Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari must fix issues after Spanish GP slump

May 14 23:00 2018

While there was more than a hint of fortune about the opening victory of his title defence in Azerbaijan a fortnight ago, there could be no denying Hamilton’s win here at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.

Vettel exited the pits behind Verstappen, and later that lap, Verstappen would crunch his front wing against Williams’ Lance Stroll, who was later accused by Red Bull boss Christian Horner of driving too slowly.

Hamilton had been propelled to the top of the standings with a fortuitous victory in Azerbaijan and he felt the dominant nature of his Barcelona drive was exactly what he needed.

The vehicle works at its best on the harder compounds of rubber and Mercedes and all the top six drivers, will start the race on the soft rubber used in the second session. On the soft tyres, Vettel could manage 4 laps fewer (20 in total) than Alonso who managed 24 laps on his super soft.

Sebastian Vettel has called on Ferrari to address their problems from Spain in a stark assessment of the Scuderia’s unexpected slump in form in Barcelona. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso provided some mid-race entertainment with a duel with Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo moved up to first and third, with Red Bull opting to run their drivers on a longer opening stint.

Vettel was the first driver to stop for new rubber, pitting on lap 18, and Ferrari also chose to sacrifice track position later in the race to take on new tyres under the virtual safety vehicle because Vettel was expected to be marginal on tyre wear.

Vettel dropped to fourth and Bottas came home second, albeit over twenty seconds behind Hamilton. “This is what racing drivers need, results, podiums and wins, and hopefully it is the beginning of a good phase”.

This is more like it“, the four-time champion said after the race. “Today I felt that synergy with the auto that I have not felt all year so now we have to do it again”. “We have the Mercedes board with us, it’s great to have them here, for them to see that force in the team – the strength and depth”. Red Bull hoped the new parts it brought to Spain would close the qualifying gap but its drivers were four tenths behind the lead pair. Ahead of the race no-one thought the medium tyre would go much further than 40 laps, and Bottas had originally set out on a two-stop strategy. For us, it was clear it was the right thing to do, ‘ the German (pictured) said.

‘For whatever reason it is very hard to undo the DNA of our auto, and Monaco, as well as Hungary and Singapore, are tracks where we have under-performed at. “Even in the end, with the fresher set I wasn’t able to attack until the end”, he added. When there is no surface left on the tyre it is so easy to lose temperature and if you let it switch off you are done and you are going to start locking up.

Finland’s Valtteri Bottas was second with Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen completing the podium – his first top three finish of an incident-filled season.

Soaking it in Mercedes&#039 British driver Lewis Hamilton tosses his trophy on the podium after winning the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo

Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari must fix issues after Spanish GP slump
 
 
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