I don't get this discussion around "Spoon curve is not an overtaking corner". Since when does a part of a circuit require such a label to make it "overtaking-approved"? Overtaking happens when the car behind is faster, irrespective of the position on the track. If circumstances happen so that you are in a position to overtake, you overtake! You are not going to think about "wait is this corner or part of the circuit overtaking-approved? Let me quickly check the manual... oh damn, there goes the opportunity.". You pounce at the opportunity, that's what you do.
This is independent from the discussion if Vettel was in a position or not to overtake. But please, let's stay away from labelling parts of the circuit as overtaking friendly/unfriendly. There are of course parts of the circuit where you can overtake easier; that doesn't mean you cannot or are not allowed to overtake on the parts of the circuit that usually yield less chance to do so. In my eyes, overtaking in F1 is difficult as it is now, so you should try to capitalize on every percepted opportunity.
Phil wrote:I feel we are more or less in agreement, then. This paragraph is indeed a question I'd have asked - and in my opinion, is the conclusion on that this was an opportunistic move that never would have worked.
No we aren't in agreement. I do like to agree to disagree, just that I reject the notion "it could never have worked". The attempt and collision were all dependent on the small margins to succeed or fail. For me, it was a reasonable attempt from Vettel. Again, Vettel in the situation where he was, was not going to get the overtaking done, but if he was able to shoot ahead of Verstappen, something you can't know before doing that move, he would have been able to dictate the line and then we would have a different scenario. I think the point of debate around here is hindsight; obviously if Vettel knew where he would end up in the apex of the corner, being so tightly squeezed by Verstappen, he would not have committed to it. But committing to an overtake means you do not know what happens after the commitment. Based on what Vettel knew at the point of commitment, the decision is reasonable. People are staring blindly at what happened at the apex, instead of thinking "right, when he choose to do this, was it reasonable? Was he going to be able to get the car in and able to slow the car down sufficiently instead of torpedoing the other car?". For me he was going to get the car in significantly, without taking away Verstappen was still ahead, and he was able to slow the car down enough while having to compromise on the exit. Whether the overtake was going to succeed or not, he had a good claim to go for it. After that you have one driver very committed to the overtake attempt and an other driver very committed to prevent that happening at all cost. You can't expect either of them to roll over, so a collision happened. In a racing incident where neither driver did anything unreasonable. People have a hard time grasping that, and usually have to see one as the person to blame and the other as the victim, while there are cases like these where you have to accept neither are predominantly at fault and the accident just happened and move on.
Here is a somewhat similar move from 2007, Hamilton vs Raikkonen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzFDvZhntvQ
In my eyes the move Hamilton made there, was more extreme than Vettel's. Hamilton carried a lot more overspeed into that corner and barely managed to stay within track limits. But guess what: he did manage to pull it off. Partly because he caught Raikkonen napping. Verstappen was obviously very aware of the situation he was in and squeezed a lot more, but you aren't going to be able to predict that before doing the move. Nobody ever condemned Hamilton for making that move, which to be honest was very risky as Raikkonen could have covered off the inside and than we'd have to see if Hamilton was going to able to slow down the car, much more risky than what Vettel did. So, why are we condemning Vettel then? Because Spoon curve is not overtaking-approved?