Sebastian Vettel takes blame for spin, denies being under pressure

Sebastian Vettel accepted full responsibility for his costly spin during Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but rejected suggestions that it was down to feeling under pressure.

Vettel grabbed the lead of the race from Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc at the start but was usurped by the youngster after just six laps, and instead embarked on a scrap with Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton used the undercut to grab second through the first round of stops but struggled on the Soft tyres compared to the Mediums employed by Vettel, and the German reinstated Ferrari’s 1-2.

But after the second round of stops, Hamilton closed in on Vettel and launched an attack around the outside of Turn 4, moving ahead of his rival.

As he did so Vettel lost the rear of his SF90 and spun, with the consequent damage to the tyres causing a vibration which resulted in the front wing detaching from the car along the back straight.

The resulting pit stop for repairs relegated Vettel to ninth but he clawed his way back to fifth place.

It marked another error for Vettel while battling with a rival, coming in the wake of similar mistakes through the second half of the 2018 season.

“To be honest, I don’t think it has anything to do with pressure,” Vettel asserted.

“Obviously, when I was fighting with Lewis the target was to stay ahead and that was the ambition.

“I got surprised when I lost the rear that suddenly and then when I was in the spin it was already too late.

“Certainly I had a look at it again, certainly it was my mistake and I need to digest that our race could have been a bit better without that spin at that time.

“Nevertheless it was a difficult race and there is plenty of homework on my side this weekend not having the feel for the car, especially yesterday and today, so we need to have a good look.

“From a team’s point of view, it was a good step forward from two weeks ago.”

Vettel holds fifth position in the Drivers’ Championship, 22 points behind Valtteri Bottas.