Ferrari suffered a few bad qualifying sessions this season. But today was a day of utter disappointment for them. This time around, Sebastian Vettel crashed into the side barriers when racing in the Q2 session.
Attempting to avoid elimination in that phase, the German driver set out on a lap with an intent to go above the P11 mark. Instead, Vettel lost control of the car just after Turn 2.
And then, eventually, the car spun wildly before slamming on the sidelines and losing the front wing.
Sebastian Vettel massively disappointed with the crash
Team radio post qualifiche (crash) di Sebastian #Vettel. #RussianGP #F1 #Ferrari #TeamRadio #Qualifying pic.twitter.com/8vzmSPxd9j
— Alex Brunetti (@deadlinex) September 26, 2020
Vettel’s tone was very clear as he made his way out of the car. Speaking over the team radio, he said, “Yeah I’m okay. Lost the car in (Turn) 2 and then (Turn) 4.”
He was on the verge of elimination, even in Q1, but a good final lap saw him out-qualify Romain Grosjean of Haas by just about 0.4 seconds. Interestingly, Ferrari should have seen the trouble coming when Williams’ George Russell outpaced both the Ferrari drivers.
Vettel struggling with the car in qualifying
It seemed like Vettel was quite comfortable with the SF1000 in the free practice sessions. So much so that by the end of FP3, the German driver had achieved a P7 with decent lap time as well.
But with tricky corners in and around the Sector 1, Vettel admitted that he was not particularly in full control of the car, before starting that lap which led to the crash.
Charles Leclerc did not fare any better than his teammate. Hamilton’s strong final lap and a good showing by the Renault and McLaren cars meant that he was knocked out. He will now start in P11, hoping that the cars ahead make mistakes that can take him up the grid.
Vettel’s record has been quite positive at Sochi. He finished four of the last six races in the podium places. The only other times he did not finish were due to technical failures forcing to retire the car.
But even if the car is repaired in time tomorrow, it is set to be a frustrating race for Vettel, who begins his pursuit for a mere points finish at P14.