Sebastian Vettel believes he could have separated the two Mercedes drivers and took second place in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Vettel held second through the first two stints of the race after passing Lewis Hamilton at the start. But the Mercedes driver got ahead by converting to a three-stop strategy in the middle of the race.
Ferrari had an opportunity to mirror Hamilton’s strategy but elected to keep Vettel on a two-stop plan. But Hamilton was easily able to pull out enough of a gap to make his extra pit stop and stay ahead of Vettel.
Asked if he thought he could have finished second, Vettel said “I think it was.”
“Obviously we were hanging in there pretty well. We had a good start, we were able to get paste Lewis and then we did the right thing covering him at the first stop.
“But then unfortunately they switched to three-stop and they were just too quick. So we couldn’t really keep up with the pace they had today, third was the best we could do.”
Vettel was also heard on the radio during the race complaining about being held up by lapped cars. “Obviously going through traffic is never easy but in the end it’s the same for all of us,” he said afterwards. “Sometimes you’re a bit lucky, other times you lose a little bit more.”
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24 comments on “Vettel suspects second place was possible”
10th May 2015, 15:19
Epic blunder by Ferrari.Hamilton just couldn’t pass on this stupid no overtaking track just like close to end clearly faster Raikonnen couldn’t past Bottas. In the moment they didn’t cover Hamilton pit stop i said they lost second place.
Force Maikel (@force-maikel)
10th May 2015, 15:19
Frankly Seb, while it might look like that. I think you would have lost second either way.
If he had mirrored Hamilton and gone for a three stopper, Hamilton would have easily passed him on the hard compound. I mean the Ferrari obviously did not like that hard tire and the Mercedes seemed to be flying on it.
10th May 2015, 15:21
Raikonnen was going very well in his second stint on hard tire.Who can claim that Ham would pass Vettel on this almost comparable to Monaco impossible boring track for overtaking.
Force Maikel (@force-maikel)
10th May 2015, 15:26
While I won’t deny that you have a point. Let’s not forget that the Ferrari’s had two different packages. It isn’t out of the realms of possibilities that Raikkonen’s car had less issues with the hard tire while Vettel’s car did.
Alos, Vettel claims that he had a lot of traffic. Could have easily played into Hamilton’s hands if he had been chasing him.
And last but not least, Hamilton did in fact legitimatle pass Raikkonen. So his car was in fact capable of challenging a Ferrari today.
10th May 2015, 15:28
Actually, Vettel was losing to Hamilton a lot of time (more than a second, sometimes, more than 2 seconds) while having the harder set tyres that was several laps younger than the one on Hamilton’s car.
Lewis (on mediums) would easily overtook Vettel, no doubts.
11th May 2015, 6:02
Not directly comparable since one was saving tyres in a longer stint while the other was going flat out for another pit stop.
10th May 2015, 15:23
Probably, have to agree with you, but overtaking wasn’t that easy today. You had to be 2 secs faster to overtake. But Mercs pace was shocking on those orange tyres. Hope Ferrari can be more competetive in the coming races when teams will have to use soft and super-soft tyres.
10th May 2015, 15:54
whatever you reckon, but ferrari could have at least pitted and let Vettel have the opportunity of trying to hold up Hamilton, – it worked for half the race so couldve for the other too. i think he could ahve kept 2nd place, we will never know, but vettel’s oppinion is sound.
Mr win or lose
10th May 2015, 19:12
But when did they have to pit Vettel? In the next lap? Then they would have lost the position anyway. Maybe Vettel should have pitted first, but then Hamilton would probably have pitted much later, so he would have had much fresher tyres at the end of the race, so he could overtake relatively easily (as he did with Räikkönen).
10th May 2015, 16:53
It may have happened eventually but for Ferrari to not even try and cover Hamilton was a blunder.
10th May 2015, 15:22
As soon as they saw Hamilton’s slow 2nd pit stop, they should’ve pitted and covered him off, and then maybe with track position, they would be able to keep him behind seeing as how difficult it was to overtake.
10th May 2015, 15:25
Was Hamiltons second stop that slow? It was below 3s if I remember correctly.
10th May 2015, 15:55
3.4 seconds. and vettel had 2.3 and 2.2 today.
10th May 2015, 16:04
First was 5s+, second was 3.4 I think. Third was in the 2s category.
Steven Robertson (@emu55)
10th May 2015, 15:25
I think if Seb stayed in quali position at the start, he would have had a lonely race for 3rd, with the Mercedes pushing each other for the win and finishing at least a minute ahead.
10th May 2015, 16:00
if Vettel jumps one of the ferraris at the start of monaco, he will probably finish 2nd, it will be even harder to overtake there, so there is a chance monaco wont be entirely boring.
10th May 2015, 15:47
In Fairy land
10th May 2015, 15:57
if he held 2nd position, he is right in thinking he could have kept it, he did it very well for half a race, even though the ferrari had less pace.
10th May 2015, 16:55
Technically he shouldn’t have been anywhere near 2nd, but he overtook Hamilton and had Ferrari been more proactive they may have covered Hamilton. In the end Ferrari gave up 2nd far too easily.
10th May 2015, 17:25
He was third and got a good run to get second spot. Well done to him. But Ferrari really didn’t have the pace to cover Mercedes today.
Hamilton’s outlap was like 2+ seconds faster and he would have got track position surely from Vettel even if Ferrari pitted him the next lap.
It was a very good run to third but they must work to get more pace on the car.
Interestingly, Kimi and Vettel did almost the same number of laps for the last stint on different tires.
10th May 2015, 17:47
Their middle stints were similar. Seb 26 laps on Medium, Kimi 24 laps on Hard.
10th May 2015, 23:11
You are correct the car was much slower. But surely Mercs/Hamilton hardly kept it a secret that they were going to a three stop strategy. The only chance they had of keeping 2nd was mirroring Mercedes and obviously had to pit earlier but bizarrely they settled for third.
10th May 2015, 16:24
no way, Vettel was too slow today, The only thing keeping Vettel in contention were the slow couple of pits Mercedes offered Lewis.
10th May 2015, 17:09
Then Bottas would be 2nd!
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