Vettel says Ferrari too slow to recognise mistakes

Sebastian Vettel (AP)
Sebastian Vettel (AP)

Austin - Sebastian Vettel welcomed Ferrari’s return to form in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, but said the team had taken too long to realise the mistakes in its development programme.

The four-time champion German, who kept alive his faint title hopes by finishing fourth behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, said the team did not understand what was wrong with their upgrades.

Ferrari abandoned their recent updates and reverted to older car specifications at the Circuit of the Americas and were rewarded with Kimi Raikkonen’s first win for the team since 2009.

Vettel’s hopes of a victory to reboot his title bid were wrecked when he clashed with Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull on the opening lap.

Of Ferrari's victory, he said: “You can see it is good news, but you can also see it is bad news. It took too long.

"If we have to go back to a car that has been competitive three or four months ago, then surely it cannot be good news if you think about it?

"For us, on the technical side, it is important to understand what went wrong..."

He said there was no easy explanation.

"Certainly, we felt that the car was not as strong as it was before, but if you don't see there is anything wrong, then you don't know that there is something wrong.

"All the steps that we did, they seemed to make sense, but looking back they didn't. Clearly, there was something we missed and we haven't understood, yet, why and where the error exactly took off or started."

He added that other mistakes, including team strategy errors, had helped to disguise the basic problems in the upgrades on the cars.

"There were too many of those... I don't believe in luck, or bad luck, but surely here or there things didn't go our way entirely, but that is how it is."

He added that his own mistakes did not help.

"I have no problem admitting the mistakes I've done," he said.

"There were some things that happened to us that didn't help, but the crucial bit has been that for a big part of the season we didn't have the speed to be there."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 9905 votes
11% - 2654 votes
19% - 4478 votes
2% - 588 votes
1% - 219 votes
2% - 550 votes
5% - 1173 votes
8% - 1976 votes
3% - 803 votes
Water sports
1% - 212 votes
American sports
1% - 293 votes
3% - 757 votes