Vettel says ‘hairy’ moment with Stroll did little to dampen enjoyment of Interlagos Sprint
Aston Martin team mates Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll had a close call in the Sao Paulo Sprint, but the four-time champion was left feeling content after recovering from 13th to ninth on Saturday.
Vettel attempted a pass on team mate Stroll early in the Sprint and was squeezed off the track on the run to Turn 4 and onto the grass, with the German’s Aston Martin emitting a shower of sparks and soil. Stroll was given a 10-second penalty for the move, but Vettel didn’t seem too fazed.
“Yeah, it was tight,” said Vettel with a chuckle. “Obviously, we don’t see as well as you do on the camera, so there’s a lot of guessing, but yeah, the gap then closed and then I was sort of half off the track, which was a bit hairy – but fortunately I was able to re-join, and then the lap after, we worked together.”
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The veteran driver admitted he felt “stuck” in the early laps of the Sprint but enjoyed a tussle with Daniel Ricciardo before pulling off passes on Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.
“It was fun, obviously we were making progress – we started 13th and finished ninth,” said Vettel. “I was a bit stuck and then had a good couple of opening laps with Daniel, that was a lot of fun. After, it was a bit close with Lance, but I think in the end we worked together and, you know, I think it’s always tough.
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“You lose time when you’re fighting, but I seemed to be stronger, and then I was able to pass Esteban [Ocon] fairly comfortably and even catch Pierre in the distance, and yeah, with a couple more laps, I think we could have overtaken Kevin [Magnussen, P8] as well. But maybe we’ll save that for tomorrow.”
Stroll, on the other hand, finished 17th, having started 15th, and the Canadian gave a short evaluation of his incident with Vettel.
“Yeah, I have to look at it again – probably, I didn’t leave him enough space – so I’ll have to look,” said Stroll. “Just struggling all weekend.”