Vettel's bizarre excuse for losing Canadian GP

Sebastian Vettel and his seagulls. Photo / Getty
Sebastian Vettel and his seagulls. Photo / Getty

Still without a win in 2016, Sebastian Vettel had a unique excuse after a runner-up finish to Lewis Hamilton in Canada.

With a cheeky grin, the Ferrari driver blamed his second second-place of the season on a pair of pesky track invaders who stared him down and forced him to lock up as he entered Turn One.

Vettel put forward the explanation after interrupting a trackside interview Hamilton was conducting with Sky Sports.

"He's not braking for animals," the German said. "You should give him a hard time because of that. Two seagulls at Turn One!

"I had my eyes into Turn One and then I see these stupid couple of seagulls just sitting there, all relaxed. I had my eyes so deep into the apex, I locked up."

"I'm a racing driver, so I have to find some kind of excuse," Vettel added.

Hamilton played along with the theory, declaring he had instructed the birds to block his rival.

"You know I'm good with animals, right?" the world champion joked. "I'm like Dr Dolittle, I told them to be there."

In reality, it was Ferrari's two-stop strategy which contributed most to Vettel's defeat. The German had led the race early on after a stunning start saw him usurp both Mercedes, but the Silver Arrows' one-stop strategy eventually paid off.


Australia's Daniel Ricciardo was again impacted by a pit stop bungle but conceded he too made mistakes in his run to seventh place.

"Unfortunately we've had good Saturdays but not great Sundays," Ricciardo said. "Just couldn't really get a good break.

"A few scrappy parts from my side and, I would say, the team's side today. It was not a clean race from both of us."

Pitting on the 38th lap, Ricciardo was forced to wait as the team fumbled in fitting the 26-year-old's front right tyre, leading to the longest stop of the main contenders.

But after being cost victories in Spain and Monaco through no fault of his own, Ricciardo noted the impact of a rare personal error in Montreal.

"I locked a brake into Turn 13 and damaged the second set of tyres I had, and then a few of the pit stops and calls were a bit average again," he said. "We've got to clean some things up for Sundays."

He was also upset that teammate Max Verstappen wasn't ordered to move aside earlier in the race while he was on quicker tyres. Ricciardo got off to a strong start, however he found himself caught up behind a tangle involving the two Mercedes teammates in Nico Rosberg and Hamilton.

The bungle put him behind Verstappen, and while he asked his team for clear air, the younger driver held his ground and did not move aside.

"I think (it made) a pretty big difference," Ricciardo said. "But obviously it's done now - no point saying what could've been." Ricciardo was infuriated after a bungled pit stop, where the Red Bull team did not have tyres ready, cost him the lead at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

He also felt team strategy cost him a victory in the Spanish Grand Prix before that, where he led half the race before he was placed on a three-stop strategy.

The result leaves Ricciardo fourth in the championship standings, 44 points behind leader Rosberg, and three points clear of fifth-placed Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen.


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