Vettel could have been ‘more selfish’ with his parking spot

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin mechanics push the AMR22 back to the pits in testing. Bahrain March 2022

The Aston Martin mechanics push the car of Sebastian Vettel back to the pits in testing. Bahrain March 2022

Sebastian Vettel could have been “a bit more selfish” when he stopped during Friday morning’s test in Bahrain, that’s according to Tom McCullough.

Heading out with 50 minutes left in the morning’s session, Vettel became aware of a problem as he accelerated out of the pits.

He pulled over into the access road on the inside of the Turn 1 hairpin, well away from the track meaning the session was not red flagged for his rivals.

But his parking spot meant it took almost 30 minutes for the AMR22 to return to the pits on a flatbed truck.

Had he stopped on the track, that wait would have been a lot shorter.

Once the car was back in the pits it was a quick turn around for Vettel with Aston Martin performance director McCullough reporting that the driver had felt a vibration which turned out to be nothing serious.

“He reported a vibration,” McCullough said as per GPFans. “We, on the cautious side, just stopped the car to have a good look.

“We got the car back, but it took a while to get the car back, unfortunately. He did the right thing in trying to get out of the way.

“But actually, he could have been a bit more selfish and stopped out on track and if they would have red flagged it, we would have got the car back, but anyway, we learn from that.

“Got the car back, checked it over and all good.”

He added: “We have just got to be a bit more cautious, risk and reward at this time.

“Obviously, we saw the Williams go up in flames so if in doubt, be cautious.”

Williams were forced to call it a day when what started off as a minor brake fire became “visibly quite dramatic” as the Grove team put it when Nicholas Latifi was forced to stop the car with both rear brakes on fire.

Such was the heat as the fire took hold that his rear right tyre exploded.

Williams had to call it a day in order to repair the car with the team expecting to be back out on track on Saturday morning for the final day’s running.

 

Vettel finished the day ninth fastest with 46 laps on the board while his team-mate Lance Stroll added a further 70 laps to the team’s tally in the afternoon session. He was P4.

 

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