Despite the fact that during the first two practice sessions on Friday Scuderia Ferrari did not seem able to challenge Mercedes at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, the Maranello team made significant progress on Saturday in qualifying and most importantly in the race, as Sebastian Vettel came very close to scoring another win.
Scuderia Ferrari held the early advantage at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, after the German driver got off to a perfect start, overtaking Lewis Hamilton into the first corner, yet the Italian team eventually lost it through strategy. While Seb pitted early, changing his softs for another set of softs, Mercedes chose to keep Lewis Hamilton on the track longer and swapped his for medium tyres.
Helped by his Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who held up Vettel after the German driver’s first pit stop, as well as a quick decision to pit for a second time behind the Virtual Safety Car, Lewis Hamilton closed right up on Sebastian Vettel who was then unable to reply in the final stages of the race due to having to run the mediums to Hamilton’s softs. In the end the Brit raced to the victory by 3.4s ahead of the Ferrari driver.
Asked who had the faster car around the Spanish circuit, Maurizio Arrivabene, team principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team, admitted that the outcome of the race was decided by the tyres: “It depends on the tyres. When you are on the soft, you have a certain time lap and on the medium another. For sure Sebastian wasted a bit of time following Bottas and then Virtual Safety Car. But races are sometimes like this and we have to accept it. Next time we will try to do better.” – Maurizio Arrivabene concluded, as reported by the online version of Italian national sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport.