Sebastian Vettel says it was tempting to pit for dry tyres in F1 Turkish GP, but it was a wrong call in the end, as Lance Stroll steadied his ship with points.
For Aston Martin, the F1 Turkish GP was a mixed bag. While Stroll picked up two points for ninth place finish, Vettel “went for it” on lap 38 when he pitted for mediums. It was risky move but nothing to lose in some respects. However, as soon as he left the pits, it proved a fruitless decision as he then found himself re-pitting on lap 39 for inters.
Vettel duly apologised for the decision but stated that it was a tempting opportunity because his intermediate tyres were literally like slicks. “The intermediates were worn down, hardly any profile left, so I thought, it was worth a try but you lose so much temperature on the way out, I couldn’t get the dry tyres to work and it was a wrong call,” he said to TV media.
“I wanted to try because there was not much rubber left on the inters and so I thought dry is not any different or probably a bit better because the grip is higher but it was a mistake. In hindsight, it is always easy. We lost too much on the first stint, and then the second stint was good but by then we were out of it.
“The inters were pretty good but it wasn’t on the dry tyres because you get the wet on the frame and you can’t brake through and you can’t break the silicone layer on the surface when they are new. You don’t really dig in and then you don’t get any grip. I’m obviously disappointed having made the wrong call, on the other hand, it was tempting to try but it was the wrong decision. We lost the run for points, maybe one or two, and in the end, we didn’t get any,” summed up Vettel.
It was risky move and he was already on the brink of the Top 10. There were some faster cars behind, who might have overtaken him by the end. On the other hand, Stroll drove a steady enough race, nothing too smart or risky but he more or less did what it said on the tin. If anything, a rather intelligent race was had by the Canadian.
“I am happy with the result and I think we got everything out of the car, so it is a job well done by the team,” said Stroll. “It was tricky out there because the track was so slippery. There was also the challenge of the circuit drying in some places, which was causing graining of the tyres, and the question mark about a switch to slicks was always there.
“All things considered, ninth was the maximum we could achieve today. We lost a little bit of time during the pit stop, but I don’t think it made much of a difference to our final result.” Overall in fairness, it was not the next weekend in Turkey for Aston Martin considering that performed pretty well last year.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
Here’s the whole Sebastian Vettel sequence: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-turkish-grand-prix-tyre-strategy-backfires-for-sebastian-vettel.1713258628285119010.html
Here’s how F1 Turkish GP panned out