Late Race Tyre Issues Caught Ferrari by Surprise – Vettel


Sebastian Vettel lost fourth place on the penultimate lap due to a puncture - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sebastian Vettel admitted his penultimate lap tyre issue caught him by surprise, with the German dropping from fourth to seventh as a result, but he was not laying the blame on anyone.

Both Vettel and his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had similar front-left tyre issues in the closing laps, with the Finn falling from a near-certain second place to third behind Valtteri Bottas, while Vettel’s championship lead over Lewis Hamilton has been cut to just one point.

“I don’t think there’s anyone particularly to blame,” said Vettel to Sky Sports F1. “Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt okay.

“Kimi I think had a similar issues, and his tyres were at least five or six laps fresher. So I think it caught us both by surprise.”

Vettel does not think the result was a disaster, even if he lost out heavily compared to Hamilton, with car balance being good throughout, even if a small brake fire on the starting grid compromised his start.

“I think it could have been a little bit better for sure, but disaster I don’t think so,” said Vettel. “I think we had a good car, especially in the corners. The balance was alright.

“The brakes caught fire at the start which compromised the start, and from there it was a difficult race.”