Heavyweight Formula 1 pundits David Coulthard and Jo Ramirez have totally disagreed on whether Sebastian Vettel’s post-race outburst about Pirelli was merited after his Belgian Grand Prix tyre failure.
Coulthard, the 13-time Grand Prix winner, wrote in his BBC Sport column that Vettel “was not wrong” to complain about the potential danger of his situation.
However, longtime McLaren team co-ordinator Ramirez (now retired) told Motorsport.com that he thinks Vettel should apologise to Pirelli for his post-race rant, and that it was all Ferrari’s fault for gambling on a one-stop strategy.
Coulthard: Vettel was right
In his BBC column, Coulthard stated that Vettel’s complaint “was the result of an underlying dissatisfaction among the drivers and teams with the product Pirelli has produced for Formula 1”.
He wrote: “Vettel was not wrong to say what he did. A driver of his stature and experience should say what he feels, and we should applaud anyone in the public eye taking a position based on passion and emotion as long as there are hard facts to back it up.
“Vettel's remarks… represent a boiling-over of the drivers' general unhappiness in the relationship between the drivers and Pirelli.
“It was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as Vettel was concerned.”
Ramirez: Vettel was wrong
Speaking in an interview with Motorsport.com, former McLaren veteran team member Ramirez took the opposing view, believing that Vettel should not have blamed Pirelli in such stark terms.
"I do not like the way that Sebastian Vettel spoke in his post-race statement,” said Ramirez. “Because a racecar is made to the limit, the limit of performance to be as fast as possible, and you're in a car to the limit with the tyres.
"The words of Vettel about Pirelli were very harsh, but then Pirelli’s spokesman said he did not blame him – said he could say what he wanted – but if I was the chief [of Pirelli] I’d say to Mr. Vettel that he’d have to offer an apology for his words after the race.
"If a tyre burst, you must see that they [Ferrari] were the ones who tried to finish the race with a single tyre change. To me, the tyre was over its life and they wanted to lengthen it.
"If they do it with one-stop, they are geniuses, but they took a risk that did not work.
“They should accept it as men and not moan later.”