Vettel's punishment was fair, but "I wanted him to win so badly"

21-10-2020 20:51 | Updated: 21-10-2020 21:07
F1 News
Vettel's punishment was fair, but I wanted him to win so badly

One of the most talked-about events in the 2019 season was the Canadian Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel put the winner marker in front of his car after the race, where he finished second due to a penalty. This penalty was awarded to him after returning dangerously to the track when he shot straight at the second chicane and almost collided with Hamilton.

Victory flew out of his hands

The penalty for Vettel was five seconds and he did not manage to punch a hole like that to Hamilton, so that the Briton was, as it were, thrown into victory. The stewards' decision, Vettel's action and all the reactions around it provoked considerable discussion, but it did not change anything.

More than a year later, Emanuele Pirro, steward on duty at the time, looks back at this moment in the previous season. He does so in the F1 Nation podcast in which he states that he still supports the stewards' decision, but that it gave him an inner conflict. "My sense of straightforwardness and honesty goes beyond the people I like and don't like and this is also helping me to operate as a steward.

"Because I have sympathies, for instance, when we go back to Canada when we had to penalize Sebastian Vettel for what he did, five seconds: I wanted him to win so badly, because I felt so sorry for him, and I felt he deserved it."

Pirro illustrates his inner conflict. "But my sense of responsibility is stronger than that," so in his view, the decision was just.

The decline of Vettel

However, it had a major effect on the driver in question, because afterwards, we saw Vettel wrestling with several minor faults as a result. A good example of this was the spin and the return to track at Monza, which again came in for a great deal of criticism. Pirro also states that Vettel was one of the biggest, but has fallen into a situation where he does not feel comfortable.

"When you see, for instance, Sebastian Vettel who is really one of the greatest and has done amazing races. He has won at least two of his championships at the last round, where the pressure was at its highest and recently, what he did not belong in his repertoire of what he can do. So to me, this is a sign of not really feeling comfortable."

Vettel will have to find himself again and with the fresh start next year at Racing Point that moment may be close by. Whether Vettel's relapse has to do with the situation in Canada, for example, because something has broken his self-confidence, is hard to say. Nevertheless, things have deteriorated since then with the German when it comes to performance.

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