Vettel has to get a bit faster

AAs usual in Formula 1. This is not good news for Sebastian Vettel. While world champion Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) on Friday during training for the Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao (Sunday, 4 p.m. CEST in the FAZ live ticker for Formula 1 and on Sky) the head-to-head race continued, the four-time world champion was again far behind his teammate.

The Hessian in the Aston Martin took 0.6 seconds longer to simulate a qualifying round than Lance Stroll. The Canadian rushed back into the top ten (9th), half a second behind Hamilton, who was fastest in training. Vettel finished 15th and looked slightly annoyed out of his overalls when he answered questions: “I’m not satisfied. I could have been a bit faster, “he told the Sky broadcaster,” the car is not yet doing what I imagine. I’ve tried a lot. Something will be there for Saturday (for the starting place race / the editor). “

Aston Martin wanted the winner

Vettel relies on a profitable idea for tuning his car overnight. The pressure is growing. Aston Martin had hired him to benefit from the experience of a winning guy to gain some extra time. Vettel’s problems during the first two races of the season were more or less benevolently accepted as difficulties getting used to. Switching from the Ferrari to the Aston Martin with the Mercedes hybrid in the rear requires a certain amount of adjustment time. Because of mishaps, Vettel did not get going at the beginning. But Formula 1 is impatient.

According to an unwritten law, hierarchies are established after the first three races of a season. Especially when one of the two pilots is constantly driving significantly faster. Stroll the chief pilot? The son of the team co-owner and billionaire Lawrence Stroll should actually learn from Heppenheimer. In recent years he had driven after Sergio Perez, who had been displaced for Vettel. On Friday, the twelve-year-old German revealed the strong, or at least strengthened, position of the Canadian when asked about the other reasons for his deficit (0.6 seconds). “Lance drove a different specification. I hope that brings us a step forward. ”

There are changes to the racing car behind another specification. Sometimes a teammate can also be used as a test pilot if a racing team is already circling at the highest level and just wants to find out whether, for example, a new front wing is good. Then the chief pilot is only operated when the progress is certain. But since Aston Martin is a small team and has to budget differently than Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes, for example, both racing cars cannot always be sent to training or races with new parts. In this situation, Filius or not, the faster one is preferred: Stroll. Vettel has to change that quickly if he wants to meet his own standards. If everything fits together, he could also make it into the top ten in qualifying.

There is a popular game in Formula 1. It’s called superglue. The best of the three sector times of a pilot are added to a lap time that the driver could ideally have achieved. In this arithmetic exercise, too, Vettel was clearly behind his teammate, but was only just ahead of Mick Schumacher.

In reality there were 0.4 seconds and three places between the compatriots. Schumacher Junior was 18th in the Haas. But in contrast to Vettel, he received praise again. Because the 22-year-old German, who grew up on Lake Geneva, not only left team-mate Nikita Masepin (20th) behind by more than a second, but also Nicolas Latifi in the faster Williams. The Canadian is Schumacher’s opponent in the fight at the end of the field. Vettel, as indicated by the endurance tests on Friday, will be able to find his rhythm more easily in the Grand Prix. The power density in the midfield does not make a full jump to a halfway promising starting place seem unrealistic. If Vettel uses the potential of the car. Alpine appeared surprisingly on Friday with Fernando Alonso (5th) and Esteban Ocon (6th). McLaren’s German team boss Andreas Seidl was not very worried, however, that the lead in the field of chasers, including Ferrari, was again lost to the French. But nobody has come closer to the top. And yet there were signs of a change.

Mercedes seems to be a bit faster than the Red Bull on the Portuguese circuit, both in the sprint and over many laps. Hamilton’s best time before Verstappen and the Grand Prix simulation by Valtteri Bottas indicate this. That could be due to the ascent and descent. It demands a lot of power in the rear. The drive of the Silver Arrow is still the most powerful. However, Hamilton saw no advantage: “It will be tight. Something has to come from the car. But the others will also succeed. ”

The Englishman’s millions of fans will have to rely on the classic media this weekend to find out how their champion is doing. Hamilton participates in a kind of boycott of social media initiated by English football. Williams driver George Russel (13) also joined in: “There is so much abuse, hatred and racism on social media that it cannot go any further. It is our duty to get some attention (with the boycott / ed.). I hope we can make a difference. ”Vettel does not have to be convinced of such an action. Social media is not his world. And who wants to spread bad news on all channels?

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