One of the most interesting key points of the latest Formula One round, the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, was Sebastian Vettel’s fight back through the pack as the German driver recovered from a first lap incident with Max Verstappen, in particular his dramatic move to get passed the Sahara Force India of Esteban Ocon.
After Sebastian Vettel’s early pit-stop to change his damaged front wing, the championship leader was in damage limitation mode as his main title rival, Lewis Hamilton, cruised to an easy victory in Montreal. The question was: how much was Seb willing to risk in order to climb up the field in Montreal?
Running sixth in the closing stages of the race and closing on the squabbling Force Indias of Ocon and Sergio Perez, Vettel gave us the answer with a his dive down the inside of Ocon on the dusty line into turn one. It was a gutsy move with Ocon having to run off the track to avoid a potential incident.
Vettel himself thought the move to pass the rookie Frenchman would be “fairly straightforward”.
Asked to comment on this move, Sebastian Vettel said: “[It was] Full risk! I wanted to get past, full stop. I was surprised because I was so much faster and I thought it should be fairly straightforward to pass them, but also the tow effect is smaller and the loss of downforce is quite big so I was sliding quite a lot and more than I thought. They had a run at each other into Turn 13 and 14 and I hooked up the exit, which was good, and then I committed half way down the straight and said I go down the inside no matter what. Esteban had a bit of a wobble and I reacted to that and it was really slippery on the inside and I just made Turn 1, which was fine and enough, so I’m happy with that.” – Scuderia Ferrari German driver added.
Vettel went on to overtake Segio Perez too and as a result manage to limit the championship blow delivered by Lewis Hamilton. The German’s lead in the title race is now just 12 points, ahead of the 2017 Azerbaidjan Grad Prix.