It was a disappointing day in the office for the Scuderia Ferrari team in Shanghai earlier today. Arch-rivals, Mercedes well and truly dominated the proceedings with a 1-2 finish. Sebastian Vettel was a distant third with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen splitting the Ferrari pair.
At some point early in the race, Ferrari radioed Charles LeClerc to hurry up and catch the Merc duo. After being unable to do so, Ferrari ordered LeClerc to swap positions with Sebastian Vettel.
For a while, it worked and they were slowly reeling in Valtteri Bottas. But then, it seemed that Mercedes discovered a faster mode and that was the last anyone saw of them until the race ended.
Speaking to the media in the press conference, Sebastian Vettel was very apologetic of his lack of pace. He said, “Sorry for the first stint. I thought I could go quite a bit faster.”
In the end, it worked out for Sebastian Vettel as he bagged his maiden podium of the year. However, he was far from happy as he felt that the SF90 had more to offer.
“I felt I was faster in the car,” Sebastian Vettel continued. “I was asked if I can go faster. I answered that I felt I can. I was a bit surprised when I was in free air, not surprised, but I was struggling a bit to put the laps together.
“Once I found the rhythm I think I was able to chip away but obviously the objective was to try and catch Mercedes at that point obviously the gap was already quite big.”
Sebastian Vettel also hit out at critics for their negative coverage of the team’s tactics
“I knew the moment it was happening that I would have to face these questions. I’m not sure I want to answer because I’m a little bit against the way that you, all of you work because you take bits out of answers here and there and put it into the wrong light.”
Sebastian Vettel concluded, “So if you ask me again in half an hour in the paddock maybe I’ll give you a straight answer and you don’t write it down. It seems the way that not maybe all of you but some of you are working. ”