Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel says he needed just one more lap in order to get past Valtteri Bottas to grab the victory in the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix and is certain that the Finnish driver jumped the start. The Maranello team’s driver ultimately finished where he started with second place behind pole-sitter Valtteri Botttas and had a repeat performance from the Russian Grand Prix where he closed down the Mercedes driver in the final laps only to narrowly miss out on victory by 0.6s.
Sebastian Vettel says he was confident of getting past the Mercedes driver with the boost of DRS if the race was at least one lap longer after being held up by the back-marker car of Sergio Perez on the penultimate lap to lose vital tenths of a second.
“It was very close and I was told he was in trouble, so I was pushing hard anyway, I felt much happier in the second stint and the second part of the race. The first part of the race I was struggling for the feel of the car but as soon as we put on the super-soft tyre the car came alive and I had really good pace and I was catching little by little but he was also struggling. In the last laps I had Perez to lap which cost me a bit of time but I think I needed one more lap because Bottas was really struggling to get up the hill. I wanted to win but nevertheless it is a good result.” – Sebastian Vettel said, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the race in Spielberg, which was held at the Red Bull Ring.
Sebastian Vettel also felt that Valtteri Bottas jumped the start at lights out but after an FIA race steward investigation looking at the video evidence and Mercedes race data Bottas was cleared of a jump start: “I was pretty sure he jumped it – ask Daniel about it” – the Scuderia Ferrari German driver said on the podium.
After the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has increased his lead in the Formula One driver standings to 20 points over his main title rival Lewis Hamilton.