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"Was my idea": How Rikknen moved Vettel to the front row

Saturday, August 26th, 2017 | Sports

26. August 2017 – 17:22

Sebastian Vettel can thank Rikknen for his help

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(cafetheology.org) – In the last second, Sebastian Vettel took the chestnut from the fire in the qualifying session of Spa-Francorchamps and pushed from fifth place to second place. "Grazie Kimi," he thanked with his team colleague Kimi Rikknen. The Finn, whose own second Q3 attempt failed, gave Vettel in the last section Windschatten and thus helped him to a Sektorbestzeit of 28,257.Damit, he was even 0.027 seconds faster than the flying pole setter Lewis Hamilton. All in all, Vettel missed the title rival, 0.224 seconds (this is the qualifying result), behind them are Mercedes-driver Valtteri Bottas and Rikknen, who struggled with vibrations. But how much time did the wind shadow of the team colleague Vettel really bring? "Sebastian got a wind shadow from Kimi in the last sector and drove two tenths faster", analyzes Mercedes-Motorsportchef Toto Wolff. "The happiness of the mighty, I would say," grins the Austrian. "For otherwise it would have been enough for Valtteri for second place." In fact, Vettel has improved his time in sector 3 by exactly 0.245 seconds – Bottas were missing in the end 0.299 seconds. It would have become tight, because nobody knows, which time Vettel would be driven otherwise.Rikknen: Why he Vettel halfFakt is however: The teamwork of the two Ferrari pilots, which will work through Vettel's contract extension in 2018, works perfectly. Or was Rikknen asked by the team to play for Vettel the Wassertrger? "As far as I know, it was not planned and the team did not tell him," says Vettel. "Probably he saw a red car in the rearview mirror and thought he wanted to give me some shade." Rikknen himself confirms this: "I had a fault in curve 9, had a problem with the tire temperatures," he explains why he did not His lap despite a personal best time in the first sector had to break off. "I slid sideways." When he has the impression that a reporter suspects a stallion, he reacts irritably: "Do not invent any stories here, I wanted to go to the box anyway, and I knew he was behind me, so I went back on the straights To help him there, otherwise nothing. " Conclusion: "If I can help the team, I'll do it. It did not cost me anything." And so Vettel speeded to the busstop chicanery with speed overshoot through the Blanchimont full throttle curve. "That was tricky, because I got through the wind shadow much faster," the World Cup leader says. "And braking is never easy, you miss the turn quickly, but luckily I've got it." Vettel hangs with Ferrari in the qualifying "All weekend everything went smoothly – and then a run-through in the qualifying." Kimi RikknenGenerell had Vettel after a good start of the qualifying with his Boliden according to own data more and more to fight. "I lost this good feeling and the front axle was a bit loose," he explains. "Especially in Sector 2 with the medium fast and fast corners, I would have wished that it would react somewhat better." In the end, however, the car felt "more active" again. Unlike Spa specialist Rikknen, who was deeply frustrated after qualifying and fourth place. Already in Q1, he complained about unusual vibrations via box radio, which despite the efforts of the team always recurred and also impaired him in Q3, even if he takes the error on his cap. "The whole weekend went smoothly – and then it was a great success in qualifying, something that is always disappointing," he says. Apart from the distracting vibration, the car had also been well-liked.Vettel: Mercedes should be warm in the race

Vettel believes that his Ferrari will work better in the race

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But what does all this mean for the race? Even if it was Vettel in the first row, the Heppenheimer in the qualifying never really looked to eye with his rival Hamilton. Nevertheless, one can not underestimate the Scuderia in the race. In the Longruns on Friday, Vettel was better than the silver arrows. Must Mercedes worry about it? "Yes, they should," laughs Vettel, who feels more comfortable with a full tank at Spa. "I had the whole weekend so far, that it is trickier to get everything in a quick round with the car, but if we take several rounds with a lot of fuel, I feel very comfortable." The race was because of the good And the unpredictable strategy. "Mercedes will surely be fast, but we do not need to hide," he encourages himself and his team. "We're not in the front row for a reason, we've got the pace, and that's what we should have in the race."


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