Sakhir Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel doesn’t believe the Ferrari mechanics hold any blame for the messy pit stops on Sunday.
Vettel initially made up some places from his P13 start, aided in that by his teammate, Charles Leclerc, and Max Verstappen ending in the barriers after a few corners and Sergio Perez falling to the back.
The German had fallen back to P12 by the time the pit stops came around and his race was then not helped by the issues he, and his team, faced during both of his trips to the pitlane. Vettel ended his penultimate grand prix with Ferrari out of the points in twelfth place.
After the race, Vettel was very clear that he does not think any blame for the problems, which saw him stationary for 4.5 and 6.5 seconds in his two stops respectively, lies with the mechanics.
“It’s tough enough for the guys,” Vettel said. “So I feel sorry for them. I think it [the equipment] probably needs an overhaul on the design because it’s not the guys’ fault. Wasn’t a good race for us today, was a difficult one. We tried everything, I tried everything but it wasn’t really making a difference.”
Describing his race, Vettel said that with his car feeling down on power and unable to fight, having messy or race-worthy pit stops didn’t really matter. The German sat out the end of FP3 as Ferrari decided to switch back to the power unit he had used on Friday, for unknown precautionary reasons, and is unsure whether that played a part in his race issues.
“My race was a bit irrelevant. We were quite slow from the start. I couldn’t go with the people ahead and be in the mix, I was not really gaining anything on the straights, even with the tow and DRS… I felt like I was a bit down on power, I don’t know if the engine change yesterday had an impact on that… So I was just on the defence the whole race and couldn’t benefit with the soft tyres at the end. So obviously the pit stops didn’t make a huge difference.”
After a season to forget where, aside from his P3 in Turkey, he has only scored points in six races with sixth as his highest finish, Vettel is glad to see his 2021 team, Racing Point, doing well.
“For sure [Racing Point are] strong, and I’m looking forward to it but for now, I’m willing to finish this chapter, even if it seems quite painful. But I tried what I could today and it was really difficult.”