A dejected Sebastian Vettel admitted that he has “run out of answers” after being eliminated in Q2 at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
The four-time World Champion has found it tough going in 2020 with the tricky SF1000.
From battling for race wins last season, he now finds himself struggling to get into Q3, and in qualifying for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix suffered his second Q2 exit of the season.
Vettel will now start the race from P11 thanks to Esteban Ocon’s penalty, but that is likely to be of little comfort to Vettel who has been nowhere near the pace of his team-mate Charles Leclerc so far over this race weekend.
It’s especially concerning since Vettel is a two-time race winner at Silverstone, having taken victory in 2009 for Red Bull and then in Ferrari red just two years ago at the 2018 British Grand Prix.
And talking to reporters at Silverstone about his and Ferrari’s struggles, he admitted that right now the team are “stuck”.
“I’ve tried everything I had, so I was reasonably happy with the laps,” he told the media.
“The car I think we’ve tried lots of things since last week, but it doesn’t really make a difference.
“I think we are pretty much stuck.
“So, I’ll try to reset and see what I can do tomorrow, it’s all I can do at the moment.”
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) August 8, 2020
No doubt it is difficult for Vettel right now, considering he has consistently been in a race, or at least podium-contending car since he left Toro Rosso for Red Bull after the 2008 season.
And even then he scored Toro Rosso’s only F1 victory at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.
“It’s very different to usual, let’s put it this way,” he admitted.
“I’ve ran out of answers.”
Vettel is widely expected to sign with Aston Martin for 2021, where he would take the seat of Sergio Perez when Racing Point morph into Aston Martin for next season.
Some rumours suggested that Vettel was going to be announced as an Aston Martin driver for 2021 before the British Grand Prix, but that was scrapped when Perez tested positive for COVID-19.
But never mind Vettel, right now Perez’s stand-in Nico Hulkenberg is putting together a good case for a full-time return to the F1 grid.
He qualified P3 for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, and Max Verstappen, who he will share the second row with, said it was proof that the German racer should never have been dropped from Formula 1 in the first place.
“They [Racing Point] have been competitive the whole weekend already, and I’m very happy for Nico,” he said.
“He should have already been on the grid, and of course I hope that this performance will give him a seat for next year.”