Sebastian Vettel was left to rue what might have been in the 2017 United States Grand Prix, in which the Scuderia Ferrari driver lost an early lead to race winner and title rival Lewis Hamilton.
Making an excellent start, Vettel held the inside line into the uphill Turn 1 and streaked clear of Hamilton to stamp his authority in the opening laps of the race.
Hamilton fought back a few laps later and – aided by DRS – managed to blast past Vettel’s Ferrari to wrest control of the grand prix, producing a lead which would become insurmountable.
Although Vettel was happy with his start, the German found tyre management difficult at the Circuit of the Americas, which he cited as a key factor in his inability to challenge Hamilton.
“My start was good today,” Vettel said after the race, “[and] I think also in Japan the start had been that good, but we just didn’t have power, so it’s good we had it done here.
“It was good to get the rhythm, but after a couple of laps I was really struggling with the tires that were getting too hot.
“I am a bit disappointed, because we couldn’t win and I had wanted to.”
Vettel was also philosophical over Ferrari’s 2017 season, and believes the team cannot blame “bad luck” for missed opportunities to provide a more consistent challenge to Mercedes AMG Petronas, which won the World Constructors’ Championship in Austin following Hamilton’s victory.
“We are on the right track, but all the things that happened to us came out not because of bad luck or because of somebody else; I think it was all on our side and we need to admit that.
“Then there were races in which we were stronger and we just didn’t race, which is even worse.
“There are positive aspects, but this was not the result we were looking for and thus, of course, it was not the best day.”