Vettel: “I was sleeping” at restart

2010 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2010

Sebastian Vettel was unhappy with the drive-through penalty that cost him a likely win in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

He was hit with a penalty for failing to stay close enough to the leader Mark Webber as the race restarted.

Vettel admitted in the press conference he hadn’t been ready for the restart:

It was a very easy race because we had a pace advantage. At the restart I was sleeping and I was probably relying too much on the radio. In the first stint I lost the radio and didn’t hear anything. I was waiting for an instruction when the first car was coming in.

Also Mark, when the safety car is coming in the leader usually drops back, but he was very close.

Then when I saw Mark and the safety car very close to each other and the safety car was going into the pits I realised what was going on.

I am very disappointed because it would have been a walk in the park today.
Sebastian Vettel

He gestured angrily with his hands when he came in to serve the drive-through penalty during the race. He said afterwards he didn’t understand why he’d been given the penalty:

I didn’t understand what was going on and why I’d been penalised. So it was a question mark for me, I didn’t understand at the time.
Sebastian Vettel

Vettel ended the race in third place.

2010 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

61 comments on “Vettel: “I was sleeping” at restart”

  1. I’ll see that as showing his inexperience and youth. I guess we can’t really fault him more than Hamilton when he is having trouble when the pits isn’t clear or smart (as shown in China). He does need to stop that and realize that he is racing there – similarly to dropping back to take the fastest lap, instead of trying to put pressure on Alonso.

    Webber definitely looks to be the more complete driver of the two this season.

  2. This is one of the few I felt sorry for him though, because he was untouchable for most of the weekend. Still, I just have to remember Turkey for the guilt to vanish!

    1. Whether you can cross the white line at the pit entry, as well as other similar details, is notified to the team managers during a meeting at the beginning of the race weekend.

    2. I was wondering the same thing, just like after the race where Alonso jumped in front of Massa at the last second – are there clear rules for pit lane entry? And if not, shouldn’t there be?

  3. Are we sure it was the restart where vettel broke the 10 car gap rule? The replay on the telecast showed vetted falling behind webber along the pit straight (still under safety car, before the restart). Maybe it happened more than once?

  4. great place to have a sleep. LOL

    when watching Mark Webbers in car camera doing those fast laps after the safety car, man that car was sooo smooth in an out of the corners, no twitching it hung in there and responded to Marks every move, what a awesome car.

  5. Vettel should be given a penalty.

    He gestured angrily with his hands when he came in to serve the drive-through penalty during the race.

    He was not in FULL control of the car, he had removed his hands. This should be penalized, IMPROPER driving.

  6. Even if he was asleep he should have woken up. He should have won or could have won but he chucked it away for whatever reason. he’s right to be annoyed but at himself not the penalty.

    I’m not Seb’s biggest fan and I think he’s wrong to be having a go when it was his own fault but at least he seems human and a bit less PR which is rare with drivers.

    1. People want emotion from drivers. I’ve heard people saying they are sick of robots saying “I’d like to thank the team and sponsors for everything.”

      Everyone wants to win the title. Seb wants it so bad so surely you can understand when he finishes 3rd (when it was a clear victory for him) he’s not smiling and all happy.

      Same with Alonso in Valencia and Silverstone. They want to win, I want to see drivers wanting to win, not settle and be happy with a result that’s not what they should have got.

    2. I agree it’s nice Vettel tells what’s on his heart here. This one’s up there with Kimi “getting bored” in the car.

      Well Seb, most of us were getting just as bored as you seeing you going around miles in front of everyone else.
      Sorry you fell asleep during the SC, but you saved the race for a lot of the viewers, so thank you for that.

      1. Maybe experiences like this are just what the doctor ordered on that front..for example I think the trials and tribulations McLaren faced in 09 ended up producing a much more mature Hamilton (though he’s still got some rough edges, i.e. yelling at the crew in Australia), but misfortunes can be pretty good learning experiences in racing :)

  7. Some weeks ago, someone made the comment that Vettel was fast when he was alone in clear air, but that he couldn’t overtake. What I have seen since convinces me that this is true. Yes, I know the Ferrari was faster down the straights, but there’s definitely a pattern here. And he needs to understand that all of the rules, even the most elementary ones, apply to everyone, no matter how special you are.

          1. To be fair, that was a pure racing incident. No way you could say that he was trying to take the other guy out, which was arguable in Schumacher’s case (although I don’t believe that was his intention, either).

  8. Wow!! Now he’s blaming Webber for his stuff up! It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know the rules but that nasty Mark Webber, well, imagine him being close to the safety car. Poor little wunderkind, can’t think and drive at the same time.
    Someone at RBR should tell him it is a mark of disrespect to stand with your hands on your hips during the playing of a national anthem.

    1. That’s what I’ve been thinking. Take a look at his interviews this year and it’s always someone (or thing) elses fault.

      Maybe it’s what you need to win, but sometimes you need to accept that you are to blame, if only to learn from the situation next time round.

  9. Steve Slater on Star sports was telling something like Vettel was defending webber by holding up alonso so that webber can make his pit stop later!!

  10. Initially I thought that he was implimenting a team order to let Webber get ahead the jump on the field to ensure he jumped Alonso when he stopped… his gesturing proved that wasn’t the case.

    1. Exactly my thoughts. And it seems that Webber should have been the one penalized for benefitting from the pick-move. Why else would Vettel have let Webber stretch out a two-corner lead just as the SC went in? Vettel knew what he did, he just didn’t know it was illegal.

      What’s with his hand-shaking at stewards, and his apparent go at them post race, etc.? In other sports you don’t get to openly disrespect the refs like this wihout punishment.

    2. I must admit this is what I thought was going on. I actually thought we were seeing some outstanding team work from Red Bull. Seb holds up the pack just long enough for Mark to get P2 (of course I didn’t consider the 10 car rule at all.)

      Then again this is not what happened. Vettel was having a nap!

  11. As much as I like Sebastien Vettel, I still think he has a long way to go before he wins the championship. In this I am not questioning his obvious talent and skill behind the wheel of a racing car, but his attitude.
    He clearly made a mistake today and was punished for it, but it was his reaction afterwards that was most telling. He let the whole thing get to him, unsettle him, and he lost sight of the bigger picture. From Mark Webber’s perspective not only did he manage his mammoth stint on supersoft tyres superbly, but he kept his overall focus. He clearly, at the same time as driving the wheels of his racing car, planned with the team via radio how to best pit without losing too much time to Alonso. That was impressive, under pressure, thinking of how best to ‘help the boys’ and make the task as easy as possible.
    No doubt Ferrari spotted Vettel’s blunder and were probably quick to tell Charlie Whiting there perspective of the proceedings, and for awhile, it looked as if it were Fernando’s race to lose. Until Webber showed just how far he has come, and just how fast he can go.
    I have wondered these last three weeks just how Vettel would have reacted at Silverstone if he had found himself in Webber’s shoes and the team giving the Australian all the new toys first? I think I got my answer at the end of this race today in Hungary. If Christian Horner is true to his word, and favours the driver within the team with the more points, I can only see Vettel becoming more and more fracturous. I can’t wait!

  12. Vetel should have a penalty in Germany for his start at the last GP. Today he was complaining for his drive-t ¿? when it was just his fault.
    Come on, this guy can not be a class 1 driver, too many mistakes and pole-positions wasted.
    He should think about not beein able to overtake Alonso in 30 laps with a car 1sec faster.

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