In an interview with ESPN F1 today, Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein said his spin during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix was “something really strange”.
Wehrlein lost the rear of his Manor on a wet patch as he crossed a bump under one of Shanghai’s bridges across the put straight. The car spun off the track and into the wall on the pit straight, with the accident causing a red flag and leaving Wehrlein without a time.
When asked by ESPN F1 today, if he was scared when he lost control at speed, Wehrlein said the following:-
‘Definitely. You are going quite fast on this part. I am disappointed and unhappy but if you lose the car in the corner it is your mistake, but if you lose it on the straight [it is] something really strange.
‘Afterwards, of course, you think you could have done something different or with different decisions you could have avoided it. But I don’t think about that because the result is the same.’
It is clear that Wehrlein was scared about what happened in Qualifying today and believes that even though it was his mistake and he accepts responsibility for it, there is nothing that he could have done to avoid it. But all he can do is analyse the data and learn from this experience to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Wehrlein was the first driver to attempt a lap on super-softs, but said further on in his interview that it was not worth blaming the decision that he taken. Wehrlein added the following:-
‘If it starts to rain after a few minutes then it was the right decision. At the end you could see that it wasn’t and it was too wet on this part. You could blame many people, you can blame myself, you can blame us because we took the wrong decision, you can blame the FIA because maybe it was not safe to be allowed to go out on slick tyres over this bump when the track is wet. You can blame many things but the result is the same.’
Overall, Wehrlein said it perfectly, it’s a what if situation. Maybe he shouldn’t have taken that decision, maybe should of. But at the end of the day, the decision was made and he was committed to that decision, even though it didn’t work out for him.
He’s taken responsibility for that and I have respect for him for that, given his age and also experience in motorsport. And that shows that he has a mature head on his shoulders and that no matter what happens, he will learn from this experience and continue to build on what he has achieved so far this season.