Vettel critical of standing restarts after red flags

Date published: September 13 2020

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has criticised the use of standing restarts in Formula 1, saying “maybe we should focus on building cars to overtake” instead.

Charles Leclerc and Vettel were able to combine for a double points finish for Ferrari in the team’s 1000th race, but the gloss is taken off somewhat when those positions were only P8 and P10 in what was eventually a 12-car race.

There were two more standing restarts to add to the one in Monza due to another chaotic race in Italy and Vettel is irked that the restarts automatically benefit one side of the field and hinders the other side.

“I don’t remember doing so many starts in one day, normally you only have one,” Vettel told Sky Sports F1 in the Mugello paddock.

“I have to say I am not a big fan of that rule [standing restarts after red flags] because if you are on the correct side of the track then it is a huge advantage compared to being on the dirty side of the track.

“We saw that in Monza already. Halfway through the race there is a lot of marbles off line and I just don’t think it is fair.

“Maybe we should focus on building the cars to overtake and not just throwing them into a lottery.”

Vettel is not blaming the rule, though, for his P10 finish and Ferrari’s continued lack of pace.

He added: “Nevertheless, it didn’t make too much difference for us today. Obviously we were fighting hard and trying everything to get the points. It was tight at the end with Kimi [Raikkonen] but we did everything we could.

“We were not quick enough and it is difficult to answer why. There is more than one reason but today I think it was expected for us to have better race pace so we need to have a look at that.

Asked if he felt it was impossible now to get a better feeling for the car at this stage of the season, he said: “No I am still playing around with the car.

“There is still stuff I can learn, but obviously it will be difficult to make a huge difference in terms of results.”

Leclerc also cut a frustrated figure after the race. His patience is wearing thin with the unpredictable SF1000.

“We were just slow, there’s not much more to add to that,” he told reporters at Mugello

“We didn’t have the pace, I did a good start, put myself I think in the best position possible, I had the two Mercedes that were going away so I had clear air, just struggling so much with the car.

“We need to work honestly and try to understand because some races we are not very competitive in quali and we are better in the race, which had been the case at the beginning of the season, now we seem to have done quite a good job yesterday in quali but then struggling massively with the car in the race.

“It’s a difficult moment.”

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