Vettel urges F1 to stick with ‘exciting’ tracks

Date published: October 23 2020 - Jon Wilde

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) during Portuguese Grand Prix practice

Sebastian Vettel urged Formula 1 to pick the most “exciting” tracks after being impressed with his first taste of the Algarve International Circuit.

The Portuguese Grand Prix is back on the F1 calendar for the first time since 1996 and at the new venue of Portimao.

Opened in 2008, the Algarve circuit offers plenty of undulations and Pierre Gasly said after Friday practice he had “got this feeling you get in the stomach on a roller-coaster”.

Without being too descriptive, Vettel said he thought the Portuguese venue was another worthy addition to a 2020 calendar that had to be completely rescheduled because of the global health pandemic.

“It was slippery, I think probably mostly because of the resurfacing, but it’s very smooth and quite a nice track,” said the four-time former World Champion.

“I’ve never been here before, my first day, and I like it. I think tomorrow will be better just waking up and knowing where you need to go, so it’s good.

“It’s probably proof that we have plenty of tracks that are exciting, we just need to pick the right ones.”

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In terms of performance from his Ferrari, the German was not getting carried away even though he and his team-mate Charles Leclerc were P6 and P4 respectively in FP2, suggesting the Italian giants may just be back on an upward curve.

The last couple of months in particular have been particularly poor for Ferrari, who in previous years have been aiming for World Championships but Vettel now finds himself way down in 13th position in the drivers’ standings.

“I think it’s a bit difficult to say,” said Vettel – who leaves Ferrari at the end of the season to join Aston Martin – about prospects for the rest of the weekend.

“It was in the end one lap time, but not everybody got the lap in because you need more running – firstly for drivers to get in the rhythm, secondly for tyres, so I think we will see tomorrow the true picture.

“But it felt quite okay. The car is a bit all over the place also due to the elevation change but I think that’s the same for everyone. I think the focus on my side is just trying to do a better job and getting things together a bit more.”

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