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Vettel: I'm not driving at my best

NEWS STORY
29/04/2019

Four races in and four 1-2s to Mercedes, and even the German team is looking to Ferrari to get its act together.

Speaking after a race in which he essentially played only a 'bit part', Sebastian Vettel said that it is his unease with the SF90 that is his main issue.

"We need stronger pace, simple as that," he told reporters. "We need to be faster.

"I'm convinced we've been, partly this weekend, looking very strong," he continued, "but overall not strong enough.

"It seems that for us it's more of a conscious effort to get the car in the right window, whereas maybe for them it seems to click a little bit easier," he said of the Mercedes.

"Especially a place like around here, you need confidence in the car," he said. "I'm not yet there. I can feel that I'm not driving at my best because simply the car does not answer or does not respond the way I like. And then I think it's unnatural.

"I think everybody's been there. I think all drivers know that sort of feeling: when it's not there, then your judgement is normally right, to not go there because you end-up losing the car.

"So, yeah, I seem to be more sensitive at the first races than at the test. The test was really good but that's a long time ago now. We need to look forward and improve the way we handle things, the way we work to just get faster. That's it."

However, another vital area, according to the German, is the tyres. Asked about the upgrades Ferrari brought to Azerbaijan he said: "I think it was a step forward, but I think more of a dominating factor is just the way we seem to be able to get on top of or into these tyres.

"The struggle we had here in those low speed corners is less of an aero problem, more of a mechanical grip issue. So a lot of homework for us, obviously, in the last couple of weeks, but I'm sure that once we get everything together the car is strong, and then we will be much more in the fight. At this stage, obviously, averaging the first four races we were just not quick enough.

"In the first stint we really struggled to follow," he admitted. "I was really quite... yeah it was difficult to find a rhythm, difficult to extract grip from the tyres.

"After the stop it was a lot better," he continued. "I expected it to be a tough and long afternoon but after that the car was quite good and I was able to push and I think we stayed with them, and with the blue flags maybe in the end we weren't particularly lucky, the places around the track, I saw Lewis had some quite good tows with lapped cars here and there - but what goes around, comes around.

"I think overall the second stint was better for us than the first one. We lost, I think, all the potential to put pressure at the beginning of the race. But they were very strong and did absolutely right be pulling a gap. After that for us I think it was just to try and put them under some sort of pressure and bring it home."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Baku, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nonickname, 30/04/2019 12:16

"Vettell has been driving 'not his best' for the last 6 months. Leclerc gets hit tires working immediately and just out drives him.
Here is a suggestion...
Put Vettel on sick leave until he recovers,if ever, and promote Schumacher."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 29/04/2019 16:24

"@Motorsport-fan - Quite right the tyres are a joke at present. All motorsport is to some degree tyre-limited, but in F1 the tyres have become an almost dominant factor. When the drivers aren't screwed by the aero, they're unable to drive because the tyres have variously 'never switched on', have grained or are simply worn-out after 10 laps. Ridiculous."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 29/04/2019 13:48

"Far to many drivers complaining of tyres operating in a small temperature window which is clearly effecting the racing. "

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