Crashing his Aston Martin late in Saturday’s final practice, Sebastian Vettel helped his mechanics get his car repaired in time for qualifying in Hungary.
The German brought out the red flags in a wet FP3 session after losing the rear end through Turn 10 and putting his AMR22 backward into the barrier.
A scream and a “sorry” followed that crash, Vettel taking responsibility for it.
“I actually didn’t push too hard, but the crash was of course a shame and my mistake,” he told F1-Insider.
And as it was his error, the driver was happy to get involved in fixing it.
Vettel was seen in his garage helping his Aston Martin mechanics in any way possible in order to ensure the car was ready for qualifying.
“Instead of sitting around,” he said, “I could help to hold something or push something out of the way.
“The fact that the car was repaired just in time for qualifying makes the early end a bit more painful.”
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) July 30, 2022
Vettel exited qualifying in Q1, down in 18th place, with his time just 0.068s shy of a Q2 berth – that time belonging to his team-mate Lance Stroll.
Such was the closely fought competition to progress that less than a second separated seventh-place Ricciardo from 18th-placed Vettel.
“The track improved a bit in Q1,” Vettel said. “I thought my first lap was good, but then I was only able to do one lap to cool down and that’s why the tyres were a bit too hot on my last lap.”
Starting so far back on the grid, the four-time World Champion concedes it won’t be easy working his way into the points given that it is not easy to pass at the Hungaroring.
But he’ll try.
“It’s not a good place for Sunday,” he admitted. “It’s very difficult to overtake here, so now we have to see if we can do anything about strategy.”
Sunday’s race marks the start of Vettel’s farewell tour, the 35-year-old having announced on Thursday that this season will be his last in Formula 1.
Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix
The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before Formula 1's summer break.