“He caught me by surprise”: Sebastian Vettel accuses his $50 Million worth teammate of brake testing at Paul Ricard
|Mon Jul 25 2022
Sebastian Vettel implied that he was brake-tested by Stroll leaving the penultimate corner on the final lap, which his teammate then refuted.
Aston Martin celebrated 100 years of racing in Formula One at the French Grand Prix this weekend. They are the only constructors in existence right now to have achieved this milestone.
And are probably one of the foremost teams on the grid to allow such intense racing between teammates up to the chequered flag.
Aston Martin left Sunday’s French Grand Prix having seen Lance Stroll earn a point for the team. This also included a close battle with teammate Sebastian Vettel right to the finish line; for the final top-10 position at Le Castellet.
It was a promising sign, for this historic team, for the rest of the season. After losing the use of the DRS, Stroll defended from Vettel through the chicane on the back straight, then again into Signes, Beausset, and the left-hander that follows.
It allowed Vettel to approach the penultimate corner quite closely and force Stroll to defend the final corner as well. Until, Stroll slowed down suddenly during the last turn, causing Vettel to brake dramatically to avoid colliding with the sister car.
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“I think I was faster,” says Sebastian Vettel
The German raised his left hand in a clear sign of frustration as he accelerated out of the corner and crossed the line. After the race, Vettel admitted that he was caught off guard.
“I closed the gap the lap before,” he said. “I think I was faster, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the same point for the team. He was obviously hitting the brakes again before accelerating, so it caught me by surprise, then I lost the momentum,” he continued.
“In the end, like I said, it’s the same point for the team.” Vettel believes he might have been able to finish higher up if he’d been able to avoid traffic. “It’s free air that I needed today, but I didn’t have,” he said.
“It’s not like we had the pace to win. But I think we could have been faster and could have been probably having a better race. For the [pit] stop, I was the last one to stop. So it’s something to look into.”
Stroll, who told his team that he was “out of breath” just after the flag denied that he had braked in an unusual way, suggesting that he had an oversteer moment.
“I had a snap, like on the exit, so wheelspin,” he said. “I think everyone is racing out there. And he wants to score the point the same way I do every weekend. So yeah, I didn’t do anything reckless. I just defend as if anyone was behind me.”
“I felt I had some momentum in the closing stages to possibly catch Ricciardo. But then I lost it and got pressure from Seb. So yeah, it was it was a good battle. But in the end, happy to pick up a point.”
“We are continuing our trend of being more competitive on a Sunday so today is a good platform as the summer break approaches.”
A race to the line! 🏁
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) July 24, 2022