Just because you schedule a regular-season Formula One race over the end of Le Mans doesn’t mean that F1 drivers aren’t going to ask about the result. Fortunately, Ferrari driver and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel thought to ask what happened to the Toyota Le Mans team in the middle of F1’s post-race press conference for Baku.
Vettel had a question of his own when the post-race press conference opened up to the floor for questions:
Sebastian Vettel: Question to anyone: who won the Le Mans?
Off screen: Porsche.
Sebastian Vettel: How did Toyota manage to lose?
Off screen: Last lap.
[Several others from in the crowd chime in to explain; words are unintelligible.]
Sebastian Vettel: [gestures hand across throat] Retired? Noooo. Fuuuuuuuck. Sorry!
I suppose he was just as shocked about that result as we were!
F1's race in Baku, Azerbaijan, was garbage vindictive scheduling at its worst. After Force India F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg’s Le Mans win with Porsche last year, there was a great uptick in F1 names who were rumored to be interested in doing the World Endurance Championship’s flagship race. That is, they were until F1 booked a race in an oppressive dictatorship right on the same weekend, thus blocking F1 drivers from participating.
F1 didn’t even keep its initial promise to start the European Grand Prix after the conclusion of Le Mans, hence Seb’s question.
Sounds like Vettel’s question may have surprised F1 head troll Bernie Ecclestone as well:
Bless you and your wonderful interrupting ways, Sebastian Vettel.