Vettel gets greedy

By on Friday, November 11, 2011

Sebastian Vettel at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso both shrugged off practice crashes this afternoon that saw their preparation for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix temporarily grind to a halt.

Midway through the second practice session in twilight at the Yas Marina circuit Vettel went off at Turn One, sliding across the run-off asphalt, impacting the tecpro barriers and forcing him to get out of the car and watch part of the session from a marshal post. “It wasn’t too much,” he said later. “I lost the car on the entrance to Turn One. I think I was too wide and too far on to the kerb, so I lost the rear and couldn’t catch the car anymore. If you just touch the kerb there, then it’s fine, but I went too far on to it.”

Given the close proximity to the pitlane, Vettel’s RB7 was recovered to his garage and the German was able to rejoin the session. “I was lucky to get out again,” he reflected, having described his mishap as ‘greedy’. “There wasn’t much damage apart from the front wing. If you just touch the kerb there, then it’s fine, but I went too far on to it.

Looking to the car, we are there or thereabouts – but it will be tight tomorrow I think.” Less fortunate was Fernando Alonso, whose Ferrari went into the same barrier a little harder, damaging the rear end of his car enough to end his session early. “It's not that there's a particular problem with grip at Turn One but if you touch the kerb when braking then you do lose some grip,” explained Alonso.

“As for me and Vettel both going off the track at the same point, I saw a lot of similarities: maybe tomorrow, we will try and stay a bit more towards the middle of the track without going so near the limit at this corner! I am annoyed about losing some time, but above all, I am sorry for the mechanics who now have extra work to do to put the car together again. I will try and repay them with a nice lap tomorrow evening in qualifying.”

Both drivers’ team-mates also had spins during the first day of practice, suggesting this circuit still has the capacity to provide surprises.

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