Sebastian Vettel was frustrated by a “nonsense” decision from Ferrari in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. Vettel has expressed dissatisfaction with several strategy decisions from his team in recent weeks and a decision to use up vital engine mileage at the end of Friday’s second session left him annoyed again.
The Italian and Singapore Grands Prix left the German particularly frustrated with Ferrari’s tactics in qualifying, which left him unable to catch a rapidly improving Mercedes.
It would appear that the Scuderia are once again playing catch up to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after Seb was left eight tenths of a second adrift of Hamilton in FP2, with the decision to run late on likely souring Vettel’s mood further.
Over team radio, he said: “Taking the last lap there was nonsense, we should have saved the mileage.”
Vettel had his own theory for Ferrari’s deficit to Mercedes, suggesting that he and Kimi Raikkonen might have been culpable.
You can always do something, the question is if it works,” Vettel told Sky Sports.
“Obviously you don’t want to commit suicide, so I think if we attack we will still try to be reasonable.
“It’s a long race. Today, I think we were probably both sliding a little bit too much and therefore damaging the tyres probably a bit more than others.
“I think overall it’s been OK. It’s been a clean Friday: no interruptions, no issues with the car or anything. So I think we can focus on our work and now we try to obviously squeeze out everything that’s left in the car for tomorrow.”
The four-time Formula One world champion will have to dig deep in the five remaining races. Lewis Hamilton has amassed a 50-point lead and it will be tough to overhaul.