Verstappen defends Vettel over German GP error

Max Verstappen has defended Formula 1 title contender Sebastian Vettel over his crash while leading the German Grand Prix.

Verstappen defends Vettel over German GP error
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, walks away from his car after crashing out from the lead
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, walks away from his car after crashing out from the lead
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari on the grid with Riccardo Adami, Ferrari Race Engineer
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, crashes out of the race
Marshals remove the car of Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14
Listen to this article

Vettel was nine seconds clear at Hockenheim with 15 laps to go when he was caught out by the late-race rain and went off at the Sachskurve in the stadium section.

That incident opened the door for Vettel's title rival Lewis Hamilton to take victory from 14th on the grid and move back into the world championship lead by 17 points.

Verstappen insisted that in the conditions Vettel going off "all of a sudden" was absolutely understandable and could have happened to anyone.

"It was super tricky out there. Especially in that corner," said Verstappen, who finished fourth.

"Even if you experience the slightest lock up there, you immediately go off. These were very difficult circumstances. So things like this can happen."

Asked to comment on the fact that it was not Vettel's first error of the 2018 F1 season, Verstappen replied: "Well, mistake... these were difficult circumstances.

"It could have happened to someone else just as easily."

Rain had been predicted throughout the race, and when it did arrive late on it never became hard enough for intermediates or wets to be the best tyre but was still extremely tough for those on slicks.

"You just try to find good grip everywhere, but you don't want to take too many risks because you already have some good points in the bag," said Verstappen.

"You don't want to risk losing those by going off.

"Dealing with that risk is very difficult. If you lock up for just a moment, you fly off the track."

Verstappen was among those to pit for intermediates and then had to change back to slicks just two laps later, but his margin over those behind him was such that the two extra stops did not cost him fourth.

"It just didn't go our way," he said. "Normally I pray for rain, but this time it didn't help me. Fourth was the best possible.

"It really started to rain heavily. The rain spread towards Turns 8 and 10, so I thought: if it continues like this, then it's also going to come to the third sector.

"Unfortunately that wasn't the case. So then I had to pit again. I took a gamble and it didn't work out."

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi

shares
comments
Gasly "didn't expect" Toro Rosso's wet tyre call
Previous article

Gasly "didn't expect" Toro Rosso's wet tyre call

Next article

Financial squeeze hurting development, says Force India

Financial squeeze hurting development, says Force India
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Prime

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career draws to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022