Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took his chances to win in his team’s home race. “A little carelessness, and then I had lost the car,” he said angrily afterwards.
After Monza’s qualifying frustration Sebastian Vettel started the race desperate to challenge for a win, but also fearing that Leclerc’s pole position and both Mercedes ahead would deny any chance.
Shortly after the start, however, the German lost a position to his compatriot Nico Hülkenberg which he took back soon after. He then caught up with Valtteri Bottas’ silver arrow in front of him, but a spin in the sixth lap in the Ascari complex ended all hopes for a good result early on.
Vettel got in the way of Lance Stroll when he returned to the track, so he didn’t just have to pick up a new nose at the pits. He was also given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty due to a dangerous return to the track. After that, the race to catch up was only enough for the pointless 13th place, compounded by the humiliation of falling behind young team-mate Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ Championship who’d won in front of the Tifosi crowd.
“I got a little closer to the Valtteri, but a little carelessness was enough, and then I lost the car. It was my mistake.
“Then I tried to get onto the track. I’ve already talked to Lance to apologise because I didn’t see anything but the way I came back to the track wasn’t good of course.
“I tried for a while to get the gears right and I was on the curbs, which wasn’t helping either.
“I can’t be satisfied with today because I’m not satisfied with my performance
“Of course I’m not happy with this race, and as far as the other side is concerned, it doesn’t really matter. It was a good day for the team, but a bad day for me.
“Of course I still love what I do very much. But if you don’t do well, if you know that you could have done better, then you can’t be happy.”
Meanwhile, the Italian press praises Leclerc’s victory, the first at Monza since Alonso’s in 2010, and are surprisingly unvitriolic toward Vettel’s race, but do describe the former no. 1 Ferrari driver as in “seemingly endless crisis” when you read the words of Francesco Svelto of f1sport.it.
“Perhaps the problem of Vettel is not limited only to the episode of Monza. Vettel’s problems are psychological in nature, perhaps he feels the pressure in the team and in particular of his teammate” describes Svelto.
“A seemingly endless crisis, which began last year and is still ongoing. But this is another story that maybe we will deepen later.” surmises the Italian journalist.
Italy’s Autosprint comes to a similar conclusion but warns that “Sebastian is lost and can no longer return …” when you read the article published today by Michele Salvadore.
“Too many mistakes in two years, all with similar dynamics that, race after race, have put Vettel in a condition of always having to prove that he is a 4-time World Champion, obviously become an increasingly unsustainable pressure.”
One does have to wonder just how long Vettel is prepared to put up with this situation at Ferrari. Indeed tongues wagged when again the German Ferrari driver was spotted talking to the senior Red Bull management in the Monza paddock.
Perhaps it could be Red Bull 2020 or bust?
Norris swears angrily at race engineer at Monza 2019 (uncensored)