Sebastian Vettel could not resist a cheeky joke regarding the current drama at the Brazil GP after he finished the Sprint race on Saturday. All the build-up to the event had been dominated by investigations into Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. The former received a €50k fine after a video emerged of him touching the rear wing of Hamilton’s car after qualifying.
And Hamilton was discounted from qualifying for a technical infringement regarding his DRS, meaning he started the Sprint from the back rather than the front.
Nevertheless, he put in a sensational performance to recover from starting 20th to end up fifth, and will now begin the main event from 10th on the grid.
Aston Martin’s Vettel finished 10th in the Sprint, and a video of him speaking to his team at the end went viral as he discussed the drama which had taken place off the track all weekend.
“Thank you. I’m going to touch Hamilton’s rear-wing,” he was heard saying, much to the amusement of those listening.
He was then told doing so would be “very expensive,” and went on to add “I’m joking! I’ll try the front-wing, maybe it’s €25k.”
Leaving the joking aside, Hamilton has now given himself a genuine chance of fighting back just when it looked like his title hopes were all but over.
And speaking about his stunning performance, the Brit told Sky F1: “I honestly had no idea what was possible. I didn’t set a limit or a maximum.
“I think when I was at the back of the grid before the start, before we pulled away for the formation lap, I think I might have been able to see 10th and I was like that’s my goal, got to try and get as far up as I can.
“All of a sudden I was shipping away much faster and I really used a lot of different things to fuel today. You can’t give up, you’ve got to keep pushing.”
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff also appears to have sudden confidence again going into the showpiece event in Sao Paulo.
He added: “I believe we have a good car here. We’ve seen over 24 laps definitely we didn’t suffer with the tyres.
“Tomorrow that is a different game again because it’s going to be much hotter. But at least it’s encouraging to see we can overtake.”
Valtteri Bottas will start from the pole position after he won the Sprint, and he will be joined by Verstappen in the front row.
Behind them is Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez, while Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc are third row.