Vettel says he decided to let Ricciardo pass him

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Sebastian Vettel said he decided to let team mate Daniel Ricciardo past after initially resisting an instruction to move over for his team mate.

Ricciardo caught Vettel in the middle of the race, after which Red Bull gave at least two messages to the world champion telling him to move over.

At one point Vettel asked “which tyre is he on?” and was informed Ricciardo was on the same medium compound as him. “Tough luck,” Vettel replied.

He was then told Ricciardo was on a two-stop strategy, implying Vettel was originally going to pit three times, though he eventually made two stops as well.

Team principal Christian Horner told him after the race: “We switched the cars because at that point we were looking at three-stopping the better route to you to the end of the race on [soft]-[soft].”

“Then as the gaps weren’t opening up that nicely behind, the two stopper actually was the better race for you. That’s how we ended up where we were.”

Vettel said he decided to let Ricciardo past after he was told they were running to different plans.

“I think there was no point holding him back further,” Vettel told reporters after the race, “he was quite a lot quicker”.

“At that stage were were on different strategies. Once I was told that I decided to let him go and also I started to realise more and more towards the end that I couldn’t hold him back.”

Ricciardo admitted he was unsure whether Vettel had given him the place. “I don’t know, I’m not to sure to be honest,” he said in a post-race interview.

“I was just told about the radio now so I wasn’t really aware of it on-track. So yeah in turn one I had a bit of a look and I don’t know if he went deep or gave me a bit of room, but I managed to get by after a lap so it wasn’t too bad.”

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Chinese Grand Prix articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free

123 comments on Vettel says he decided to let Ricciardo pass him

  1. Toxic said on 20th April 2014, 13:19

    All this story sounds funny. Either way I still think that Ricciardo would eventually overtake Vettel. in the end it didn’t make much difference.

  2. PeterG said on 20th April 2014, 15:11

    I was watching Vettels in-car camera at that point & it was pretty obvious that he did indeed let Daniel past him.

    He backed out the throttle a lot earlier than he did on other laps & pretty clearly took a much wider line.
    Certainly didn’t look at all like he went in too deep & out-braked himself or anything like that from said in-car shot, Looked like a deliberate move to let Daniel by.

    • tvm (@) said on 20th April 2014, 17:39

      Just re-saw it on tube, totally agree, Vettel could have fought even with the line he took. He gave it away.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 20th April 2014, 15:41

    This year car looks great for Ricciardo (as far as I can read – I watched just the first 3 and the last 3 laps) and bad for Seb. It would be a shame if the car gets “improved” just thinking on Seb. Let’s face it. Red Bull this year is far from really defending both titles. Let’s hope both cars get improved the same way, if Ricc gets it better, kudos to him.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 20th April 2014, 17:39

      @omarr-pepper

      This year car looks great for Ricciardo (as far as I can read – I watched just the first 3 and the last 3 laps) and bad for Seb

      How do you explain that Vettel was ahead in the first stint with the soft tyres ?? Vettel himself admitted after the race that he didn’t adapt to the medium tyres, nothing to do with the car. To be fair Newey himself said that Vettel is very sensitive to the tyres and suspensions. Even if the car is more adapted to Daniel, a 4 times WDC can also adapt himself to the car, let’s just give him time. Remember how Shumacher (best wishes BTW) was adapting his driving style to those Ferrari’s in his first years spending hours testing and working on the set up, Alonso had also to adapt his driving style in 2007 to the new Bridgestone alongside Kimi and had also to adapt to Mclaren rear end which was very different from the heavy Renault rear end on which he developed his driving style. The question is how much times does Vettel need to adapt to the RB10 and maybe the new tyres ?

  4. Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 20th April 2014, 17:48

    Vettel showed himself to be the petulant child we always suspected he was.

    • Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 20th April 2014, 19:35

      What? He said that he wasn’t fast enough and he let his team mate through, it doesn’t sound like a petulant child at all to me.

      There was a lot of talk about how Vettel was going to face a difficult season mentally, but right now he seems calm and collected, even if things are going quite bad for him.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 20th April 2014, 22:49

      Your comment is an example for confirmation bias.

    • Eric (@) said on 21st April 2014, 8:37

      @danbrown180

      I agree. What he should have done is block Ricciardo’s every move and try to drive Ricciardo into the wall. That would have shown some Aussie grit and would have earned him lot’s of respect.

  5. Catered Ham said on 20th April 2014, 17:48

    Kamui…is faster….than you…

  6. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 20th April 2014, 18:53

    I don’t understand one thing,

    if many believe that Seb didn’t let Dan pass but made an error at turn 1, Dan is getting praised since he is beating Seb.

