Sebastian Vettel title hopes suffer another major blow in qualifying

Sebastian Vettel's Formula 1 championship hopes suffered another major blow on Saturday when an engine problem left him at the back of the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel title hopes suffer another major blow in qualifying

With Ferrari so strong in practice, Vettel had gone into qualifying day as a clear favourite in the fight for pole position.

But his day turned quickly when a suspected electrical problem in final practice cut his running short and forced a late engine change.

Although Ferrari was able to fit Vettel's fourth and final power unit of the season ahead of qualifying, a fresh problem hit him during his first attempt at a lap in Q1.

Vettel's engine appeared to stutter as he said over the team radio that he suspected he had lost his turbo, and he drove back to the pits slowly.

Mechanics began working on the car and, although it appeared at one point he was going to head back out on track, in the end the team gave up.

On a weekend when Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes appeared to be on the backfoot, Vettel faces an uphill task to not lose further ground to his title rival who is 28 points clear, and topped Q1.

"It's not ideal, not what you want, especially on a day where you feel you've got it in you, you've got it in the car, but unfortunately we won't be able to prove that," Vettel told Sky Sports during the session.

"Even though it's a pretty bad day, the race is tomorrow.

"We need to see now what we the problem, but we managed to do the [engine] change successfully in time.

"We thought we would be late, but we made it, so the guys did a miracle today.

"They fixed it up so quickly. It's a shame that we couldn't get out and get it where it belongs for them."

shares
comments
Renault: Jolyon Palmer's Singapore F1 points should be wake-up call

Previous article

Renault: Jolyon Palmer's Singapore F1 points should be wake-up call

Next article

Lewis Hamilton takes Malaysian GP pole, Sebastian Vettel at the back

Lewis Hamilton takes Malaysian GP pole, Sebastian Vettel at the back
Load comments
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021