Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Does penalty anger hide another Vettel blunder?

With almost all of the post-Canadian Grand Prix focus being on the decision to hand Sebastian Vettel a dubious five-second time penalty, has the call from the stewards disguised another error from the Ferrari driver?

Does penalty anger hide another Vettel blunder?

Having taken his first pole position since the 2018 German Grand Prix – a race that was memorable to Vettel for all the wrong reasons – the Canadian Grand Prix was an opportunity to ignite some hope of resurgence into the Ferrari fans, but the race-defining incident on lap 48 has threatened to douse the dreams of a championship fightback.

Vettel’s turn three incident was rightly the point of discussion but, few people have mentioned the fact that the incident itself exists in the first place, and the focus has been solely on the outcome.

If you put the penalty verdict to one side, Vettel did manage to hold off Hamilton for the entire race but, with the Mercedes man not needing to pass his rival in the final 15-or-so laps, we’ll never truly know if Vettel could’ve held on to take the win.

The mistake alone might not have been enough to let Hamilton past but, crucially, Vettel’s turn three error was another chink in his armour that allowed for something to go wrong. If the blunder didn’t exist in the first place, then no harm can come from it.

Listen to the Autosport Podcast: Scott Mitchell and Edd Straw review the Canadian Grand Prix.

In the last twelve months, these errors have become slightly too common. For those interested in watching a championship battle go down to the wire, Vettel’s mistakes have had a two-fold effect. Along with harming his own points accumulation, his mistakes have often directly benefited Hamilton, who has gained a position on track as a result.

There have been two such incidents this season, in Bahrain and Canada, which have – directly or indirectly – cost Vettel victory.

If we assume that both incidents were the difference in Vettel taking first or second in both races, then these count for a 28-point swing when comparing his and Hamilton’s points totals. If Vettel had won both races, he’d have 14 more points, and Hamilton would have 14 fewer points for finishing second both times.

The 62-point gap would be down to 34 and, with a host of tracks coming up that on paper suit the Ferrari SF90, the championship lead would have looked much more surmountable.

The majority of Formula One fans around the world seem to be of the opinion that the penalty decision was incorrect, but is 100% of the frustration placed with the stewards, or can we apportion at least some of that annoyance to the harsh reality that, once again, an error from Vettel has resulted in another event going the way of Mercedes?

What do you think? Was the Canadian Grand Prix a must-win for Ferrari? Leave your thoughts in the section below.

shares
comments
Failed set-up gamble led to Magnussen's radio rant

Previous article

Failed set-up gamble led to Magnussen's radio rant

Next article

Mercedes had doubts Hamilton would start, finish Canadian GP

Mercedes had doubts Hamilton would start, finish Canadian GP
Load comments
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021