Vettel: Ferrari F1 car was unrecognisable in Austrian Grand Prix

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel says his SF1000 was "unrecognisable" in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix compared to earlier in the weekend when he was encouraged by its form

Vettel: Ferrari F1 car was unrecognisable in Austrian Grand Prix

Starting from 11th on the grid after missing out on Q3 in qualifying Vettel had a difficult race, spinning after making contact with the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr and eventually finished 10th.

Meanwhile his team-mate Charles Leclerc had a sensational run to second place, helped by a five-second time penalty for Lewis Hamilton after he clashed with Red Bull's Alexander Albon.

PLUS: How reliability overshadowed developments at the Austrian GP

Speaking on Monday evening Vettel revealed he had spent the day getting his head together in the local countryside.

"Since I spend the time between the races here, I took advantage of the sunshine," he said on Servus TV. "I was on the mountain and cleared my head. It was good to be out in the fresh air today. Nobody was on the mountain, I was alone and had time for myself. That feels good in this situation.

"The speed was simply missing. We are still looking. There are maybe two or three things that were not quite ideal. The car was unrecognisable to the feeling I had on Friday. So all in all, it wasn't a good day for me."

Asked about the clash with Sainz, which occurred while the Spaniard was battling with Leclerc, he said: "It wasn't supposed to be an attack. I just wanted to be as close as possible. The two of them were fighting a bit. I didn't expect Carlos to move in at the last minute. It's my fault, I didn't want to touch him and then I dropped the anchor and locked the rear wheels.

"For not having a handbrake, I think I did a good job. But of course it was not intentional to turn the car around.

"I was very annoyed about it. In retrospect, I can describe the situation as I saw it from the cockpit. But still, it must not happen. Without that I would have had much better chances.

"I still had a new set of soft tyres because I didn't make it into Q3 on Saturday. In the end, it would have allowed me to do quite a bit, even though I was lacking speed. But still the advantage of the tyres alone could have made up ground in the end. That's why I was very annoyed."

Vettel was asked if Leclerc's run to second had made up for the team's obviously disappointing overall form.

"No. But in the first step you have to acknowledge that," he explained. "He drove a good race. I am the first to recognise the performance of others. The car is not as strong this year as we had hoped. Let's see how long the season is left. We are certainly not where we wanted to be, clearly."

Vettel also talked about the Ferrari update package which was originally scheduled for Hungary, seemingly unaware that last night the team officially confirmed that some elements have been fast tracked for next weekend's Styrian Grand Prix.

"The team is trying everything," he said. "If we're lucky, maybe we'll get a part of it. But it's not confirmed yet. Maybe it will happen during the weekend. We'll be surprised.

"Apart from the fact that we have a long way to go, I was actually very satisfied. I was right in the rhythm on Friday and Saturday morning, and in qualifying everything went a bit the other way.

"On Sunday I was confident that it would be a better race, but the trend from Saturday continued on Sunday, so I had a hard time fighting the whole race."

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