Vettel in rare outburst


Mat Coch writes:

It was an unusually frustrated and angry Sebastian Vettel who fronted the press on Thursday in the wake of the German Grand Prix.

The German was handed a twenty second penalty after the race when stewards deemed the Red Bull driver gained an advantage by leaving the track. At the time he escaped the throngs of journalists eager to question him on the penalty because the hearing came after the world champion had completed his obligatory media duties.

However, in Hungary there was no escape, the reigning world champion was interrogated on his penultimate lap move on Jenson Button, not to mention his comments on Lewis Hamilton un-lapping himself.

"I think I said everything on Sunday," Vettel opened defensively. "The only thing I wanted to do was to avoid an accident. Surely if there would have been gravel then I would not have gone in the gravel. I did what I did and nothing has changed."

Button did not share the view, claiming he'd left Vettel space while commenting that his rival had also got on the throttle particularly early - information which was available to stewards at the post race hearing.

"For me it was fine, that's why I did it," Vettel argued, though he was ultimately forced to concede. "In the end it wasn't fine, so that's why we got the penalty I guess."

The 24-year-old also came in for heavy criticism following his comments in the press conference after the German race when he said: "It's a bit stupid to disturb the leaders." Today in Hungary, he won no admirers when he launched an attack on the media claiming he'd been misquoted.

"If I say after the race that I thought it was unnecessary then it gets quoted that I said it was stupid it's quite disappointing," he said. "I have a mouth, I say a couple words, you have ears but it seems that somehow in that process it seems mistakes do happen."

Clearly on the back foot the German continued to argue his side of the debate, saying Hamilton's move was unnecessary and ultimately hindered his race. He did not, however, repeat his assertion that it was "stupid."

The relentless questioning also saw Vettel quizzed on his defence of Michael Schumacher, the German pair coming close to contact as they exited the hairpin on the opening lap. Vettel swung his Red Bull to the inside, blocking Schumacher's progress forcing the Mercedes driver to avoid tagging his countryman. "It is true if I hadn't have backed off I would have lost my front wing and he would have had a puncture," said Schumacher, refusing to be drawn further.

"Michael is a guy who is used to that, used to people racing hard and he's racing hard himself but always fair," said Vettel of the incident. "That's what the people want to see, that's why they decide to come here, come to the races, come to see Formula One. If we overtake sometimes things happen, sometimes people crash, fair enough. Nobody wants to crash, we don't want to crash, (but) these things happen."

While some in the paddock suggest the incident could easily have resulted in an opening lap penalty for Vettel, Mercedes boss Ross Brawn was more circumspect. "It didn't raise any particular attention," he confessed. "I don't think there was anything that was too untoward was there. We didn't complain. We saw it as a bit of arm-wrestling between the drivers."

Vettel was similarly reserved when asked about the impact of the FIA's clarification on engine mapping, suggesting that the change would have no impact on the team. "I'm quite confident that nothing will change," he stated. "It's probably more of a fuss made outside the car than the difference inside it."

In all it was an unusual and out of character performance from the double-world champion who is usually at ease with the press. Instead he appeared a bear stuck in a trap; angry, in a degree of pain and desperate to break free.

Check out our Thursday gallery, here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 26/07/2012
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