Monday, 17 December, 2018

Ferrari's 2018 decline summed up by shocking weekend in Suzuka

Formula One World Championship Vettel defends Ferrari as tyre gamble falls flat
Rita Gibson | 08 October, 2018, 11:12

Vettel - who started eighth on the grid after a poor qualifying session at Suzuka yesterday - could only finish sixth while championship rival Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory.

The Ferrari downfall coincides with the appointment of Sebastian Vettel in 2015 after the German won four straight Championships with Red Bull from 2010-13 in a supremely fast vehicle under the guidance of race engineer Adrian Newey.

Valtteri Bottas of Finland was 13 seconds behind Hamilton, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen completed the podium despite collecting a 5-second penalty.

If Hamilton wins the next race at Austin's Circuit of The Americas, he will be world champion unless Vettel finishes second. The gap was there but as soon as he saw me obviously he defended.

He was then fourth after Verstappen ran off the road at the chicane, and in rejoining the track, bumped Raikkonen on to the grass.

"Austin is usually a good track for us, so I can't wait to unleash this beast there".

Vettel fought back to sixth, but for Hamilton, there were no such concerns as he marched towards his ninth win of the year, and crossed the line 12.9 seconds clear of Bottas. His first was at Canada in 2007, one year after Michael Schumacher secured the last of his 68 poles Paper boy: Vettel's helmet design incorporates origami "Ah, see you went for the furry heart with photo pocket option, too".

When asked whether Vettel deserved a penalty for the move, Verstappen compared it to his ill-fated move on the German in the closing stages of April's Chinese GP - which spun both cars around and yielded a 10-second penalty for the Red Bull driver.

NLDS Game 1 Highlights: Rockies vs. Brewers | Stadium
Carlos Gonzalez knows it and even mentioned it in his postgame comments after Friday's Game 2 shutout loss in Milwaukee. The National League Central champion Milwaukee Brewers will begin postseason play on October 4.

"I know the situation looks impossible but our job is to challenge the impossible, this is what we are going to do in the next four races", he said. The incident was investigated by the stewards but they took no further action.

Vettel challenged Verstappen for third down the inside of the Spoon left-hander after an early-race safety vehicle restart, but it ended in a collision and sent the Ferrari driver spinning.

"I was pushing to get past, but I wasn't desperate to get past", he said.

"I'm not blaming anybody", insisted Vettel, who slumped to eighth, leaving his fading Formula One title hopes hanging by a thread.

Vettel's move smelt of desperation, and it marked his seventh mistake of an increasingly-erratic campaign which has unravelled since the summer break.

"I think it's correct that maybe we've been on the wrong side a couple of times but I don't think there was an bad big gap or an terrible lot to get wrong".

"I'm not the one who makes the rules but I think it's a similar scenario to what I had in China with him", said Verstappen.

"He knew that I was there and he just drove into me and pushed me off the track".

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