Sebastian Vettel has acknowledged his comment that Formula 1 should bring back V12 engines following his retirement from the Russian Grand Prix was “very bitter”.

Vettel retired midway through Sunday’s race in Sochi after the MGU-K element on his power unit failed, costing him a possible shot at victory after leading the opening stint.

Vettel’s final message before getting out of the car was: “Bring back f**king V12s”, referring to the old engine formula used by F1 in previous eras. The sport currently uses V6 hybrid power units which are far more complex.

Asked after the race about his V12s comment and whether it was a hint of him considering his future, Vettel said it was not “serious” to consider F1 going back to the engine configuration.

“Obviously there is no option. These power units are very complex from an engineering point of view very fascinating, but obviously I have my stand on it,” Vettel said.

“I don’t think it comes with a great upside for us racing and people watching.

“In that moment, obviously it was very bitter, because up to that point I thought I drove very well and it was looking like a good afternoon.

“The first reaction when the car breaks down is not always the happiest one.”

The failure left Vettel’s car in an unsafe condition, forcing the German to park his car at the earliest opportunity instead of trying to bring it back to the pits.

By parking up at the side of the track at Turn 15, Vettel triggered a Virtual Safety Car period that ultimately cost teammate Charles Leclerc track position to Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

But Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto stressed there was no way of Vettel taking the car any further in order to prevent the race being neutralised.

“For safety reasons, we called to stop immediately. Of course it’s a shame, because 100 metres later was [a gap],” Binotto said.

“But it was the safest action we could do for Seb, and the safety aspects.”

 

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