Sebastian Vettel has no advice to give to Max Verstappen on his F1 fight against Lewis Hamilton, as the duo then speak about track crash.
Aston Martin’s Vettel was chirpy in F1 Monaco GP press conference, after he was asked about the battle between Red Bull’s Verstappen and Mercedes’ Hamilton in 2021. The German was in usual funny self, when asked to give an advice to the Dutchman.
“No advice,” said Vettel. “Obviously I didn’t succeed. Lewis beat me. So it’s better not to give him any advice! I guess he wants to succeed. It’s a long year, there’s a lot of races, so it doesn’t work like this. I’m not giving him any advice. And, I don’t know, I didn’t see a good deal of their fights because I was a long way back.
“But, I think you know, ultimately, they’re very close in pace. If you are very close in pace, then you’re fighting for the same spot on the track more often. I think it’s great if you’re fighting for the lead and you have two drivers, two different cars, fighting each other. Obviously we’ll see how it pans out over the course of the year,” summed up Vettel.
When referred to one of Zak Brown’s comments regarding Verstappen being the toughest challenger for Hamilton since Nico Rosberg, Vettel was asked if he thinks so too, considering he and Ferrari had some chance in 2017 and 2018.
“He likes to talk,” started Vettel. “Ultimately, we didn’t win the championships. We were leading the championships, but we didn’t win them at the end. I think in both of those years, we actually had a very strong beginning, but we weren’t that strong in the end. Ultimately, I think that’s why we lost out, we just didn’t have the pace.
“It all needs to come together, and in that regard, Mercedes has been quite strong since 2014 and won everything there is to win in the big picture,” summed up Vettel, as the focus then shifted to Brown’s other comment of an inevitable clash between the two.
The American in a special media meet stated that a crash between Hamilton and Verstappen is bound to happen, as the two go on head-to-head in 2021. While the former was much calmer in his response, the latter took it more as a jibe for headlines.
“I don’t know, I think I’ve done well to avoid all of the incidents so far,” said Hamilton. “We’ve got 19 more to go, and we could connect. Hopefully not. I think the good thing is, I think there is a nice, balanced amount of respect between us. I think perhaps, as you know, he feels perhaps he has a lot to prove. I’m not necessarily in the same boat there.
“And I’m more long-term, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, sort of mentality. Which is ultimately why I have the stats that I have. I’ll continue with that, and I’ll do everything to make sure that we avoid connecting,” summed up Hamilton.
When told Verstappen about the Brit’s comments along with the American’s, the Dutchman added: “I have nothing to prove. And avoiding contact, I think it goes both ways. So we have done well, that’s true. But we race hard, we avoided the contact both sides. So let’s hope we can keep doing that and keep being on-track and racing hard against each other.
“I honestly don’t know what to say any more about these things. We never try to crash, do we? It’s just to make a few interesting headlines like that. I guess it will have a bit more viewers when you say it’s a matter of time, and then instead of saying we had some great races so far. People will of course clickbait that more,” summed up Verstappen.
Amid the chat with Verstappen, Vettel added his thoughts in the matter, as he was perplexed with the comments made by Brown and media asking about it. “One thing that people outside don’t seem to understand is how close it is sometimes and how easily things can go wrong without having any intention,” he said.
“Nobody goes into an overtake wanting to take the other car out or himself out, because the risk of getting it wrong is just so high. But then you want to get past sometimes or then defend your position, and you’re playing with very little margins, and it’s taking so little to get it wrong.
“So far, they have done really well, and I think it shows the class that they both have. I don’t see why you’re so excited to wait for a crash. I think you should be so excited that they managed to race that close and intense without crashing. That’s the skill, not crashing. I know for you it’s more exciting when there’s bits flying, but for us, I think we get a blast by managing to be right on the edge and mastering that,” summed up Vettel.
Here’s details of F1 Monaco GP
Here’s Mercedes and Red Bull on Monaco GP
Here’s Otmar Szafnauer explaining Aston Martin troubles