Sebastian Vettel: “All in all, I think third is the best we could do for the pace we had."
Montmelò – Ferrari comes away from today’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya Circuit with a third and fifth place. Sebastian Vettel ran second in the first half the race, but had to give best to Lewis Hamilton after the second pit stop.
Vettel crossed the line in third place, managing the gap to Valtteri Bottas behind him. The Finn and his Williams were Kimi Raikkonen’s final target, after starting seventh and producing a spectacular opening lap to make up two places. Kimi continued to make up ground, closing right up to Bottas, but in the final laps, he had no real chance of getting past his fellow countryman. Victory went to Nico Rosberg.
In two weeks time, the Formula 1 circus sets up camp for the most prestigious round of the championship, the Monaco Grand Prix.
Maurizio Arrivabene: “The comparison of the two aerodynamic configurations in the race clearly shows that Sebastian’s car was going very well versus Kimi’s. But we need to improve. The gap to Mercedes is there and we need to analyze our data to understand the reasons. We’re not blind to the fact that we were losing about half a second in T3 only, which puts a premium on traction, and we must find out whether this depends on the nature of the track or on our faults.
Strategy-wise, we took an aggressive approach by having Seb stop only twice for tyres. If we had gone for a three-stopper, things wouldn’t have changed or would have been even worse. The numbers tell us that the new solutions are good, the reality shows that they are not good enough. We did make a step forward, but it was supposed to be a jump. I am not blaming anyone in particular, I am taking my own responsibilities. We need to work harder”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, it has been a difficult weekend, but non a disaster and we learned a lot. In the race today we gained a few places, but I was not very comfortable with my car, as it was sliding around. Besides that, and for whatever reason, we are able catch the Williams but it’s very difficult to overtake them: they are very fast down the straights and once we get behind them, our car starts to be difficult to handle, much more than when you’re following other lapped cars.
About the choice of going back to the ‘old’ aero package, I think it was good for all of us to be able to compare them on the circuit and I was prepared to run the risk. Maybe it would have been better with the new bits, that is probably the case, but at least now we know about it. So, for the next races, we have to do a better job and we need to have more clean weekends, without any issue, even a small one, to make sure that everything works. We know where we have to improve”.
Sebastian Vettel: “All in all, I think third is the best we could do for the pace we had. I don’t think there’s anything wrong, it think it was just something coming together and maybe this is not the best week end for us in terms of competitiveness, but I believe it’s probably more down to conditions rather then something being wrong with the car. For some reasons we didn’t find the same rhythm of the last two events, but I’m sure that in a couple of races we’ll come back stronger.
In terms of strategy, we went for two stops because we thought it would have been the best choice for the race: we have to be fair and accept the fact that Mercedes was the best team today. I think we’re going in the right direction. We know that there is a gap, but we’re fighting very hard to close it. Unfortunately we didn’t make a big step this race, but I’m pretty confident we’ll make it soon”.