Sebastian Vettel says he won’t change his approach to wheel-to-wheel battle in Formula 1, and has suggested a loss of downforce in close combat is behind his recent “weird” spins.
Vettel’s title challenge has collapsed since his victory at the post-summer Belgian Grand Prix, with the Ferrari driver having suffered a spate of incidents while battling with opponents.
Vettel spun in Italy, Japan and the United States while dicing with Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo respectively, and on all three occasions he was on the inside line.
When questioned about the nature of the spins, Vettel said: “Obviously you want to have the inside to the corner, that doesn’t change. But I don’t know.
“The closer you are to another car you lose some downforce, obviously the spins I had were all quite weird because there was not much I could have done.
“It is not like I had gone in too fast or would have spun on own at that speed, not at all, so I guess there must be some sort of hole or something being on the inside of a car in that position.
“Obviously on all three occasions I wasn’t clearly ahead, at best side-by-side, maybe next time I try the outside!”
Vettel also stressed that he never attempted “anything silly or stupid” and insisted he has no reason to change his approach.
But he nonetheless conceded that the recent incidents are likely to be in the back of his mind.
“Obviously inside the car things look a little bit different, then you look from 13 different angles and in slow-mo and by that time even the last person in the paddock might have an opinion,” he said.
“But it might differ…every opinion might differ.
“The main thing is that fundamentally I didn’t try to do anything silly or stupid, I wasn’t hard-headed trying to do something that would never work.
“Obviously now it has happened a couple of times, too much, so next time there will be a gap, I am sure I will go for a gap.
“But surely it is in the back of your head trying to keep the car facing the right direction.”