Formula 1’s currently tied championship leader, Sebastian Vettel, has praised the overtaking abilities of the new 2017 generation of cars, telling media after the Chinese Grand Prix, “I like this way of overtaking.”
Statistically speaking, last year’s Chinese Grand Prix did see more overtaking. Vettel, however, praised how 2017’s overtaking is more natural and can’t be completed “simply by opening up the DRS.”
Vettel is most inclined to talk about the new overtaking as he had fans on the edge of their seats throughout this year’s race when attacking Daniel Ricciardo on lap 22.
With a clear pace advantage, Vettel lurched his SF70-H into the Turn 6 hairpin on the outside of Ricciardo, locking his front right tire in the process.
Still side-by-side out of the corner, Vettel described ‘what happened next’ as “tense”: the two drivers rubbed tires on the entry to the fast Turn 7 and sent a plume of smoke into the air in a frightening moment that could’ve seen either one of them spin out.
Vettel, nonetheless, held the place from his former team mate.
That wasn’t the only overtaking Vettel was forced to do, as he also had to get past team mate Raikkonen when Ferrari didn’t issue a team order.
Vettel used the same place as he did for Ricciardo: the Turn 6 hairpin. But, on this occasion, he instead lunged up the inside and was flying too fast for Raikkonen to fight back on the exit.
In the end, Vettel would finish in P2, just 6.2 seconds adrift of championship rival, Lewis Hamilton. He admitted he was “happy” with the result given an early safety car dropping him to an effective P6.
“I think [the safety-car] had an effect,” he admitted after the race.
He also said it would be “good news” if Ferrari can continue their fight with Mercedes when they meet again in Bahrain on the 16th of April.