Formula 1 fans on social media have been praising the “GOATed” performance from Sebastian Vettel in qualifying ahead of the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, as he managed ninth in the tricky conditions.
After a dismal Australian Grand Prix weekend for Aston Martin, Vettel became the first Aston Martin driver this year to make it into Q3 as they go in search of their first points of 2022.
The German had been out-performed by team-mate Lance Stroll for the majority of qualifying, but the 23-year-old found himself unable to set a representative lap time as a legacy of a red flag caused by a crash for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, before wet weather put pay to any further competitive running in Q2.
But the four-time champion had been able to put a strong lap together prior to the stoppage, and made it into the top-ten shootout, during which he set the ninth fastest lap.
It is no secret that he achieved the result in a massively underperforming car this season, and it has been described as a “shopping trolley” and a “cheese grater” by fans, who have labelled Vettel the “GOAT” after wrangling it into the top ten.
“MEIN GOAT SHITHOUSED P9 IN A MOTORIZED SPAR SHOPPING TROLLEY,” said one user, adding “idk wtf else happened this is all I saw and it’s all that matters to me.”
“My goat dragged a cheese grater to P9. Never in doubt king,” said another.
The 34-year-old himself was pleased with his performance during qualifying, admitting that the appearance in Q3 had exceeded his expectations of what has been a terribly handling AMR22 so far this year.
“I think it was eventful for everyone, so we take it. Obviously we know we qualified where we normally wouldn’t belong, so that’s a really good effort,” Vettel told Formula1.com.
The former Red Bull and Ferrari driver concedes that it took him some time to get up to speed in the tricky, changing conditions, but once he did, he maximised the performance of the car.
“I had maybe a slow start, but I needed a little bit more time with the car to get a feel in Q1 and Q2. But when it mattered it was there, and the first run of Q2 was good which was crucial to get to Q3,” he explained.
“In Q3, I think it would have been nice to have had a proper lap because I only had a look-see and then the second attempt I went a little bit wide into Turn 2 but then it was all red flags from there.
“A bit of an anti-climax to finish [due to the late red flag after Lando Norris’ crash in Q3], but overall a great result for us.
“The first time for us in Q3 this year. The first time for both cars to be in Q2 this year, so it’s been good so far.”
The top eight will score points in Saturday’s sprint, providing Vettel with a real chance to put the Silverstone team’s first points on the board this year.
The finishing order will also set the grid for Sunday’s grand prix, providing the German with another chance to score points for Aston Martin.