Vettel jokes about having a ‘target on the car’

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel in the gravel after being hit by Pierre Gasly. Austria July 2022

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel in the gravel after being hit by Pierre Gasly. Austria July 2022

Twice hit by rivals at the Austrian GP weekend, Sebastian Vettel has joked about having a “target” on his Aston Martin.

Vettel had a weekend to forget at the Red Bull Ring as he qualified slowest of all in Friday’s qualifying session.

Eager to make up positions in the sprint race, he was hit by Alex Albon, causing “some damage” to the car and putting him a lap down in 19th place.

Sunday’s grand prix wasn’t much better for the German, this time Pierre Gasly responsible for the contact with Vettel again off in the gravel.

“Maybe I have a target on the car,” he joked to

Vettel and the AlphaTauri driver were battling for 12th place when the German tried to pass the Frenchman around the outside of Turn 4 on lap 40.

Gasly clipped him, Vettel spinning in the gravel.

“I don’t think there’s much to say there. I think it was a good manoeuvre on the outside,” said Vettel. “I was already ahead, and then he was too late and drove into me.”

Labelling Gasly’s efforts, a “bit overambitious”, Vettel added: “I was ahead and I don’t know where he was going. He obviously wanted to stay ahead with his nose, but he wasn’t.”

Gasly was slapped with a five-second penalty for causing a collision, the driver admitting he was to blame.

“I tried to fight hard,” he said. “You know when you fight side-by-side that there’s always a risk. We’ve seen that in the past.

“It wasn’t on purpose, but bad luck for Sebastian.”

He added: “I haven’t looked at the recordings yet, so I can’t say anything against the penalty. But if I got it, then that means I’m to blame.”

Meanwhile Vettel’s day went from bad to worse, the four-time World Champion hit with a time penalty after the race for multiple track limit violations.

He was baffled.

“I didn’t know that at all,” he said. “I had three [violations] and didn’t get a warning so I don’t know how I can get a penalty if I don’t get a warning.

“I had three violations, as I was told on the last lap, and then it goes up to five. That’s a bit strange.”

That came with a penalty point on a weekend where Vettel was earlier fined by the Austrian GP stewards for “failing to live up to standards” after storming out of a drivers’ meeting.


Highlights from the Austrian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc took his first win in eight races, and Ferrari definitely needed it.