‘Hindsight easy in Monday engineering’

a close up of a toy car: Sebastian Vettel

© Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel sees no reason to pull apart Ferrari’s Spanish strategy debate, saying it’s easy to say what should have been done in “Monday engineering”.

Running as high as fifth during Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix as those ahead of him pitted for a second time, Vettel and the Ferrari pit wall engaged in a rather tense discussion about strategy.

Although the German had switched to a set of soft tyres on lap 28, on lap 50 he was asked whether he felt he could run to the end of the race on those tyres.

He wasn’t charmed, telling his engineer that he had asked him the exact same question a few laps prior and had then gone on to push hard on that set of tyres wearing them down.

In the end Vettel declared that he had “nothing to lose” and would give it a go.

“OK here is the task for you.”

Looks like Seb has done a lot of homeschooling with his kids 😂https://t.co/VWSgZBkN6I pic.twitter.com/4zkrIRw9Ft

— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) August 16, 2020

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He finished seventh, earning himself a ‘Driver of the Day’ award as voted by the Formula 1 fans.

Sunday’s tense discussion was just the latest indication that all is not well between the four-time World Champion and his Ferrari team.

Leaving the Scuderia at the end of this season, Vettel and Ferrari are finding their path through what is a difficult situation with the driver knowing he is unwanted as Lewis Hamilton put it.

Vettel, though, feels there is no reason for himself or Ferrari to pull apart Sunday’s interaction.

“No, I don’t think so,” Vettel told Autosport.

“I think we are obviously talking about it, and we had a brief chat. I think there are things we can always do better.

“If you play Monday engineering, it’s very easy to know a lot of things that you could have done or should have done.

“But I think the important thing is that we agreed to take that risk, and obviously it did pay off.

“From where we were, I don’t think we had much to lose.

“It’s normal that you communicate.

“I think it’s very weird for you to judge because [with] whoever is selecting which radio transmissions to broadcast and which not, it’s very difficult for you to know what is being said and get the full picture.

“It was nothing outstanding. Obviously it’s a lot about managing tyres here, and in the end we did the decision and we stuck to it, so it’s fine.”

As for Ferrari’s side, team boss Mattia Binotto is adamant there was nothing wrong with Sunday’s debate.

The Italian has denied there was any “misunderstanding”, just “questioning”.

“Something on which we decide together with [the drivers is] we should be as open as we can, and sometimes questioning doesn’t mean that it is a misunderstanding,” Binotto said.

“The more that we question ourselves by communicating, it is important to finally get the right choice.

“If you look at the last few races, we certainly made the right choice, sometimes luckily as Seb said.

“This week, we came to the choice because we are communicating. It is our decision, so to be open on the radio, in the midfield, sometimes is difficult.

“But at least by questioning, we are able to make the proper decision.”

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