Viernes, 19 Octubre, 2018

Vettel still confident despite Hamilton's win at Spanish GP

Montrelle Montesinos | 16 May, 2017, 18:18

It's a race that saw a thrilling dual between Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, as well as the three top teams each bring only a single driver home. Bottas retired from the race on lap 39 due to a powertrain failure.

The Finn was using the engine which had completed the opening four races, leaving him out of sync with Hamilton, following a problem overnight on Friday. "We timed it perfectly, I really take my hat off to James [Vowles, chief strategist] and his group of strategists".

"It could have been a rewarding strategy but with the Virtual Safety Car the guys in front had a free pit stop".

"I am not happy, it [the win] was there", said Vettel.

Vettel quickly opened a 2+ second gap to Hamilton and it seemed he may have continued to sprint away with victory.

"We tried to stay in the race but well done to him, he drove a good race and we did everything we could".

"I lost out on the start and had to watch Sebastian fly by", he added.

In the end some quick thinking by the team's strategists got him into a position where he was able to hurtle past Vettel on lap 44 - fittingly for Hamilton's vehicle number 44 - of the 66 laps.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said: "Shame for the end result, but we leave Spain knowing that we can count on a auto that is solid and very quick".

Vettel had beaten polesitter Hamilton into Turn 1, but the pace of the Mercedes driver behind forced Ferrari into an earlier-than-anticipated stop for soft tyres on lap 14. I was just guessing on the braking but there was no room for him. When you need to follow a auto that close behind, you obviously got a pace, or the aerodynamic benefit, from the guy in front.

Stewards investigated the incident but ruled that no driver was wholly to blame.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took third place at the Circuit de Catalunya, ahead of Force India pair Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

"It's great to have a battle and a fight with another team is so much nicer and more enjoyable because there's no tension within our team".

For much of the fifth round of the championship here in Barcelona it looked as though it was going to be Vettel who would extend his title lead to 20 points after executing the ideal start to leapfrog his championship rival.

"I think our tyre choice was the right one, obviously Lewis sits behind, he has nothing to lose, there's no threat from behind so he might as well try to mirror the strategy from the first stop onwards".

"When I came out of the pits I was surprised it was close because I thought I had eight seconds in hand". Well done to him.

"That was a very tough race".