WATCH: Sebastian Vettel Makes Embarrassing Pitstop Blunder in FP1 at Portimao

Published 04/30/2021, 8:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


There is not a lot that often happens in the first free practice session of a Grand Prix weekend. But every now and then an intriguing event takes place that makes these rather drab sessions interesting, if only for a brief moment. Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel provided the comedic relief this time around when he stopped at the wrong pit-box.

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The scene unfolded relatively early into the first free practice session. Vettel, at the time, had put in the fifth fastest lap and decided to dive into pits after his first stint on the track. However, having come into the pitlane, Sebastian stopped his AMR21 in the McLaren box.

It took him a second or two to realize what he had done, and then he proceeded to the Aston Martin box in front. Vettel saw the funny side of it as well, coming on the team radio saying, “Ok, sorry for that. Had to happen at some point. I was wondering why there was nobody there.”

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What could have caused the embarrassing gaffe was the presence of an Aston Martin pitcrew worker stationed outside the McLaren box. Nevertheless, the scene did provide for a moment’s worth of laughter, not least for Vettel himself. He’ll be hoping he stays as happy as this by the time the weekend wraps up.

Sebastian Vettel had a FP1 to forget at Portimao

Yet another outing in an F1 car, yet another disappointing result for Vettel. The 4-times world champion ended FP1 as low as P16, and although results over here don’t count for much, if anything it all, it does tell you that it may be quite a task for him to get into the top 10 come raceday.

The AMR21 looks like a shadow of the car it was hyped up to be. Although the new rule changes played a major role in decreasing the car’s performance from last year, the team certainly hasn’t found a way to deal with it as well as Mercedes have.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

While the Silver Arrows believe they were the major target of the rule change, Aston Martin were unlucky to find themselves using a similar set-up on their car.

So there’s not a whole lot they can do structurally to improve their performance. But they’ll need their drivers to extract every ounce of pace from the car, and at the moment, it doesn’t appear that Sebastian is capable of doing that.

The German just seems to be lacking in confidence. He desperately needs a run of good results to help him snap out of this funk. Whether that run begins at Portimao, only time will tell.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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