“Going from the Strategy Group where no one supported it to a week later a couple of big teams supporting it, it was awesome”. He has won more thrilling races in the past and will do so in the future.
‘Secondly, we struggled with the tyres.
“I think two things today or this weekend”, Vettel said. “It is important these days to understand why and then you look back and understand what is missing in the preparation to the race”. Second, I think we struggled a bit over the course of the weekend with the tyres.
“I’m almost in the groove”, he added. Bottas ranks third with 58 points. On the mediums, his Ferrari could manage only half of the number of laps (24) as Bottas (47).
Stewards gave him two penalty points and imposed a three-place grid drop for the next race in Monaco. There is… race by race we’re understanding the tires more, which is a bit battle for everyone. “It’s a shame it’s only four hundredths but for us as a team, ideal result today”.
And Mercedes now also sit 27 clear of constructors’ championship rivals Ferrari.
Ferrari’s strategy appeared curious, given that Vettel conceded track position at a circuit where it is hard to overtake, but the German claimed he was left with little alternative.
Verstappen had trailed Raikkonen throughout the first stint but the Finn suffered a suspected engine issue and slowed, dropping out of fourth place, before retiring altogether. It seems that Raikkonen is yet again on the receiving end of Ferrari’s bad luck.
Vettel gave away his position when Ferrari chose to go for an extra stop and give the German driver fresher tires.
Vettel’s total stationary time was 5.6 seconds, dropping him to fourth behind both Bottas and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull Racing driver rear-ended Lance Stroll at the reduced virtual safety auto speeds, damaging his front wing, but the aerodynamic disadvantage didn’t seem to hamper his podium defence. “It feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good, clean race”. “It’s a good feeling”. We still have a lot of work to do.
“This is the hardest year that I have faced in the vehicle, at the track and personally”, he revealed.
Kevin Magnussen will start seventh with Haas. While Bottas and Verstappen followed Hamilton to the remaining steps on the podium, Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso-Honda creeped across the finish line with an apparent loss of power.
Lap 59 saw Perez pass Sauber’s Charles Leclerc to increase his team’s points haul for the race.
Hamilton, who also holds the record of 74 pole positions, had started from the top slot for only the second time this year.
Grosjean’s spin and crash were being investigated by the race stewards after the race. The Haas driver collected Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg in the process.
Wolff dismissed theories this was done to favour Mercedes with some salty language, and pointed out after the race their performance advantage in testing, on the thicker-gauge tyres, had actually been larger than it was at the race weekend.
Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will be able to apply pressure to Ferrari on a more consistent basis, such was the level of his performance in the Spanish Grand Prix. This brought out the virtual safety vehicle while Ocon’s stricken VJM11 was hauled off the track, allowing Vettel a reduced-cost pit stop for another set of medium tires.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Sebastian Vettel’s poor form continued at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.