Monaco Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says that race winner Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest man on Sunday, despite his power unit issues.
Ricciardo won the race on the streets of Monte Carlo, having spent most of the afternoon “cruising around” due to an ERS issue that sapped his Red Bull of horsepower.
Vettel, in his fully functioning Ferrari, was able to keep Ricciardo under sustained pressure for most of the race, but never looked capable of making a move on the wounded Red Bull, due to the nature of the circuit. Vettel explained afterwards that he felt the Red Bull always had the legs on his Ferrari: “I was trying to get closer to the car in front and do something; but obviously if you get closer it doesn’t help with your tires. In some corners you don’t really need power and Ricciardo was quicker than us. He was always able to open the gap and I was never really there. He could keep his pace and I think that perhaps it could have been worse for us if he hadn’t had some issues.”
“Unfortunately, there weren’t many chances to do something different. I think it was tricky for us to make the tires work the right way. Then, when the Virtual Safety Car came on, a McLaren was just exiting the box and took a lot of time, while I was struggling with tire warm-up, and I think that was the biggest issue that cost me quite a few seconds. It took to me one and a half lap to get the rhythm back, but by then it was too late.”
“However, there are so many races to go and I believe we need to understand our problems. We have a good car, but we can make it better.”
Despite Vettel solidly losing to a Red Bull in Monte Carlo, Ricciardo himself doesn’t believe that a sustained title charge is possible this year, due to Ferrari & Mercedes’ overall edge at a wider variety of circuits. Vettel’s P2 allowed him to close the points gap in the title chase.