Friday, 20 July, 2018

Vettel defends Ferrari's Spanish strategy

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalynya The Circuit de Barcelona Catalynya Credit
Guillermo Lane | 16 May, 2018, 11:58

Vettel had managed to pass Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for second at the start, and looked on course for the runner-up spot before making a second stop under virtual safety vehicle conditions around two-thirds distance.

Hamilton conceded that he will head to the next round in Monaco with caution rather than in expectation following his poor display at the principality past year, but the 64th win of his career will, for the first time this term, provide him with optimism that he can outdo Vettel in their tug of war for glory.

"You look back and you understand what is missing in the preparation to the race, or this race, or the next races". Why our auto doesn't like to be quick around the corners in Monaco we haven't found out yet.

"This is more like it, let's keep this up", Hamilton told his celebrating team over the radio as he swept past the checkered flag. Hopefully the start of a promising season for the Red Bull driver. I think that showed in my face.

"I said that I wanted to come win the way that I won and when I was coming across the line I was just happy that I did as I planned to".

Ferrari took the chance to stop Vettel for a second time in fear that his rubber would not last the course, but he was stationary for more than five seconds which allowed Bottas, who did not stop, and also Verstappen to move ahead of the Ferrari man.

"We couldn't make the tires last", said Vettel.

"People probably think it was an easy race and I was cruising, but I wasn't", he said. "I believe our vehicle is very fast, we still need a bit more top speed but hopefully that will come". It seems that Raikkonen is yet again on the receiving end of Ferrari's bad luck.

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A fine third place finish for the Dutchman after a tough few weeks in which he hitHamilton, divebombed Vettel, collided with Daniel Ricciardo and clipped the rear end of Lance Stroll's Williams.

In total, six cars failed to finish. He said, "It feels nice to be on the podium and nice to have a good clean race".

"We definitely go to Monaco on a high note, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do".

"We were going through the tyres quicker than the others today". In China, he couldn't manage more than eighth place after an ill-timed safety auto and a subsequent collision caused by Max Verstappen.

On the fifth anniversary of his last victory in F1, Fernando Alonso ensured a McLaren auto progressed to the final phase of qualifying for the first time this year. Carlos Sainz finished seventh in his Renault, with Fernando Alonso taking eighth. Sauber's Charles Leclerc put in another sterling performance to claim a point in 10th.

Grosjean, who struggled throughout the weekend, couldn't stop his auto from spinning across the track on Turn 3 and Hulkenberg and Gasly could not avoid colliding with him.

When racing resumed Vettel was first of the leading group to pit but the Mercedes pair stayed out on what turned out to be a one-stop strategy, with Hamilton immediately smashing the lap record. McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne also retired because of a auto failure, as did Esteban Ocon with Force India.

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