Sebastian Vettel ‘caught out by the zand in Zandvoort’ with costly Q1 error

Jon Wilde
Sebastian Vettel off track during Dutch GP qualifying. Zandvoort September 2022.

Sebastian Vettel goes off track during Dutch Grand Prix qualifying. Zandvoort September 2022.

Sebastian Vettel joked it was the ‘zand’ in Zandvoort that had cost him a place in Q2 for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The German had just set a ‘purple’ fastest first sector time on his final run in Q1, which looked to have put him on course to reach the next part of qualifying.

But instead he toured into the pits and ended up with only the 19th fastest time after a ‘moment’ that ruined his chances of leaping up into the all-important top 15 at the seaside venue in the Netherlands.

“On my final Q1 lap I picked up some sand on my left-side wheels on the entry to Turn 13,” said the Aston Martin driver, who is to retire from Formula 1 at the end of this season.

“At that point, you are really focused on the apex kerb on the right – I wasn’t trying anything fancy – and I just drifted off-line and lost the car.

“I guess you could say I got caught out by the ‘zand’ in Zandvoort!

“My pace until that point had looked very good – that last lap was easily good enough for Q2 – and I think we could probably have got to Q3 too.

“It’s a shame, and it makes things harder for tomorrow because we will basically start last. We will see if we can find a smart strategy solution, but it will probably be a long afternoon.”

Up to the end of Q2 it had been a much more productive day for Vettel’s team-mate Lance Stroll, who had made it through to the top-10 shootout.

But unfortunately for the Canadian, his hopes of making an impact in Q3 were scuppered by a hydraulic problem that kept him in the garage for the last 12 minutes of running.

“It’s a shame we had the hydraulic issue in Q3 because we had the pace for a top-eight result today – and that would have been great given our recent difficulties in qualifying,” said Stroll, who will start 10th.

“The car was really fun to drive today – the team have done a fantastic job with the set-up and balance – so it’s great to see everyone being rewarded for their efforts.

“This starting position should give us a good chance to score some decent points in the grand prix.”

Aston Martin remain ninth in the Constructors’ Championship, five points adrift of AlphaTauri. Vettel has scored 20 points and Stroll the other four.