• Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

'Not really a big mistake' - Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
October 7, 2011 « Hard tyres to make return in India as option compound | Mercedes buoyed by progress after tricky morning »
Sebastian Vettel's morning session ended in the barriers © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel says that his crash in first practice for the Japanese Grand Prix "was not really a big mistake", and barely affected his running.

Vettel ran wide exiting Degner One right at the end of the morning session, and was unable to get back on the track as the car slid in to the tyre wall. The Red Bull's front wing was broken but he still managed to end the session in third place, while he didn't lose any running in the afternoon. Vettel said it was just the nature of Suzuka that his mistake was punished, and that the Pirelli tyres were making the track more of a challenge.

"I think it was not really a big mistake," Vettel said. "Mistakes around here can be quite costly. I went off and tried to come back, tried to slow the car down as much as possible, but didn't make it and hot the wall slightly. Not a big impact, but obviously some damage to the car.

"[It was] not perfect, and it did affect our run plan a little bit, but we had a solid afternoon. It's pretty tricky this year with the tyres, I think the cars generally are much more alive. After I stopped I had the opportunity to see some of the car I could see for Suzuka they are much more alive than they used to be. Sunday will be quite an interesting race."

Vettel said that the incident sharpened his focus on the race weekend rather than the championship.

"I would say I had a good reminder this morning in the practice not to think about something else."

Despite being able to take 130R with the DRS open, Vettel said he had to lift during the corner and that the system had made the corner more testing.

"It's not comfortable... I think last year we went generally a bit quicker round here, this year we are a bit slower. It's definitely exciting, not as easy as it used to be - 130R - most of the time we lifted today, usually it was always easy flat. It wasn't today, especially with the DRS open."

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