Vettel explains where Ferrari lacked to Mercedes in 2019 F1 season
Sebastian Vettel explains where Ferrari lacked in F1 2019 against Mercedes and what they need to do as Lewis Hamilton weigh in as well.
Ferrari has been the fastest car in a straight line on the grid since the onset of the 2019 F1 season, but the Maranello outfit has not been able to use the raw pace to its advantage in throughout the season and hence has not been able to stop Mercedes.
The German manufacturer has already sealed its sixth straight constructors' title and Hamilton is on-course to win the drivers' championship. Ferrari has had its share of ups and downs with luck not siding as well, as seen in Mexico GP with its strategy.
When asked about Ferrari’s shortcomings and how they lacked behind Mercedes, Vettel was candid about the situation. While praising his team, he credited Mercedes as well for getting there and doing it, for their consistent success.
"If you want to be just pure and honest, then I think our car is good in a straight line: one because we have an efficient car, so that’s credit to us; two because I think we’ve done a really good job on the power unit front, so compliments to Maranello," started Vettel.
"But we are lacking downforce which leads into maybe a weaker race pace, leads onto struggling a bit more on Sundays when it’s about managing the tyres and successive laps, whereas in qualifying I think we can extract a bit more from our car, cover our weakness a bit more with fresh tyres on the car.
"With new tyres you can mask a little bit of the problems here and there. So that would be just the straightforward, technical answer." Vettel then added that to improve the car, the team must put together all pieces of the puzzle together like Mercedes has been.
"To do better, I think we need to put things a little bit more together," said Vettel. "I think we have all the ingredients; we have the people; we have the intelligence. So, I think we just need to make sure things fall into place, and once they do, I think things will start to click.
"Obviously, Mercedes have proven in the last years that it is possible. I think they just got stronger and stronger throughout, which is a credit to them as a team, credit to obviously Valtteri and Lewis and in particular Lewis over the last years.
"They have shown what is possible, they are the benchmark, and it’s up to us to do a better job in the future. Easily said, not so easily done but yeah, I think you also have to give credit where credit is due, and both Mercedes and Lewis have been too strong in the last couple of years."
At the same time, Mercedes' Hamilton shared his views. He feels that the new philosophy that Ferrari has adopted for the second half of the season, has helped them come back strong, but he believes that Mercedes have outdone Ferrari in terms of overall car setup.
"They’ve done a great job as the second half of the season has been obviously spectacularly for them," said Hamilton. "They came with a slightly different philosophy, I think, to some of the other teams.
"There’s generally a little bit less downforce through corners but faster in straights – which has worked really well because in a lot of tracks, positioning is everything and you can’t get past them down the straights, and they’re just about quick enough in a straight line.
"I guess we managed to overlap them or outdo them, particularly with great tyre usage within the race, and strategy. You don’t too often see me and Valtteri, our team like falling over each other. With us, they did a great job with that, but sometimes Ferrari has that, and it’s been unfortunate for one – or two – of the drivers.
"But Seb’s been driving great recently, so it’s been good to see him back up there, driving so well. Naturally, we want to have closer wheel-to-wheel races, but on some of these tracks, you can’t get too close, unfortunately."
[Image courtesy: Ferrari] [Note: This story was written by Venkatesh P Koushik and edited by me on FormulaRapida.net]