It’s not often Sebastian Vettel swears on the radio but Nico Rosberg can’t blame him given that Ferrari did such a “bad job” with his strategy.
Qualifying 11th for the Spanish Grand Prix, Vettel had free tyre choice at the start of the 66-lap race and opted for the mediums.
He pitted on lap 28, swapping those mediums for a set of soft tyres.
22 laps later, after asking Ferrari if they thought his tyres could last until the end of the race as he was running up in fifth place, Ferrari asked him the exact same question.
Vettel wasn’t charmed, letting them know with a “f*** sake” that he had asked them that question before “pushing” hard on already worn soft tyres for three laps.
"OK here is the task for you."
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) August 16, 2020
After a tense exchange, Vettel told Ferrari he had “nothing to lose” and would try finish the race on that set of tyres.
He was overtaken by Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz in the final seven laps but held on to finish P7, earning himself a ‘Driver of the Day’ award as voted by the fans.
His tyres were shot by the end of the race.
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) August 16, 2020
Rossberg reckons Ferrari made too many bad calls on the day when it came to Vettel’s strategy.
“I must say Ferrari did a bad job in strategy, particularly with Sebastian,” the 2016 World Champion told Sky F1.
“As he said, a couple of laps before they asked him to push flat out and then, three laps later, ‘oh, by the way Sebastian, would you maybe make it to the end? We changed our mind’.
“That’s just bad because you could have thought of that three laps earlier, he would have taken it easy and it would have been a much easier run to the end of the race.
“I’m sure he’s going to have a word.”
Seb smiling after being told that he was voted driver of the day by fans 😊🥰
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) August 17, 2020
But while it wasn’t a great Sunday afternoon for Ferrari, it was for Vettel.
P7 is by no means that the four-time World Champion is chasing on a Sunday but in the midst of a wretched start to his campaign, his performance on the day was his best of the season.
“Nevertheless, for Sebastian that was exactly what he needed,” Rosberg continued.
“A great day, positivity, awesome performance out there, great race craft, great tyre management.
“That’s what he needs to try and get out of this deep hole that he’s in mentally at the moment.”