Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel pinpointed the Maranello team’s lack of performance in low-speed corners as a reason for their huge deficit to Mercedes in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. Vettel was third-quickest in Melbourne on Saturday, albeit seven tenths of a second off Lewis Hamilton’s pole time.
The size of the Silver Arrows’ advantage was a great shock to many, especially Mercedes themselves with Valtteri Bottas admitting to being “blown away” by the pace shown by the reigning champions.
Sebastian Vettel has won the last two Australian Grands Prix, despite Hamilton taking pole, giving Ferrari a crumb of motivation for the race.
Ferrari were expected to come to Melbourne as the team to beat, and Vettel says the team is already aware where their deficiencies to Mercedes lie.
He said: “I thought the sectors might still be there. I think a little bit of everything [is lacking]. I don’t think the straight-line is a problem, so I think we are quite competitive down the straights but I think we’re just losing in the corners. There are 16 corners around here and I think it’s a fairly even spread so probably by the looks of it… and so far it was more in the medium and lower speed stuff rather than the high speed stuff which, I would say, also speaks for a strong car in general.” – he explained.
“I haven’t got the balance yet which maybe I would like to have, especially in lower speed, and not the confidence and trust which again, around here, can make a big difference because it’s a bumpy track and I hope they don’t resurface it because it’s part of the character of this track. It’s fairly evenly spread around the track but I would say more towards the lower speed corners and it’s easier, I would say, to lose time there. But given the gap is so big, we must lose time in more than one place, for sure.” – Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel concluded.