Vettel: Ferrari's 2019 car struggling to "extract grip" from tyres

Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari's struggles to make its tyres work properly is the more "dominating factor" in its Formula 1 car's performance being held back, rather than an aerodynamic weakness

Vettel: Ferrari's 2019 car struggling to "extract grip" from tyres

Ferrari controlled practice for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix but missed out on pole because of a "double whammy" in qualifying and struggled to match Mercedes in the race as well.

Vettel, who had praised Ferrari's upgraded car during practice, finished third in Baku and now trails new championship leader Valtteri Bottas by 35 points.

Asked by Autosport if his confidence in the upgrades Ferrari brought to Azerbaijan remained following the race performance, Vettel said: "Absolutely, I think it was a step forward with our car, but more of a dominating factor is how we seem to be able to get on top or into these tyres.

"There's a lot of performance in that.

"I think the struggle we had here and there in low-speed corners is less of an aero problem, it's more of a mechanical grip issue.

"A lot of homework for us, the last couple of weeks.

"I'm sure once we get everything together the car is strong and then we will be much more in the fight.

"But at this stage, averaging the first four races, we were just not quick enough."

Vettel lost ground to the Mercedes duo in the first stint on soft tyres, but an earlier pitstop allowed him to hack into the gap and run two-to-three seconds behind for the majority of the rest of the race.

However, Ferrari's struggles getting the most out of its tyres hurt him again after a virtual safety car as he could not get his mediums up to temperature.

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

"I expected it to be a long and tough afternoon. After the stop the car was quite good, I was able to push and I think we stayed with them.

"The blue flags were not 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.

"Overall the second stint was better for us and the first one we lost all the potential to put pressure on at the beginning of the race."

shares
comments
Hamilton could've been more 'selfish' with Bottas in Baku F1 battle
Previous article

Hamilton could've been more 'selfish' with Bottas in Baku F1 battle

Next article

Gasly's Azerbaijan GP issue made Red Bull cautious with Verstappen

Gasly's Azerbaijan GP issue made Red Bull cautious with Verstappen
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023