Ferrari: Different strategy may not have won race

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Ferrari: Different strategy may not have won race
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Mar 20, 2016, 10:52 AM

Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene thinks it 'nonsense' for anyone to suggest that Sebastian Vettel would definitely have won the Australian Grand Prix on a different tyre strategy.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Podium: third place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H battle for position
Podium: third place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Third place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team in parc ferme
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H

Vettel was leading the race early on when the red flag was brought out to allow marshals to clear up the debris left over from the Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez crash.

At the restart, Vettel elected to stick with the same supersoft tyres he had been running before, while Nico Rosberg behind swapped to brand new medium tyres.

Vettel was unable to build up much of a margin at the restart and, after needing to stop again for a switch to soft tyres, he did not have enough pace to recover and get back past Mercedes. In the end he finished third.

Although Vettel admitted that the strategy was wrong with hindsight, Arrivabene thinks that only a detailed investigation will show whether the team could have actually ended up with a better result.

When asked by Motorsport.com if he believed Ferrari would have won if it had switched to medium tyres at the restart, Arrivabene said: "I can't say so really.

"We need to look at the data in the garage, because every car has different consumption, different degradation, to be certain if we were right.

"To be certain if we were wrong, is a nonsense. We need to look at the data on the car and then collect it."

Confidence

Arrivabene said that Ferrari's form in the early stages of the race – when Vettel led comfortably from Kimi Raikkonen – had left the team feeling upbeat about its chances of victory in the season opener.

"On the wall we were confident, in all honesty," he said. "We looked at the gap and we were gaining and, at that time, the radio was to go with our strategy and to keep going.

"Then, I don't want to take any excuses. The red flag – the last one was in 2009 if I am not wrong, but it is part of the race so you have to accept it and that is it."

Reflecting more on the strategy call, Arrivabene said: "At that stage of the race we have to be a bit more aggressive. It could be right, could be wrong.

"Sebastian was talking about that. In the end we were pushing like hell and Sebastian also had the chance to be able to overtake [Lewis] Hamilton, which was in our strategy.

"If you want to look at the glass not half empty – we were there. But this is the news. Of course after that, you cannot be happy but this is racing."

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