Vettel calls Austria an ‘unlucky weekend’ after pair of trips into the gravel following collisions
In an Austrian Grand Prix weekend in which Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin was sent into the gravel twice, before he came home P17 in Sunday’s race – the last of the remaining drivers – the only word the four-time champion could use to describe his experience at the Red Bull Ring was “unlucky”.
Vettel began the race down in 18th, and was one of the few drivers to start the race on the hard tyre. And despite being hit by debris at the start of the race, the German driver was able to continue and made steady progress, climbing as high as ninth in the first stint.
However, on Lap 38, battling for 13th with Pierre Gasly at Turn 4, the Frenchman clipped Vettel into the gravel, sending the Aston Martin driver plummeting down the order. And after a “disappointing” weekend, Vettel was simply looking to move on from Austria and ahead to France.
“Obviously disappointing,” said Vettel. “I had a piece of the car in front that landed on my front wing on the first lap; I don’t know if that damaged the car really. After that we were quite slow. On the medium tyre it was better, we were working through the field, and then Pierre I think was a bit too keen and I was off again.
“After that, the car wasn’t in the best quality anymore, we just finished the race at the end of the pack. I think we have had quite an unlucky weekend so let's just turn the page and focus on the next race in France.”
Vettel’s collision with Gasly was the second time he had been sent into the gravel over the weekend, after Alex Albon had collided with the German at Turn 6 during Saturday’s Sprint.
Vettel was heard on the radio complaining about the drivers he collided with, and when asked whether it was frustrating to be put in those situations, he replied: “Yes, it is… It is disappointing to be pushed into the gravel again. This time it was Gasly and it almost feels that there is a target on my car!
"I had made a good move on the outside and was ahead leaving plenty of space. I think he was just a bit too keen, ran into me, and I was off in the gravel. The car was not in the best shape after that, and my race was pretty much done."
Vettel’s team mate Lance Stroll finished the race in 13th after lining up at the start in 12th, and the Canadian said he enjoyed some of his on-track battles with other cars, but felt Aston Martin had lacked the pace to compete with some of their rivals in Austria.
“My start was decent, and I could hold position and battle with the McLarens early on,” said Stroll. “I also had some good wheel-to-wheel moments out there with cars on different strategies, which was fun.
“However, it was tricky to keep the faster cars behind. It would have been nice to have come away with a point or two after a strong recovery drive yesterday, but we have to keep pushing and will try and return to the points in France.”