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Vettel compromised by sensor issue

NEWS STORY
12/11/2018

Starting on the harder (soft?) tyre, with just a 0.093s gap to pole-man Lewis Hamilton, much was expected of Ferrari yesterday.

As the field headed off on the warm-up lap however, Vettel was very slow in getting away with a number of cars passing him, but eventually he caught up with Hamilton.

Come the start proper and again the German was slow getting away, losing out to Valtteri Bottas in the Senna Esses. Within a few more laps he had been passed by both Max Verstappen and his Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen.

Though he later got ahead of Raikkonen when the Finn pitted, he was subsequently asked to move aside for his teammate who was noticeably quicker.

Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene subsequently revealed that the German had suffered a sensor issue which compromised his race.

"Right from the formation lap, we became aware of a problem with a sensor on Seb's car,'' said the Italian. "This meant that, for the whole race, he had to run different settings to those we would have normally used and that made the car difficult to drive.''

Meanwhile, what many perceived as a strategic masterstroke - starting on the softs - Vettel believes actually worked against the team.

Though the supersofts started strong, there was a brief period in the opening stages of the race where they began to 'fall off', only to come back into their own again.

"The supersofts didn't struggle enough, let's put it that way," said Vettel. "You could see they had two or three laps where they were in some pain and we thought now we are quids in, but they were faster before and after that phase.

"They were fast, the supersoft was fast, faster arguably, and lasted long enough," he added. "I don't think before the race anyone thought a supersoft-soft was feasible but it was actually no problem.

"I tried everything," he continued, "but obviously in terms of the result... it was just a difficult afternoon. I don't think we were on top of the car today. The supersofts lasted a longer time, longer than I think we all expected. But that's how it is.''

Check out our Sunday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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