Motorsport Italy analyzed the images of Sebastian Vettel’s SF90 after being brought back to the pits as a result of the failure which occurred on the right rear suspension in the eighth lap of the U.S. GP. The problem was caused by a violent jump on an out-of-trajectory bump. The same that in the pit lane had been lowered after the protests of the drivers.
The German had started from the front row next to the poleman Valtteri Bottas, able to conquer the pole position for 12 thousandths of a second interrupting the sequence of six consecutive poles of the Maranello team. And already at the first turn it was clear that it wasn’t the day for Seb: he finished the first lap in seventh place, complaining via radio that the car had a strange behavior, with too much understeer, which did not allow him to defend against his rivals. Then, on lap 8, the final failure: first the attack of the front arm of the lower triangle of the rear suspension was ripped from the bodywork and then the metal bushing of the upper triangle that connects the bracket of the hub holder also collapsed.
The German’s Ferrari transformed itself into an unruly little horse, so that the right side of the rear axle, with the wheel without two fixings, was crushed towards the ground and the front left lifted dangerously from the asphalt. Seb was very good at keeping control of the car, managing to park it and avoiding further complications. At Maranello they are making all the necessary evaluations to understand what may have happened exactly.
But what happened? The fact that Charles Leclerc was able to finish the race regularly helped us understand that there were certainly no construction problems, otherwise the Monegasque would have been stopped for safety reasons. In fact, the teams were faced with a track that has deteriorated significantly in the asphalt compared to last year, with the appearance of bumps very accentuated by the failure of the clay under the cloak.
Lewis Hamilton, coming out of the pit lane in the free practice on Friday morning, had literally taken off with his Mercedes on a very pronounced hump. At the insistence of the drivers, the bump had been milled before the next day’s practice, but the workers limited themselves to flattening the hump of the pit lane, considering that the danger was concentrated there.
Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, starting from the second slot, found himself outside the ideal trajectory and, trying to get to the apex of the first turn with as little road as possible, ended up right on the portion of the bump that was not milled, in a stretch of track where no one passes.
From the TV images it emerged that the German’s Ferrari also took off on the cursed bump causing that crack in the attack of the suspension that then gave way.