistake after costly spin

By Sports Desk March 31, 2019

Sebastian Vettel accepted responsibility for a costly spin which ended his hopes of a podium finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Ferrari driver, who had earlier led the race, was running second as he battled Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton on lap 38, but spun after being overtaken by the world champion and lost his front wing moments later.

He dropped down to ninth and eventually scrambled back to finish in fifth place behind race winner Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, team-mate Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.

The spin followed similar incidents for the four-time champion in Italy, Japan and the United States last season, and he conceded it was an error on his part.

"It was difficult," Vettel told Sky Sports. "We all struggled at various points in the race, but l really struggled at the beginning of the race. 

"Then on the medium tyre it was maybe a bit better but overall there was not the pace l wanted to have. Not sure why. And on top, I had the mistake with the spin. So not a good evening."

He added of the incident: "The wind probably didn't help. It was turning into a tailwind on that corner the whole race, but maybe the fact that Hamilton was just ahead sheltered some [wind], I don't know.

"I lost the car very suddenly once I spun and it was too late. Unfortunately, we had so much damage with the tyres that it caused the front wing to fail, so not great."

Ferrari had the fastest car throughout the week, but were denied victory when a late engine issue for Leclerc saw the pole-sitter fall from first to third just as a maiden Formula One win was within the youngster's grasp.

"It was his race to take so I'm unhappy for him and for the team," said Vettel.

"It was a disappointing day overall – starting at the front and not finishing [there] is not what we wanted."

Related items

  • MotoGP Raceweek: A rookie mistake from a five-time champ! - Vinales slams Lorenzo MotoGP Raceweek: A rookie mistake from a five-time champ! - Vinales slams Lorenzo

    Maverick Vinales fumed at Jorge Lorenzo's "rookie mistake" that saw four riders crash out of the Catalunya Grand Prix on Sunday.

    Vinales, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi were tussling with MotoGP leader Marc Marquez at the front of the field in Barcelona when Lorenzo sought to join them with a move down the inside on the second lap.

    The Repsol Honda star clipped Dovizioso and forced Vinales and Rossi off the track too, ending their races and sending team-mate Marquez through for a comfortable victory.

    Vinales was particularly surprised the error came from Lorenzo, who has three MotoGP titles and two Moto2 championships to his name.

    "I saw him on the inside - I tried to avoid the crash but I think one bike touched my rear tyre and I just flew," he said. "I tried to avoid the crash, but it was impossible.

    "Honestly, this corner is always difficult, but come on … overtake me on the straights, we are slow.

    "He only needed to wait for four corners to overtake me. Also, on the warm-up lap, he overtook inside without a reason, I didn't understand. Also, in Mugello, he had some problems with [Jack] Miller on the warm-up lap.

    "If you ask me, it looks like a rookie mistake and he is a five-time world champion. Sometimes we have to think on the bike.

    "Even if he is a great rider and he has a lot of talent, come on ... you can't win the race in two laps."

    Vinales suggested the incident was particularly damaging for Dovizioso, who lost 25 points on Marquez - falling 37 behind the defending champion - due to his failure to finish.

    "If he [only] took out myself or Valentino, we are not fighting for the championship," Vinales said. "It is a racing incident, not so bad.

    "But he also took out Andrea, who is fighting for the championship. He destroyed my race, Valentino's race and Dovizioso's championship a little bit, because it is pretty hard to recover 25 points."

  • Le Mans glory for Toyota as Alonso joins Buemi and Nakajima in scoring repeat triumph Le Mans glory for Toyota as Alonso joins Buemi and Nakajima in scoring repeat triumph

    Fernando Alonso helped Toyota triumph for a second straight year at the Le Mans 24 Hours as the Formula One great chalked up another major success.

    This was arguably not the priority for Alonso in 2019, but with the 37-year-old Spaniard's Indy 500 hopes left in tatters last month when his McLaren car failed to qualify, his pursuit of a rare motorsport Triple Crown had to go on the backburner.

    At Le Mans he teamed up with Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima and Swiss Sebastien Buemi, reuniting the line-up that won the French race last year, and they repeated the feat. 

    Victory also secured the World Endurance Championship season drivers' title for the trio.

    Their Toyota Gazoo Racing number eight car looked set to be pipped by the same marque's number seven drivers - only for Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez to see their first-place hopes cruelly punctured in the closing stages.

    As tyre pressure decreased, Lopez was forced to drive to the pits for a replacement, and the brief stop meant the lead changed hands decisively.

    Toyota's win makes them the first Japanese manufacturer to triumph twice in the elite GTE class at Le Mans.

  • MotoGP Raceweek: Triumphant Marquez defends apologetic Lorenzo MotoGP Raceweek: Triumphant Marquez defends apologetic Lorenzo

    Marc Marquez offered a defence of Jorge Lorenzo after his Repsol Honda team-mate's crash left the door open for his triumph in Barcelona.

    Five-time champion Marquez, who is top of the standings again in 2019, was handed a surprisingly straightforward victory at the Catalunya Grand Prix as his title rivals crashed out.

    Lorenzo clipped Andrea Dovizioso on the second lap and took Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi out of the race with him.

    Marquez acknowledged that the incident would have a big impact on the championship, as the Spaniard triumphed to move 37 points clear of Dovizioso.

    Lorenzo said: "In this type of race, a little mistake can create a big crash with a lot of riders affected.

    "I feel really sorry for Maverick, Andrea and Valentino as they are fighting for the championship.

    "My crash doesn't mean so much - I could crash because I'm not fighting for the championship. But for them, it's a big disaster and I feel sorry for them."

    However, Marquez suggested the collision was "just unlucky", claiming Lorenzo's mistake was not entirely clear-cut.

    "I didn't know [about the crash] until I finished the race," Marquez told BT Sport. "I just saw on the board 'Dovi out', because I said to my team I just wanted to know if something happened with Dovi.

    "I didn't care about the others, I just wanted to work for the championship. I overtook Dovi and then on the next lap, I saw the marks there.

    "Now I have seen the images. It's difficult to say - of course, if you see the images, you can say 'what is Jorge doing?' But it is easy to have these kind of mistakes.

    "He was not out of the line, he was in the line, it was just unlucky for the others that they were wide. This can happen in the race."

    There had appeared to be tension between the two Honda riders earlier in the week, with an on-track altercation in FP3.

    Marquez took issue with Lorenzo's track position as he attempted to record a fast lap, calling for his team-mate to be penalised.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.