Monaco Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says the team aren’t quite where they want to be for the Monte Carlo weekend, having struggled for outright pace on Thursday.
Vettel finished the day in P3, behind the two Mercedes drivers. While this sounds good in theory, the reality of it was that the gap in front was huge: Mercedes were three quarters of a second up the road from Vettel on a lap that is only 70 seconds long.
Vettel also appeared to struggle for balance and stability under braking, almost crashing out of FP2 when he locked up at Ste. Devote and went straight on. He came to a stop within centimetres of the barrier and was lucky to be able to reverse out and continue.
“We tried a lot of things, but they didn’t really work so not that productive.” said a downbeat Vettel after the session. “We’re struggling a little bit, struggling a little bit with pace compared to Mercedes, and struggling to get the tyres to work. There’s some work to do.”
Asked about whether the car is behaving under him, he said: “It’s not exactly what I’d like around here, you’d prefer a car that you know exactly what it’s going to do so you can anticipate a bit more. I’m sure, come Saturday, it’ll have calmed down and maybe it’ll be a bit warmer too.”
With Vettel running a particularly striking tribute to the late Niki Lauda this weekend as he is wearing a helmet based on Lauda’s Ferrari helmet design, he explained his thinking behind the idea: “It goes without saying that I would have preferred to do something different here but I think that given the circumstances, and Niki’s passing, it was the right and nice thing to do.”
“It looks quite cool, and it’s based on his last Ferrari design. I thought that maybe it was nice to take him along for a final couple of laps around Monaco.”