Vettel: Ferrari's new start system aimed at improving feel

Sebastian Vettel says that changes made to Ferrari's start system - which includes new clutch paddles - are aimed at giving him more feel for what is happening with his car when it gets away from the grid.

Motorsport.com revealed at the Spanish Grand Prix that Ferrari had adopted Mercedes-style finger holes behind Vettel's steering wheel in a bid to help improve his starts.

While Vettel uses the new arrangement, teammate Kimi Raikkonen has so far stayed with the original long single wishbone paddle that has been used since the start of last season.

When asked by Motorsport.com how much he felt the changes had helped Ferrari with its starts, Vettel said: "We tried a lot of things and sometimes you have a better feel and sometimes less. Whatever we tried we had decent starts

"I think it is true that our starts historically have been very good. This year you can forget about history as it is a completely different approach, but we still managed to get good starts.

"The beginning of the year was a bit wobbly but it seems to get more consistent. But it is also natural that a bit more practice, routine, you get better in whatever you have to do.

"And I am happy to play around with the design layout to try to give me more feel and better control of what I need to do."

In Barcelona, the improvements in feel clearly paid off when Vettel was able to readjust the clutch position after experiencing some wheelspin when the lights went out.

"I saw Lewis [Hamilton] struggling with wheelspin and so did I, but then I pulled the clutch in immediately and reacted and tried to set off a second launch phase, which worked excellent," he said.

Never-ending story

Raikkonen backs up Vettel’s view that Ferrari has made progress with its starts, but does not believe there is much benefit from the finger-hold concept. 

"I think we have made progress," he said. "Obviously we have some things to work on but I had a very good start in the last race.

"I got blocked quite a few times on the straight and then obviously it didn’t end up very well, but for sure we’ve improved and we can still improve.

"It’s pretty much a never ending story with the starts and little things around that area, but we were quite okay. 

"We run slightly different configurations but I don’t think it really makes any difference to the actual start."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news