At the Monaco Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel finished tenth thanks to the penalty for Esteban Ocon at least one championship point. However, he was not completely satisfied with the performance of Aston Martin last weekend.
Vettel started the race in ninth place and was one of the first riders to switch from extreme wets to intermediates on lap 6. He then rejoined the track in 16th behind Pierre Gasly (who had already changed).
In that phase, the four-time world champion, fifth in Monaco in 2021, was on the move: because Gasly was held up in traffic, he was able to reduce the gap from 7.9 seconds on lap 8 to 2.3 seconds on lap 12.
It took Vettel until lap 17 to finally get past Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo. A phase in which he lost crucial ground, because after overtaking the Chinese he was 14.2 seconds behind Gasly.
So was the early tire change a mistake because he wasn’t able to show his real pace in traffic afterwards? Vettel dismisses it: “We had to try.” Even if he admits that “in hindsight it might have been better” to stay longer on rain tires like Carlos Sainz and then switch directly to slicks.
But: “The rain tire was so slow that it was the wrong tire. It’s far too hard for this circuit, but also too hard for circuits like Imola. It’s just a bad tire,” said Vettel, criticizing Pirelli.
He even describes the blue rain tire as “useless. It looks nice, but as soon as you can, switch to the Intermediate because it’s a softer compound and therefore a better tire. The rain tires just don’t fit here.”
“I remember days when you could drive in such conditions. Monza 2008, for example, or China 2009. That was a long time ago. But not with these tires,” says Vettel.
He finished one second behind Valtteri Bottas in eleventh position. Ocon’s penalty gave him a point. “For me,” Vettel analyses, “it was actually a clean race without any incidents. And we got a point, which is not bad because it’s always difficult to work your way up in Monaco.”
“Considering how the race has developed, I don’t think it could have been better. Especially the first laps with the wet tires were really difficult. So we switched to the intermediate as early as possible,” explains the 34-year-old.
As in 2021, Vettel had one of his better weekends in Monaco compared to teammate Lance Stroll. The Canadian in the second Aston Martin finished 14th in the Grand Prix.
Vettel posted positively: “We learned more about our car and how we can optimize our set-up with the new parts that we introduced in Barcelona. All these steps put us on the right track for the next races.”
Vettel did not see his friend Mick Schumacher’s serious accident with his own eyes. When he passed the scene of the accident at the swimming pool, he had already been informed that Schumacher was okay.
“The most important thing is that he’s fine,” says Vettel, defending the Haas pilot to the journalists: “I have no doubt that he can do more than he’s showing. But I think you have to give him a try leave it alone for a bit.”
Where does the future of Liverpool superstar Sadio Mané lie? Apparently not with Jürgen Klopp’s team, because according to media reports, the Senegalese said goodbye to the team and the fans after the Champions League final.
The original of this article “Vettel makes an announcement to journalists about Mick: “You have to leave him alone”” comes from Motorsport-Total.com.