Sebastian Vettel claims that sector three at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is proving “more than an Achilles’ Heel” for Ferrari.
Despite bringing an upgraded engine with them to Spain two races before schedule, Ferrari couldn’t get anywhere near Mercedes in qualifying as Valtteri Bottas romped his way to pole while Vettel, the Scuderia’s closest challenger in P3, was almost nine tenths adrift.
Ferrari had a pace advantage over their rivals in the first two sectors, but it all fell apart in sector three, leaving Vettel under no illusions as to how costly this proved to be for the team.
“It [sector three] seems to be more than an Achilles’ Heel at the moment,” Vettel told Crash.net.
“I just spoke to Valtteri and they were both very happy with the car and especially in the last sector but for us it is a bit more tricky.
“I think we got everything out of the car in the first run and in the second run I just had to try something different but it didn’t work. Happy but not happy if you know what I mean.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) May 11, 2019
Vettel spun at the penultimate corner in FP3, and although the German believes Ferrari did a good job with their set-up, he admitted that they are lacking the performance which Mercedes have in the slow corners – providing answers as to why the Silver Arrows are so strong in the technical sector three.
“The car doesn’t feel bad but obviously we are not quick enough,” he stated. “In terms of balance we got it more or less right.
“I had a bit of understeer and that was probably more than what they [Mercedes] had but I think overall in those sort of corners you need the grip so we might be a bit down on that.”