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VIDEO: Vettel explains decision to not let Ricciardo past

Apr 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Sebastian Vettel has explained why he initially refused to allow teammate Daniel Ricciardo to pass him during today’s Chinese Grand Prix despite being told to do so by the team.

The two drivers fought for fifth position after the first round of pit stops on Sunday, and with fresher tires, Ricciardo was faster and looked to pass his four-time champion teammate. Red Bull gave Vettel the call to let him past, but the German driver challenged this team order.

As they were on the same tires, Vettel told his team that it was “tough luck” and continued to push on. However, he soon realised that it was futile, and eventually yielded to Ricciardo.

“I moved over for Daniel once I knew that we were on different strategies,” Vettel explained after the race. “When I was first asked, I didn’t understand as we were on the same tire, unlike in Bahrain, so I double checked.

“When the team said we were on a different strategy, I moved over and then, as the race went on, I saw more and more that I didn’t have the pace. There was no point in holding Dan back.”

  1. barroneo10scuderia10 - Apr 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    How many times can Seb play stupid? He was told his team mate had fresher tires, and then later complains about Kobayashi passing him because “he’s got new tires, of course he’s quicker.” So he understands when it’s an opposing driver, but when it’s his own team mate he is clueless? Come on Seb.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 20, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    The golden boy ain’t so golden when his teammate has an equal car, is he? And if anyone had a doubt about Vettel being a narcissistic punk, they should have no doubts now after his latest comment: “tough luck”, when told to allow the faster Ricciardo to pass. Adrian Newey has won four F1 championships. It’s unclear if Vettel has won any.

  3. worknman24hours - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I wished Vettel took his cues from Kimi Raikonnen.

    Sometimes less is more.

  4. cuencanolenny - Apr 20, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Interesting the way this article reads out and the “take” some people have on it. When I listened to the exchange on the radio and heard the team tell him to let him pass the question Vettel asked was, “What tires is he on.” The response was, “The prime, same as you, just fresher.” And then I heard Vettel reply, “Tough luck.” I took the response to mean that the fresher tires on Ricciardo’s car were working better than that on Vettel’s and Seb was just commenting that it was HIS bad luck that the teammate’s car was faster. And it wasn’t until a particular corner that Dan was close enough for a not so obvious move over. Regardless of the change in the rules, it still shouldn’t look anymore obvious than it has too. While Dan was starting to chase down Alonso, I’m not sure that two or three laps more would have done the trick. The Renault and Ferrari cars just don’t have the power to do much passing, even with DRS. I didn’t see it as a big deal and Seb is a very good driver to keep the car as competitive as he has. And what a bad break for Massa!?! That pit stop cost him dearly, he had a good car and might have challenged for a podium. Such is racing.

  5. Jeff - Apr 21, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    I like my drivers who want to win regardless of team orders.

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