Vettel ‘managed to crash wisely’ in Baku qualifying

Sam Cooper
Sebastian Vettel smiles whilst answering a question. Baku, June 2022.

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel smiles whilst answering a question. Baku, June 2022.

Sebastian Vettel joked he at least managed to “crash wisely” on his way to a P9 finish in Saturday’s qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. 

The Aston Martin driver went into the barrier at Turn 15 during Q2, but having seen his team-mate Lance Stroll crash out in Q1 his quick thinking meant he managed to only cause damage to his front wing.

He was able to limp the car back to the pits before putting it into the top 10 and advancing to the final round of qualifying.

It was the four-time former World Champion’s second Q3 appearance in as many races having also qualified P9 in Monaco last time out. After the session, Vettel said he at least managed to “crash wisely” and damage a part that could be easily replaced.

“It’s tricky, I think everyone is on the limit but I’ve had easier cars to drive,” Vettel told Sky Sports F1. “I like the track here. Qualifying is sort of the highlight in the weekend when it comes to really pushing and extracting everything there is and really going to the limit.

“Here you have so many big stops and you know if you get the timing right it just flows. If you don’t, it’s either too early or you’re looking at not a good prospect, like I had once in a moment at [Turn] 15.

“So then I was thinking ‘can I make it? Yes’. And then I realised ‘no’ and I was like ‘okay, if I go to the right, I might clip the left side because I still have a bit of speed’. So then it’s better to head on because we have a spare wing. So it worked. At least I managed to crash wisely.”

With his upturn in form, the German’s mood has improved and he was in jovial spirits while conducting the interview, joking he needed to “make more friends” who would could give him a tow.

“I think for us it’s really good and puts us in a good place for tomorrow,” he said of his P9 finish.

“It was very tight but I was hoping for a tow in the end, which could have got us up to maybe sixth even. Maybe I need to make more friends!

“No, I think it was good. I was very happy with the final lap I had. We only had one set of tyres. They were used ones as well. We used them up before to try and go through, so overall I think it was a good session for us. I don’t think there was much really, half a tenth, with Yuki to get eighth, but nevertheless it puts us in a good place.”