Calling races “boring” is “short-sighted” – Vettel
Sebastian Vettel believes it is “short-sighted” for people to criticise races like the Canadian Grand Prix, even if they appear to be “boring”.
Following Sunday’s race, where the German drove from lights out to the chequered flag with no overtaking many drivers slammed the race, where the top three finished as they started. The only real overtake in the top three teams was Daniel Ricciardo on Kimi Raikkonen on track at the start.
Asked by Motorsport.com, to explain why the race was not exciting, Vettel claimed “there’s no reason, don’t even look for an answer” and urged the media to “write about something else”.
“I don’t think it’s justified to criticise the racing, or criticise this race. I don’t know if it was boring. From my point of view, it’s still busy inside the car no matter where you are.
“I don’t like…I don’t know why people today are so short-sighted. We had seven races this year, some were phenomenal, some were boring.” He pointed out that in all sports there are events which will not be exciting and some incredible events.
He says that drivers have two jobs to race, but also try and avoid racing when leading.
Lewis Hamilton said he didn’t want to “talk crap” about F1, but he added it was a shame if fans felt the race was uneventful.
He said “I’ve not watched these races so I don’t know what you guys feel. I heard today there were not many overtakes, and a couple of my friends said the most exciting part of the race was the crash at the: beginning.”
“If that’s what F1 is about then that’s sad to hear, because there is so much more to it.”
Brawn plays down fears of boring races
F1 motorsport managing director and technical director Ross Brawn has played down the concerns that the current regulations are delivering boring races.
The last two races in Monaco and Montreal were condemned by drivers and the media after they were more of a procession rather than races. In response Liberty and the FIA have proposed changes to the technical regulations, to allow cars to follow a lot closer. Brawn told ESPN, “The championship battle is really exciting this year, but it’s true that in Montreal, as in Monaco, qualifying was probably more exciting than the race.”
“That’s predictable in the streets of the Principality, but it’s not what you expect at the Notre-Dame Island circuit, which has usually provided some very exciting racing with the winner in doubt until the end.”
Brawn says that he agrees with Sebastian Vettel, who said “We had seven races this year, I think some were phenomenal, some were boring. Next week the World Cup is starting and I promise you that a lot of the games will not be exciting, but still people will watch it, but some games will be incredible.”
He also believes that the gap between the top six cars was too big in Montreal, saying that underlines the importance of the new regulations to close the gap.
Brawn says F1 that the only way the sport can be more exciting was to lower the gap in performance. He says that doesn’t mean lowering standards, saying it means talent and ingenuity should be the major factor.
Mercedes believe there is no clear pattern
Mercedes believes the inability of the team to win the Canadian Grand Prix shows there is no longer a clear pattern amongst the top three teams.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have won the previous three races in Montreal, and last weekend the four times champion was looking to take his seventh win and his fourth back to back win.
However, Hamilton struggled for pace in the race finishing fifth, while his teammate Valtteri Bottas finished a distant second. Mercedes CEO and team principal Toto Wolff told Autosport “We came to Montreal expecting our car to be really strong and we are leaving seeing we haven’t been where we thought we should be.”
“That’s why there is not the usual pattern, the historic pattern of cars being strong on certain circuits and then weak on others. I still think we are not pretty good in Monaco or Singapore, that may be the odd outlier, but you need to expect people to be strong everywhere.”
Wolff says the loss of that kind of trend was “the new reality” of the tight fight with Ferrari and Red Bull. He believes that the title will be decided by whoever makes the least mistakes and the right upgrades.
He also pointed out that Mercedes should have won in Australia, where it was more competitive than it was in 2017, and dominated in Spain after being bested by Ferrari last season.
He said these were more examples of the lack of a pattern, adding that it “makes the championship exciting because you don’t know what to expect”.
He added “You have to come to the weekend, all your preparation work has to be spot on. There’s no time to be lost in terms of preparation on the Friday because it’s going to come and bite you.”
Mercedes failed to bring its second-specification of 2018 engine to Canada after a last-minute reliability scare on the dyno.
Wolff said he was the “opposite of confident” that everything is sorted and Mercedes would immediately resume its previous form, reiterating that it was “a major wake-up call for every single member of the team”.
Raikkonen no longer a rear gunner
Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle, believes that Ferrari can no longer trust Kimi Raikkonen to be an effective teammate to Sebastian Vettel.
Raikkonen made a mistake in the closing moments of qualifying in Montreal, and finished one place lower than where he quaiflied. While Vettel won the race from pole.
The Finn is out of contract at the end of the season, with the former F1 driver believing the Italian team needs to decide if they want to fight for the constructors. Brundle wrote “”Ferrari have to be concerned about Kimi. l know he’s one of the most popular drivers around, but after another mistake in qualifying he finished nearly 30 seconds behind his team-mate on Sunday.”
“What are they going to do? In my view Kimi has reached the end of the road. He still shows a flash of real speed from time to time but he can’t relentlessly deliver the required race pace any more.” He says that they need a better rear gunner to Vettel to fight both Mercedes and Red Bull in the constructors.
Brundle praised Charles Leclerc, he has already scored points for Sauber three times this season. Leclerc is the real deal he believes and is out performing his car.
He says “clearly has the head for F1, and he just looks like the complete package, even if his picture in the F1 grid graphics make him look like a startled Harry Potter.”
“Ferrari don’t often take risks on young drivers but there’s a changing of the guard going on between generations – the field can be divided into three groups with the likes of Fernando and Kimi at one end.”
Williams not writing off the season
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has ruled out all prospects of her team writing off the season and making an early start on next years car.
The British team have endured an awful start to the season and are currently bottom of the constructors’ championship, as well as having both cars knocked out in Q1 at five of the first seven races. Williams told Sky Sports “We have to fix this car.”
She added, “We don’t give up, we can’t give up during a season as we’re an independent team. If we gave up our sponsors would probably give up and we can’t afford to do that.”
“It is hard work, we have also got to look at next year’s car but this is going to be the bedrock of next year’s car. We have got to get this car right if we are going to make steps forward next season.”
Williams has suffered on track, with the defacto team boss being encouraged by her teams resolve, to try and solve the issues the car has had since birth. Saying “We are putting them through the mill but everyone is working really hard and we have to get ourselves out of this.”
She added that they have let the fans down and she is dreading Silverstone as they deserve better.