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By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 writer
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says he is”not worried” about his form after he wrecked his Italian Grand Prix with a spin and collision.
Vettel struck Point’s Racing after rejoining following a spin out of place on lap six.
“The rate is there so I am not worried. It is merely a matter of putting things together,” he said.
Vettel was given three penalty points, placing him three away from a race ban.
Formula 1 principles dictate that drivers are given an automatic race ban should they accrue 12 penalty points in any 12-month period.
Vettel has obtained all of his.
That means another important error from the forthcoming Singapore, Russian or Japanese Grands Prix could trigger an automatic suspension.
Vettel said following the Italian Grand Prix he was”not aware” of the penalty-point situation.
The race has been won by his own Charles Leclerc, his second in a row, following his maiden victory in Belgium the week.
Vettel hasn’t won a race since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, and has been near a success this season just once, when he crossed the line in Canada in June but had been demoted to second with a five-second penalty for rejoining the track dangerously after heading off while under stress from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Vettel said in Italy on Sunday:”In my side, I’m not happy, not with how it went with that twist.
“Then the race has been pretty much lost out there but the group was going and after it had been shut with Kimi [Raikkonen] this past year, this time Charles sealed the victory in the end for the group.”
There is concern and consternation at F1 at the regularity with which Vettel is currently making driving errors – an average of one every three races since a season’s French Grand Prix.
Monza saw his fourth Big mistake this year:
Vettel was given two penalty points to every one of the events at Silverstone and Montreal, while attempting to maneuver him through last October’s Japanese Grand 37, for colliding with Verstappen and his two were.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto did not address the situation but has said that Vettel’s errors ought to be seen in context, and that at other races he’s put in solid performances and/or worked efficiently as a team participant.
Binotto also said in Monza that there was no uncertainty about Vettel’s location at Ferrari for 2020:”I’ve said it and I am confirming it – for next year Sebastian and Charles are all our motorists and there’s little doubt at all about that”
As Vettel joined the celebratory team photograph following the race, that the Ferrari team members shook his title.
As Vettel needed Leclerc on the first since Leclerc hadn’t abided by an agreement to give him a slipstream on their second runs privately vettel was miserable after qualifying at Monza on Saturday.
Leclerc explained that it had been a result of the confusion in the conclusion of qualifying, where the cars were bunched and moved slowly about their’out’ lap to try to prevent being in the queue, because a slipstream is worth around 0.5 minutes a lap at Monza.
Leclerc did finally move over the run to the corner, but neither made it to set a lap. That supposed Leclerc was on Vettel and pole fourth.
With what went on radio communications at the time showed the frustration of Vettel. Ferrari refused to reveal exactly what was said although the drivers discussed the matter using Binotto day.
After Leclerc won on Sunday, Binotto said in Italian”perdonato” over the radio, so”I forgive you”.
Binotto told the press:”This means whatever happened in the very last days which we discussed – and that is something that will stay between us at least today he did a good job which was a way of saying we had been happy for the job he did.”
Asked whether he thought the episode would sour the relationship between the drivers, Binotto explained:”It is something we discussed internally. There might be different points of view – the outside lap was a situation for everybody.
“But we’re looking forward. I know I can count on them. I think it will not affect [it]it doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. The spirit is whatever you can do there is something to understand.”
Vettel reported the qualifying problems had not affected his mindset entering the race and were not related.
“I had been in good spirits so I don’t believe that had any impact,” he explained.
Has has altered?
Analysis and comment in the chief Formula 1 author of the BBC.
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