It has now been twelve months since Sebastian Vettel last stood on the top step of the podium in Formula 1, with his fourth-place finish in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix well below his pre-race expectations.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver started on the front row of the grid alongside team-mate Charles Leclerc, but whereas the Monegasque racer was able to make a one-stop strategy work to take his maiden Formula 1 victory, Vettel struggled to conserve his own tyres and was forced into a second stop.
Vettel, who was delighted that Leclerc was able to take Ferrari’s first win of 2019 on Sunday, says that they will look into why he did not feel comfortable with his tyres throughout the race at Spa-Francorchamps, and he heads into Ferrari’s home race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza still aiming for his first victory of the season.
“It was not by any means an easy race for me,” said Vettel. “At the start I managed to retake my position from Lewis but then I began to struggle with the tyres and I had to stop earlier than planned.
“With the medium tyres at first I managed to maintain a good pace, but then it dropped again. I tried to keep second place but I couldn’t do it and at that point, the best thing to do was to pit once more for tyres and carry on without struggling so much.
“We have to understand why my car had such high tyre degradation and we will do a full analysis of the situation to understand the reasons why I did not feel comfortable. It was definitely not a great weekend for me, but it was a great weekend for the team and that’s the main thing.
“So congratulations to all the guys in the team and well done to Charles for his first win!”