Vettel: Wrong to start Spa F1 Q3 in heavy rain ahead of red flag

Sebastian Vettel does not understand why Formula 1 race director Michael Masi started Q3 for the Belgian Grand Prix in heavy rain minutes before Lando Norris’s crash at Eau Rouge.

Vettel: Wrong to start Spa F1 Q3 in heavy rain ahead of red flag
Listen to this article

McLaren driver Norris crashed heavily at Eau Rouge after spinning during his first flying lap in Q3, resulting in a red flag and a 40-minute suspension of the session.

Norris walked away from the crash, but has since been taken to hospital for a precautionary x-ray of his left elbow after he was seen holding his left arm.

Vettel had told his Aston Martin team just moments earlier over team radio that the session should be red flagged due to the heavy rain, and was left fuming when he heard that Norris had crashed.

After qualifying, Vettel is known to have bumped into race director Masi in the paddock and discussed the incident.

“I think Michael is not proud of what happened either,” Vettel said in the TV pen after qualifying.

“It’s always easy to play Captain Hindsight. But I think we need to find a way that we listen more to the information that we have.

“Inside the garage, it’s very limited, because it’s like looking out of the window. But three kilometres that way, I have no clue what is going on.

“When I went down to Eau Rouge and came up the hill, it was a lot of water and I was calling for a red flag. I think the truth is, the session should not have started at all.

“There’s plenty of things we could have done better. I think it’s better to be safe one time too many than one time too little. It’s good that nothing happened, that’s the main news, but it could have been a different outcome for Lando, and I’m not sure there’s anything he could have done.”

The crash marked the second major incident of the weekend at Eau Rouge after a six-car collision in W Series on Friday, reopening the debate about the safety standards at the corner.

Changes are planned for the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex ahead of the 2022 race as part of Spa’s redevelopment programme.

But Vettel felt it was important for more information to be accounted for when making decisions, saying it was wetter in Q3 than at the start of qualifying when Q1 was delayed by 10 minutes.

“The trouble is, of course we are in control, and you can always say well if you feel unsafe, box,” Vettel said.

“But it’s sort of a weird situation because everybody is in the same position, and you don’t want to get kicked out, you want to progress. So that decision shouldn’t be really and entirely up to us.

“We delayed the session in the beginning when there was less water, so I don’t entirely understand why we did not just not start the session.

“As I said, it’s always easy afterwards, but the main thing is it doesn’t happen again.”

Following the red flag, Vettel qualified fifth for Aston Martin, but revealed he made an error on his quickest lap that could have put him further up the grid.

“I went wide in Turn 8 and actually off the track, so I think Daniel [Ricciardo] was no problem to get him, and we should have been maybe a little bit higher up,” Vettel said.

“So I’m very happy for George [Russell], but I think that’s maybe where we could have been as well, a little more in the mix.

“But I think it’s a great result for us, and I’m happy to start the race in a decent position.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
F1 qualifying results: Verstappen takes Spa pole, Russell stars
Previous article

F1 qualifying results: Verstappen takes Spa pole, Russell stars

Next article

Norris taken to hospital for checks after Belgian GP F1 qualifying crash

Norris taken to hospital for checks after Belgian GP F1 qualifying crash
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022