Vettel says he tried to create a 5s gap to Hamilton but didn't have enough pace
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says he tried to push to create a five second gap to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in F1 Canadian GP but did not have enough in the end.
Following the controversial penalty decision by the stewards in the F1 Canadian GP, Vettel was left with only one way to secure his first win of the 2019 season, which was, by creating a five seconds gap to Hamilton by the end of the 70 laps.
The German even tried to push by setting his and the race's fastest lap immediately at that point and was quick for the next couple of laps, with the gap nearly rising to three seconds. However, it was only that much he could do on the degrading tyres.
The fuel situation was tight as well, which forced Vettel to take it easy and with Hamilton slowly starting to come back on him, it pretty much sealed the German's fate. In fact, it looked like Vettel was throwing Hamilton in Charles Leclerc's way.
But post-race, it was clear that Leclerc had no clue of Vettel's penalty as Ferrari apparently forgot to tell him. The Monegasque's pace was better due to the fight between Vettel and Hamilton, where both used up their tyres to the extreme.
"At some point I was three seconds in front but I was pretty sure that he was controlling the pace," said Vettel. "Once that happened it felt like he reduced pressure because there was no point. Then at some point it felt like maybe he doubted the decision.
"And he was putting pressure back on. So, I was trying to get this five seconds but I had a sequence of good laps, maybe that was in hand with when Lewis was struggling but then I was struggling more towards the end, plus we had to save fuel also to make it.
"It was not the easiest race to manage but I think we managed to stay ahead which makes me very happy and proud. I think the credit really goes to the team, hard work and this track looked a bit more competitive for us so despite what happened.
"We’re looking forward to try and improve our car. There’s still work to do. I think Mercedes and Lewis were a bit faster in the race and we’re still catching up but I think it was a good race overall for us." Meanwhile, Hamilton in his say, added:
"I wasn’t backing off to control the pace. You just started going really quick, and I was like, shoot, he’s going to pull five seconds, so I was struggling with the tyres when you suddenly picked up pace and then I was like I’ve got to do everything to try and keep up."
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]