Sebastian Vettel admits taking “a little bit more risk” was the reason for his heavy shunt in the dying stages of Q2 in Formula 1 qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

The German shunted his Ferrari heavily with just over two minutes of Q2 remaining, losing the rear of his car at Turn 4, causing the red flag period. 

Vettel had looked more competitive compared to previous weekends going into qualifying, ending final practice inside the top ten.

When asked about his crash in Q2, Vettel said: “Well I lost the car… already in Turn 2 I lost the car and then in Turn 4, I lost it again and I couldn’t catch it anyway.”

The Aston Martin-bound driver was happy with the balance of his car in practice but struggled in qualifying, especially in the first third of the lap where the wind direction had changed and drivers were struggling to brake into Turn 2.

“It was, it was but in qualifying I was struggling especially in the first sector,” Vettel added. I tried to take a little bit more risk, as I said I lost it in [Turn] 2 and then in [Turn] 4. Not happy obviously but compared to the morning session I struggled quite a bit in the afternoon.”

Leclerc is set to start the race from 11th and was fortunate to avoid Vettel’s wreckage having been following his teammate on track before the crash at Turn 4.

While he was disappointed not to reach Q3, Leclerc was happy to have free tyre choice from P11 on the grid for tomorrow’s race in Sochi.

“It was quite scary but hopefully he is fine and it was not much worse than that,” Leclerc said. “Now it’s more the disappointment of not going through to Q3. I thought I had no margins at all, I thought on the radio but actually there was quite a bit of margin and I could have taken a bigger gap to the car in front. It’s frustrating but it’s life.

“On the positive part we are starting 11th which is we are the first car to choose our tyres tomorrow so hopefully we can benefit from it.”




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