Sebastian Vettel drives one-handed at Azerbaijan GP after shocking demand from engineer

Sebastian Vettel has been caught driving one-handed after a bizarre request from his race engineer in practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The German was asked to release the steering wheel despite travelling on a track capable of speeds of over 200mph.

Vettel replied ‘are you insane’ when asked to let go of his steering wheel but he slowed down and obliged to the instruction. Engineers made the unique demand to capture video footage of his hands inside the cockpit.

Some observers have suggested this was due to a mechanical calibration which is needed ahead of the weekend. Aston Martin told Vettel: “Anyway you think you can do safely a bit of video for the hands.”

Vettel simply replied: “What’s that sorry, release the steering wheel, are you insane. Okay, I can let go a little bit.”

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He attempted to remove the debris around five times, including at the fastest part of the circuit between turns 25 and 27. Vettel has had a difficult start to the new season, scooting just five points this season.

The German will have hopes for a better weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after finishing on the podium last season. He was quick enough for 11th in FP2 suggesting the team could challenge for Q3 this afternoon.

Speaking after the session, Vettel claimed the car was in a ‘solid position’ for qualifying after sorting out some issues early on.

He said: “We had an encouraging first day today. It was incredibly windy during FP1, which meant it was very easy to lock a wheel under braking or run up an escape road. I had a couple of lock-ups but otherwise it was a pretty smooth day. We spent the first session working through a few balance issues, but the car started to come towards us in FP2. I think we are in a solid position for qualifying tomorrow.”

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