Sebastian Vettel admits soft tyre strategy did not work for Ferrari in Brazil GP
The German conceded that the tyre strategy did not work even though it was judged as the best call on Saturday.
Sebastian Vettel admits the strategy to start on the soft compound did not help Ferrari in the end in Formula 1 Brazil GP.
The two Ferrari drivers ended up starting on the soft compound at Interlagos which was termed as a better strategy heading into the race as it meant that Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen could run deep in the race incase it starts to rain in the second part.
Both the Mercedes drivers and the Red Bull Racing drivers were on the used supersoft compound, on the other hand. While the Mercedes drivers pitted on Lap 19 and Lap 20 respectively, the Red Bulls stretched until Lap 35 and Lap 39 respectively.
This was even beyond Vettel and Raikkonen who stopped on Lap 28 and Lap 32 respectively. Effectively, the Red Bull drivers worked the supersoft tyres better which meant the strategy to start on soft didn't work.
On top of that, Vettel faced sensor issues in the lead up to the race and couldn't pace his car at all which forced Ferrari to favour Raikkonen in the race - where they even had to perform a swap at one stage to get the Finn ahead.
In the end, Raikkonen did finish on the podium but had to fend off Daniel Ricciardo while Vettel finished sixth - the last of the Top 6 runners after opting to do another stop as he conceded that the tyre gamble did not work for Ferrari.
"This was not an easy race and I am not happy with sixth place," he said to the media after the race. "I tried to do my best, but the car was difficult to drive and I even struggled to drive on the straights.
"Honestly, I don’t think it was an advantage for us to start on Soft tyres, because the Supersofts lasted longer than expected, but that’s how it was. The first part of my start was going well.
"But then the second was not that good, as I had nowhere to go with Lewis in front of me. I think we just didn’t have enough grip in the second part of the “esses”, Lewis and Valtteri worked together and I had no chance.
"Also, Lewis was a little bit quicker on the brakes to give Valtteri the outside line and then in lap 2 or 3 Max passed us as he was faster. There’s not much to say as this year Mercedes has been stronger than us and we can only congratulate them."
The result was evident for Ferrari as Mercedes clinched the fifth consecutive constructors' title with a race to spare after Lewis Hamilton took the win in Brazil due to misfortune to Red Bu''s Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas was fifth in the race.
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene rued the issues with the senor for Vettel which disrupted the German's race as he had to work through different set-ups rather than focus on pure pace and fight for track positions.
[Note: This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]