Formula 1

Vettel's recklessness cost Ferrari, according to Brundle .

Martin Brundle blogs on Sebastian Vettel's disappointing display at US Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen cut a typically calm and low key figure after his victory at the US Grand Prix on Sunday, during which he'd put in a faultless display to see off the challenges from championship contender Lewis Hamilton and an unusually focused Max Verstappen.

Hamilton had arrived at the Circuit of the Americas aiming for his fifth win in a row this year, his fifth consecutive United States Grand Prix victory and – best of all – his fifth world championship title, but was frustrated by a supremely tactical display from the Finn.

In contrast to Raikkonen's ice-cool display, his teammate Sebastian Vettel was once again caught up in controversy and physical tussles that saw him finish some way behind in fourth place. 

Now, F1 pundit Martin Brundle has highlighted the improvements made by Raikkonen and the Ferrari team and contrasted them with the performances of Vettel to suggest that the German is fast becoming his own worst enemy. 

Brundle wrote for Sky Sports: "Kimi kept his head and calm - unlike his teammate Sebastian Vettel. The three-place grid drop for his red flag speeding misdemeanour in a wet Friday practice was tough but consistent with the rules and other precedents this year.

"There's no point rushing a red flag in-lap on a rainy day, or any day, and it must have seemed painfully slow but the other 18 drivers on track managed the information available to them.

"Vettel, using the prodigious Ferrari straight-line speed, passed Daniel Ricciardo into Turn 12 but arrived at the apex too hot and ran wide. Side by side into Turn 13 they firmly touched and, just as in Monza and Suzuka, Vettel's Ferrari turned around.

"He might be doing something on a reducing throttle and panic braking as he recognises contact is imminent, causing the front axle to load up and the rear to unload. Or simply the Ferrari's brake and engine braking/harvesting parameters combine to effectively pull the 'handbrake' on.

"We haven't seen Raikkonen do that though.

F1 Grand Prix of USA - Qualifying

"Given Vettel's pace he could have won the Grand Prix without this clumsiness. Ferrari went the wrong way with car updates back in Singapore and it's taken all this time to understand that despite the might of the team and their comprehensive tools and data, and drivers who have over 500 starts combined."

The result means that Hamilton's coronations as world champion once again is almost inevitable and the analysis suggests that the more Vettel pushes to catch the British driver the more mistakes creep into his driving.

Next up is the Mexican Grand Prix and it's set to be fascinating with the championship and driver reputations in the balance.

Topics:
Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Formula 1

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