Tensions flared at the Baku Grand Prix when race leader Lewis Hamilton allegedly ‘brake-checked’ 2nd place man Sebastian Vettel. In retaliation, he pulled alongside the Mercedes driver to vent his frustration. After veering into Hamilton, Vettel was handed a 10-second stop-go penalty, and faced a later investigation from the FIA about his behaviour. But he escaped further sanction for his actions. The Baku clash became one of the most infamous incidents this year. Recently, Vettel reflected on the Baku incident. He said that what happened in Baku felt much worse for him than the crash in Singapore. This was despite the fact that the latter was proving more costly in the standings.
Vettel said “I think Baku was worse. I felt I let the team down, because something that I did obviously cost a race win potentially. So I think in Singapore, to be honest, the way I look at it, it’s racing and it happens. Obviously it is extremely unfortunate, but I don’t know how many start crashes there have been in the past and there will be in the future. If you happen to be inside them, it always sucks. There is no better way to describe. Did it come in a good time? No. Is there any ever a good time for this to happen? Probably not. So it doesn’t matter. It happened. We cannot control it. We need to focus on what we have in our hands and try to focus on things we can control.”
Ferrari has been one of the surprise contenders of the season to answer the Mercedes threat. Vettel suggested that progress was not the result of anything changing dramatically at the team last winter. Instead, he believes the difficult time Ferrari faced in 2016, as it fell short of expectations, helped put in place a new approach from Maranello that has only reaped rewards now. Vettel said that not much had changed in Ferrari since lat year.
The German said that 2016 was a tough year, but a very important year for them. He said that a lot of things were shifted internally for the team’s betterment. 2017 gave them a chance with new rules and so on, to come up with a new car, and they took it. But they were not entirely happy, because Vettel and Ferrari want to win altogether. Sebastian still think that there is a lot to do. But he doesn’t mean a change in personnel. Instead, small adjustments with the same people can be made, and it works much better. He thinks that Ferrari have potential, the people are there, talent is there. Basically, it all boils down to trying to work together and make it happen.