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2018 F1

Worse shape of tyre wearing cost Vette P2 at Spain

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Higher tyre degradation forced to make a decision to Ferrari an unscheduled pit-stop for Sebastian Vettel under the virtual safety car on lap 41, that cost second place finish at Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari took the chance to stop Vettel for a second time, following the tires wearing faster than that of his closest rivals, but could not close the gap fast enough on Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, both had stayed out during the VSC period.

“For us it was not an option to stay out. We were going through the tyres quicker than the others today. It looks different and it looks wrong, but from the inside I think it was the right thing to do.

“Overall we were a little bit quicker (than Verstappen) but as the laps went on, we just didn’t have enough pace. He was doing more or less the same [lap times]. We were just not quick enough and even at the end I was not in a healthy shape with the tyres even though mine were the freshest.

“It’s hard to say how it would have been without the [compound] change. I think it probably impacted more on us than the others.

“Overall it has been a decent weekend, we just need to understand for tyres what to do. I think we have the same ones for Paul Ricard and Silverstone so we need to have a look.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff agreed Ferrari had been in worse shape for tyre wear, but said it had been a concern for his team too.

Vettel made his first pitstop to change from softs to mediums after just 17 of the 66 laps, with Hamilton coming in eight laps later, while Valtteri Bottas stopped once, only a couple of laps after Vettel, but made his tyres last to the finish.

“Sebastian’s front left was really bad, they needed to pit, and we were a little bit worried that structurally we could have a failure, so that’s why we decided to pit Lewis as well,” said Wolff.

“In hindsight, we’d rather stay out, but with a [risk of] structural failure obviously during the whole race.”

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