The Grand Prix of the 70th anniversary of Formula 1 began for Sebastian Vettel with the spunning in the first corner. At the end the German could only get to the finish line in 12th place, while Charles Leclerc finished the race in P4.
Sebastian started from P11 on Hard, but at the very beginning made a big mistake which threw him to the end of the peloton. After 22 laps of the race, the driver changed into a new Hard, and after the next 11 returned to the boxes for the new Medium. After a few more laps, Vettel puzzled the team with a question about his strategy.
"We spoke this morning and said there was no point pitting knowing that we will run into traffic and that’s exactly what we did," Seb told after the race.
"We went also onto a Hard tyre, which we then only had on for 10 laps, probably not even that, so it didn’t make any sense. I mean why would you put the Hard for 10 laps and put the Medium for 20 laps? So I was running out of tyres towards the end so we spoke about exactly that."
"Not I guess not the best work we all could have done today," – the German added.
Despite the fact the race began for Sebastian with another mistake, he believes his problems started even earlier.
"We've been going through a very bad two weeks. I don't know what happened in terms of pace. It's a little weird. It's certainly not the best day for me right now, it's a bit frustrating," Vettel said.
"I tried to do something today, but the way I spun on the first lap didn't help. I don't know what happened, because I tried to keep myself out of trouble but I felt a hit. It must have been the kerb, and that made me lose grip and spin. It took me by surprise."
However, the principal of the Ferrari team Mattia Binotto reacted to Vettel’s criticism in a rather harsh way and said the Seb’s spin at the start was more detrimental to the race than any decision made by team.
"I don't think Sebastian has lost faith," Binotto said on Sky Sport Italia after the race.
"He is going through a difficult time in qualifying and the last two races where he hasn't found confidence in the car. Here, he spun putting his wheels on the kerb, and his race was uphill."
"I honestly think there is little to say about strategies. We were early perhaps by a few laps with the call that made him lose the position to Raikkonen. However, we knew he would recover without losing time," – Binotto explained.
"It allowed Charles to continue his comeback. Overall, it was the right choice for the team and we don't think we penalised Sebastian. He regained the position immediately on Kimi, he wouldn't have been able to do an overcut on Kvyat, because he was going as fast as he was at that time, and then he undercut Sainz."
"His race was compromised at the start, and I think that was the key, not the strategy chosen."