Sebastian Vettel is already set to struggle in Austria. Yes, his Ferrari has an engine upgrade but the German has been lumped with a 5-place gearbox penalty after an unscheduled change.
Ferrari were about six tenths off of the ultimate pace of the Mercedes in Practice, so first impressions suggest that the engine upgrade hasn’t been very effective. To add further injury to the Italian outfit, Vettel’s 5-place grid penalty almost automatically denies them the chance of victory in Austria.
When quizzed about his spin in the gravel in Practice and his upcoming grid penalty, Vettel said,
“That sounds pretty severe! (laughs) But the car feels good. Of course we have to fiddle overnight to see what we can do. It’s no secret that the rain during FP2 didn’t help us – but everybody was hampered by that so there is no big gain for anybody.”
Ferrari are yet to win a race in 2016, and the wait looks to continue. Vettel is 45-point behind Rosberg, so it’s audacious for the German to claim he is still in contention for the Driver’s championship. Empty comments in the wake of a dominant Mercedes that remains unchallenged for the most part.
It’s every drivers dream to drive for the Ferrari team. Its rich Formula One history is enough to attract talent like Sebastien Vettel. But yet again, his patience will be tested this weekend. It’s unacceptable for them to go an entire season without a win, and Austria isn’t looking like the place to secure one.
Vettel will be hoping for a good finish nonetheless, one that doesn’t end like this:
— vinesf1 (@vinesf1) May 4, 2016