Vettel: "Staying out was not an option"

By on Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sebastian Vettel’s fourth place was the sole reward for Scuderia Ferrari after an uphill battle at the Spanish Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire after a loss of power.

At the getaway Vettel went straight on the attack from third place on the grid and passed Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, while Raikkonen stayed in fourth place. The safety car came out on lap 1 when Grosjean spun off and triggered a string of collisions. The race restarted at the end of the sixth lap in the same positions. Another 12 laps passed before the team made an early call to bring Vettel into the pits to change onto the Medium tyres. Bottas reacted two laps later but despite facing traffic – and benefiting from a tow from Magnussen – Vettel managed to stay ahead of the Mercedes as it came out of the pits.

Meanwhile further back, Kimi reported a problem over the radio and the No.7 car suddenly slowed and crawled back to the pits. He had suffered a loss of power, the same problem that put paid to Ocon on the 40th lap, bringing out the virtual safety car. Vettel came into the pits to put on another set of Medium tyres. The move came because he had been having problems with the tyres; but there was a problem with the right rear and on the exit the No.5 car ended up behind both Bottas and Verstappen.

“Our tires didn’t last as long as for the others, so we couldn’t follow the same strategy. We had to stop again and we obviously lost two positions, and also a bit of time during the pit-stop itself. But staying out was not an option today", says Vettel.

"We had problems finding the right balance of the car and we were struggling with the front tires. Maybe the changes for this weekend had a bad impact on us, worse than the one the others had. So, I am happy to go back to ‘normal’ tires in Monaco as we seemed to struggle a little bit more than the others.

"Today we just didn’t have the right pace, Mercedes was faster than us and we hadn’t many chances. We tried our best, but something was missing and we need to improve on this. During the whole weekend it has been tough to find the right balance on these new tires. But I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race.”

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