    Why didn’t we got the same appreciation when Seb was beating Mark and especially at Malaysia 2013? Mark was told to turn down the engine? Yes, but Seb passed him on his 2nd attempt when they battled for quite a few corners. Do you think Mark still would’ve had the engine run at lower revs?

    • Himmat said on 20th April 2014, 20:37

      The fact is in Malaysia 2013, Vettel caught into the DRS range of Webber due to Webber turning down the engine. On the long-straights in equal machinery, you’re going to easily get past.

      That is why people were angry in 2013. It was unsporting and underhanded.

      At least here Vettel declared from the onset he wasn’t gonna follow TO.

    • Eric (@) said on 20th April 2014, 21:13

      The fact is in Malaysia 2013, Vettel caught into the DRS range of Webber due to Webber turning down the engine. On the long-straights in equal machinery, you’re going to easily get past.

      Sometimes I wonder if some people actually watched the race or are just pretending so they can ride the ‘Vettel is evil’ train.

      Vettel caught up to webber because he stopped earlier and used the undercut to close the gap. At this point there was no such thing as Multi 21 or turning down of the engine because the last pitstop for Webber hadn’t happened yet. Then Webber stopped and found Vettel alongside him coming out of the pits.

      The only one to blame that day was Red Bull and their idiotic teamorder.

      And Webber for being such a hypocrit.

  7. DaveW (@dmw) said on 20th April 2014, 19:24

    Weak face-saving attempt. He decided to let him through apparently in the turn one braking zone. Vettel only gave in when he overlooked turn 1.

  8. Richard Egan said on 20th April 2014, 21:19

    Seb is slow because his head creates too much drag! His sense of entitlement is a bit overdone, he cares not for RBR’s results, if he can’t win he does not want his team ‘mate’ to either. The way Dan has handled himself is a credit to him…..

  9. I used to like Vettel initially, But because of his attitude i hate him now… He behaves he owns Red Bull…. He needs attitude management!!!

    • Peter (@boylep6) said on 21st April 2014, 7:38

      He behaves like Red Bull shouldn’t be intervening at every opportunity
      to deny the viewers the spectacle of of a decent intra-team struggle in equal machinery.

      He is right.

      Merc showed us last race what might have been if they
      had dumped Webber and hired Alonso or Hamilton for 2012.

      Once Vettel got the upper hand, and it was clear to the whole
      grid that Vettel had a car “not like the others” the top drivers
      were beating a regular path to Horner’s door. And he said “no, too disruptive to the team”.

      Horner to replace Bernie ensuring our entertainment? Pah!

  10. vishy (@vishy) said on 21st April 2014, 19:31

    Love Vettel’s radio messages!

    I have a hard time understanding why Vettel is vilified for racing while the Mercs and everyone else is admired for the same. I think Vettel was perfectly right in saying tough luck. In fact I am more disappointed in Red Bull for giving team orders. Even if it may have cost a podium (which is questionable) I still think it makes better spectacle for racing and also would have given Ricciardo more credit.

    Also it is too early to dismiss Vettel, we have to wait a season to draw any reasonable conclusions.

  11. Brian C (@bcracing) said on 22nd April 2014, 3:06

    The main problem Seb is having is that he can’t drive a crappy car. Every race for the last 4 seasons he has had a perfect car that could pass anyone and do anything he asked of it. His teammate has much more experience struggling with cars around these tracks so its no wonder he is faster. He isn’t the calmest driver in the cockpit at the best of times and its clearly showing he is become frustrated with his situation.
    It looks like team Vettel is back to being Team Red Bull!!

  12. Cole (@cole) said on 22nd April 2014, 13:30

    Hi Keith.
    Great reports as usual. Thanks for that as I couldn`t watch the race.
    One thing that confuses me is Red Bull claims that they ordered Vettel to let Ricciardo by, giving he (Vettel) was on a three stopper at that stage.
    Shouldn´t be the other way around? Normally the three stoppers should run faster stints to compensate the extra stop. So why letting your teammate by when he should look after tyres and do slower stints?
    Cheers

  13. Udo Jattke said on 21st April 2014, 8:05

    Well said. Great young driver, great team, great car, great start. Ricciardo has done a good job for the team. Seb clearly gave him no respect; put the shoe on the other foot, what would Seb have done ???
    How many seconds did Ricciardo beat Seb by in the end ? Around 20 full seconds? The team could see on their monitors what was going to be the end result. It may be the other way for Seb next race and Riccardo may have to let him through. Do not risk taking the team out for nothing, if this happened with a few laps to go I could understand Sebastian having the same reaction, but the race was only half way through. Red Bull have found a great new driver, let’s now build a great two-car team and smash those two Mercedes in front of us .

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.