Vettel In Baku: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

The 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix has plenty of stories to narrate. One story that has gained traction after everyone’s analysis of the Red Bull Racing drivers’ crash is that of Sebastian Vettel and how he showcased yet another flaw in his race craft and let the lead of the Drivers’ Championship slip away from his hands. Frankly, it is time that we stop pulling up Sebastian Vettel for being a racer – for he will (and should!) always be one. The better part about both Vettel and Max Verstappen is that they aren’t ones that easily change their ways; they would rather back their instincts than react to critics.
Mithila Mehta and I have partnered with Firstpost for the 2018 Formula 1 Season and will feature in their Firstpost Pole Position videos all through the season. Basically, we’re now available in text, audio and video! 
At the second Safety Car restart, Vettel attempted a Ricciardo-styled overtaking move on Raikkonen-Hamilton-Bottas; one that Hamilton pulled in Bahrain too – three cars in one corner. However, unlike Ricciardo and Hamilton, Vettel ended up overshooting the corner and worse, flat spotting his tyres that saw him go from hero to zero by the end of that lap. Force India’s Sergio Perez hunted him down to claim the third step of the podium.

Best News From Baku: Verstappen Hasn’t Changed His Ways

There are tons of reports on how Vettel should have been patient and waited for his opportunity on Bottas to come later in the race, or how he should have bothered about finishing ahead of Hamilton and played the championship game rather than being greedy for the win. Honestly, any driver worth his salt would have attempt this move and that’s precisely why we watch Formula 1. In Vettel’s case though, it is about ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’, because him not attacking at the restart would have also raised questions about his talent, ability and focus.
However, for more on this story and for a summary of all the other stories from Azerbaijan, here’s this week’s Firstpost Pole Position video.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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