Sebastian Vettel went through a particularly complex weekend for him. At the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, the first disputed as a driver of the Aston Martin Racing team, he did not go beyond the 18th place finish, ahead of only the Haas of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
A disappointing race, his. Made even more complicated by the gamble made on lap 37. The German stopped in the pits to change tires, removing the intermediates with which he had faced the first race stint to switch to dry tires.
Furthermore, Vettel did not limit himself to mounting slicks, but even those with medium compounds (the C3s, over the weekend just ended). Although the track was drying very slowly, Vettel’s gamble did not pay off. Indeed, it was nothing short of harmful.
After a few curves from the pit lane exit, the former Ferrari driver noticed how the averages were not adequate for the track conditions. Between Curve 4 and Curva 7 he risked spinning several times, coming long in braking and risking crashing during the return to the pits, to mount a new set of Intermediates.
At the end of the race, Vettel explained the gamble he had made and took the whole blame for the choice made. A real gamble, which if he had paid he would have done so with very high dividends. The result, however, was the opposite. “Together with the team we made the choice to use dry tires, I wanted to try to make up positions. But in the end I made the decision”.
“In the intermediates I couldn’t do anything more, so I thought the dry tires might be good. But I couldn’t run them in and I didn’t have any grip. That’s why I lost a lot of time: I just couldn’t get them to work.”
“It was worse than I expected, even if it was only wet here and there or wet. But the main thing was that I couldn’t break in the tire, so I kept sliding everywhere.”
“Seen at this moment the choice is easy. Made at that moment I don’t know. I was tempted to mount the slicks a few laps before, because the intermediates just didn’t work”.
“If we look at our intermediates, there was nothing left on those tires. They looked like slicks. So I think I was right in thinking of changing them. Then, however, putting on dry tires was a bad choice.”
Vettel also commented on the track, which appeared to have much more grip than last season. With the arrival of the rain, however, the conditions changed further. “The track was fun, but a bit strange, because it was similar to last year due to being on track for so long with the Intermediates.”
“At one point I thought the track was ready for dry tires. So I took the risk, but it didn’t work. Last year, around 15 laps to go, I thought I’d try to fit slicks when the track was worse. Today I thought it was worth trying, but it turned out to be a bad choice, “concluded Vettel.