Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari gave it their all in Sunday’s Spanish GP but that it “didn’t quite work” on the day.
The German engaged in a four-way fight for the victory in the 66-lap Barcelona race, chasing Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in the early laps and Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen at the end.
His three-stop strategy did not play out as expected and Vettel found himself unable to make any serious inroads into the lead of the two-stopping Verstappen and Raikkonen.
Added to that, pressure – and attacks – from Ricciardo as the laps counted down meant Vettel spent his final laps having to defend instead of attack.
He crossed the line third, five seconds behind first time race winner Verstappen, who at 18 years of age broke Vettel’s record as the youngest grand prix winner.
“First of all, many congratulations to Max. It’s a great achievement and it’s his day,” he said after the podium celebrations.
“We tried everything with strategy but it didn’t quite work today.
“For us we would have liked to be closer to the front and it didn’t work but a great effort today from the team after not a good day yesterday but we did well to recover.
“But as a sportsman it is a great day for Max and well done to him.”
Later asked about Ferrari’s strategy in Spain, Vettel revealed that he was lacking in pace on the medium Pirellis.
“We just struggled on the medium compound. All afternoon that was the slower tyrer for us,” he said.
“In all fairness, I think we were quicker than the Red Bulls on the softs, around half a second, but the same on the mediums.
“We tried to go a different route with a three-stop, but the difference of the medium tyre today didn’t quite work. Something for us to understand and to learn.”