Sebastian Vettel not blaming Ferrari for strategy call in Canada

Sebastian Vettel not blaming Ferrari for strategy call in Canada

Published Jun. 13, 2016 9:24 a.m. ET

Sebastian Vettel has refused to blame Ferrari for making a bad strategy call after losing out to Lewis Hamilton in Canada.

Vettel grabbed the lead at the start but then surprised rivals with an early first stop when there was a brief Virtual Safety Car period. That committed him to stopping twice, while Hamilton stopped only once, and Vettel was unable to chase the World Champion down in the closing laps. Vettel insisted that he wasn't frustrated by the strategy choice.

“I want to make one thing clear: I’m not a big fan of blaming anyone or anything,” he said. “I think it was a great weekend for Ferrari. We’ve had a difficult start to the season because we were never really able to show the true performance of the car, and this was maybe the first clean weekend if you look at Saturday and Sunday.

“And actually I enjoyed the race a lot. I didn’t get the result I was hoping for, especially after the start, but I was enjoying it a lot. The last 30 laps I was just flat out – maybe pushing a little bit too hard at times. It just felt great. That’s what racing should be about. The tires were fairly consistent. I really enjoyed chasing him down, but a couple of laps to go I realized that he was just a bit too quick, or the tires didn’t drop enough.”


Vettel stressed that strategy isn't always clear cut.

“If it’s that straightforward and easy to know what it’s like, then everyone is doing the right thing. As it turned out, we committed fairly early, maybe we were also hoping that the Virtual Safety Car gives us a bit of an advantage and makes the two stop favorable, but I will always defend our strategies, what we committed to as a team. I think there were other people as well, favoring the two stop.

“With hindsight maybe they would do a different job but, as I said, that’s a decision we take as a team. Kept in hindsight it’s not always easy. Put yourselves in the shoes of those on the pit wall, to make that call is quite tricky, and you have to be really quick. Strategy-wise I think we have a very very strong team. I wouldn’t favor anywhere near to criticize them because the guys are really on the money and very strong, reacting very well, and if here and there we maybe don’t do the optimum, that’s part of the job, but overall I think we end up doing better choices than other people.”

He insisted that the Ferrari package is getting stronger.

“I know this car is a big step up and I think we had a mixed-up start to the season which was difficult because we were never really in the position to show what the car can deliver. Especially because Saturdays here and there weren’t great. So, I think this weekend was just normal.

“We had a great Saturday and great pace today. Just look at the opening laps of the race. I was pulling away, pulling a gap, maybe not so much to Lewis, but to all the cars behind. So, it felt great and the car felt great all weekend. So, really happy and happy with the progress the team is making.

“Again, I ask you to be a bit patient, a bit more patient. The team is on a great path, things are improving and I think we’re seeing results quicker than anyone else so far in the history of F1. So, I think we’re on the right track, it’s a great team and I’m enjoying it a lot.”