Adrian Newey reveals incident that made Sebastian Vettel ‘absolutely distraught’

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix is officially the longest race in the history of Formula 1, following horrendous rainfall.

Sebastian Vettel’s 15-year career in Formula 1 was a sensational one, with the German driver having enjoyed one of the most decorated careers in the history of the sport.

With four World Championships and 53 Grand Prix victories, he will be remembered as one of the all-time greats whilst he settles into his retirement.

Vettel will be forever remembered for his sensational drives at Monza in 2008, Abu Dhabi in 2010, and, of course, Interlagos 2012.

These are just a few of the races for which Vettel will be remembered for; however, there is one race in particular he’ll be remembered for, and not for the right reasons!

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The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix will always be recalled for being one of the greatest, whilst also boasting the record for being the longest race ever.

The race in Montreal took 4 hours, 4 minutes and 39.537 seconds to complete (including a two-hour red flag interval), with heavy rain having made racing impossible.

That race had it all, heavy rain, collisions, incredible overtaking, and a late charge by none other than 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button.

After colliding with both his team-mate at the time, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso, the British driver found himself in last place, whilst Vettel led the race majestically.

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As the circuit dried, though, following a heavy thunderstorm, Button drove like a man possessed and picked off the drivers ahead of him one by one, until only Vettel remained ahead.

The Brit remarkably, caught the German driver on the final lap of the race, before overtaking him at Turn Six, after Vettel made a crucial error and ran wide onto the extremely wet part of the circuit.

It marked perhaps Button’s greatest victory, whilst for Vettel it was a day which will be remembered as the win which slipped away.

Looking back on that famous day in Canada, Red Bull chief technology officer Adrian Newey admitted that the defeat left Vettel “absolutely distraught”.

“Jenson beat him. And he was absolutely distraught at that because he felt he had not driven as well as he could have done, and therefore he had lost what should have been a dominant win,” Newey recalled in a Red Bull podcast.

That defeat seemingly changed Vettel for the better, with Newey adding that the 35-year-old remained at the circuit whilst the team packed everything away, studying data to understand where he went wrong and what to do should the “situation arise again”.

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“Everybody’s packing up the computers and everything in the engineering office around him while he just sat there going through the data with his engineer, going through the television feeds and stuff,” Newey added.

“He wanted to understand what he could do better should that situation arise again.

“I think that dedication, that played through into the team as well. That meant that then the team often prepared to put in that extra mile because they saw his work and commitment that he was prepared to put in.”