Ferrari pit-stop blunder costs Vettel dear

Jamie Woodhouse
Sebastian Vettel-Charles Leclerc-Mattia-Binotto-PA

No "shortcuts", Sebastian Vettel was always going to see out 2020 with Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel felt a points finish was on the cards at the Emilia Romagna GP if the race had have swung in his favour.

After a monster opening stint Vettel was finally called into the pits, and had it been a smooth stop, then he would have been sitting pretty to score multiple points at Imola.

Sadly though a 13-second stop was definitely not what Vettel had in mind.

From there the best Vettel could manage was a recovery drive, but P12 was as good as it got as he crossed the line.

That makes it only two points finishes in the last seven races for Vettel.

“I think the race today was a bit better for a couple of reasons, but obviously the poor pit stop didn’t help so I’m sure the boys are down,” he told reporters at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

Speaking to the Ferrari website he added: “We started on the Medium, which was the right thing to do as it was still working very well, even after a good amount of laps.

“Today the pace was good in the first stint, then we lost time in the pit-stop, which is a shame. We tried to come back with the Soft tyre at the end, but it was very difficult to make progress in a train of cars. This is clearly not the result we wanted and for sure not the one we would have deserved today.

“I was comfortable in the car even if this year the problem is more severe in qualifying, where I struggle to get a feel for the car. We have to remain patient and continue to make gradual progress, as we have been doing, given that we missed Q3 by just two tenths yesterday. If we can start from a bit higher up the grid, the next races could bring us better results.”

That result means Vettel drops down to P14 in the Drivers’ Championship in what is proving to be a dismal final season for him in Ferrari red.

Fortunately for Ferrari their other driver Charles Leclerc delivered a solid performance to finish P5.

“Overall I’m satisfied with the race, the only thing I’m not so sure on we’ll have to analyse a bit better is whether we could have gone on the medium [tyres] and probably stop a little bit later on the softs, but at the end I’m pretty happy with the race” he said.

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Unfortunately for Ferrari AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat had his best race of the season and finished P4, meaning that AlphaTauri have now closed to within 14 points of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship as the Italian outfits battle it out for P6 with four rounds remaining in the 2020 campaign.

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