Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel admitted that he was shocked by Mercedes’ dominance in the Australian Grand Prix and disappointed his car handled so poorly this weekend.
Seb slipped from third on the grid to finish fourth in the opening race of the year, 57 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas’s winning Mercedes. He said the team will study why it was much less competitive than it appeared to be in testing.
“Obviously now we have to get back and understand,” said Sebastian. “It’s surprising and shocking how fast Mercedes was and how easy it was for them today. But for us we look at ourselves. We have now a couple of days to have a good look, read all the feedback again, go through everything that we’ve collected and see what we can come up with.” – he added.
Sebastian Vettel described his car as “very close to perfection” on the first day of testing but was unhappy with its handling throughout this weekend: “Barcelona winter testing was really good and I didn’t have a reference but I gave also the feedback straight away that this car is really, really strong. But this weekend I didn’t get quite on top of it. In the race I expected it to get better but it was the opposite.” – the German driver explained.
He admitted that in retrospect the team’s decision to make an early first pit stop, in an attempt to get him ahead of Lewis Hamilton, compromised the second half of his race.
“At the time it didn’t feel like [a mistake]. To be honest I don’t know what happened the second stint was just slow right from the start, and then it just got worse. If you look at the others Max [Verstappen] pitted 10 laps after me and also Charles [Leclerc] and they didn’t have a problem with their tyres. I’m not quite sure at this point we need to have a good look. Maybe we had another issue as well. I was asking at some point what’s the problem. why are we so slow. I didn’t have the grip to go any faster.” – Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel concluded.
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