• Spanish Grand Prix

Vettel was told to retire from Spanish GP by Red Bull

ESPNF1 Staff
May 10, 2010 « Still no decision on tyres for 2011 | »
Sebastian Vettel was told to return to the pits by his team © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel has revealed he was asked to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix by his team but stayed out on track to finish third.

The Red Bull driver suffered braking difficulties with 15 laps of the Barcelona race still to run, and made a pit stop so the problem could be investigated. Mechanics and engineers noticed damage to a brake disc before sending him back onto the circuit.

"When I got back out the team told me that I should quit the race," Vettel said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. "They said the risk because of the broken brake was too great. I asked them if that [retiring] was really necessary or whether I could just drive slowly and pick up some points. I got no answer. So I drove. In the middle of the last corner I then got the message 'keep going, but be careful', but it was too late anyway. I was already past the pit entry."

Vettel said he managed to finish the race by shifting the brake bias all the way to the rear. Team boss Christian Horner defended the car's reliability record and said that the podium result was proof of how well the situation was managed.

"I think when you are pushing the boundaries, things can happen," said Horner. "But we have to understand what the issue was here - as McLaren has to do with their failure with Lewis [Hamilton]. Ultimately we have got two cars on the podium and were just three points off a maximum score. So I think the team managed the issue with the brakes very well."