Sebastian Vettel admits Pirelli made the right decision to make changes to its tires for the Spanish Grand Prix after doing comparison running during Tuesday’s in-season test.
After signs of blistering during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Pirelli decided to make changes to the tread depth, with less depth designed to reduce the risk of blistering. The new tires were brought to Spain for the first time and Mercedes duly dominated, with Vettel slipping to fourth place as Ferrari struggled with the updated specification.
However, after being able to carry out a back-to-back comparison of the old tires and the new ones during Tuesday’s running at the same circuit, Vettel says Pirelli was right to make a change.
“I think it’s pretty straightforward – obviously you don’t get the chance to revisit these kind of decisions that are made but we did it today and the result is that if we had had the normal tires on Sunday, it would have probably been worse, so it was the correct call,” Vettel said. “And it was our fault for not having the same tire wear or life as other people.”
Vettel suffered from blistering during the test, and says it was beneficial to be able to carry out specific tire running just two days after hitting trouble at the same venue.
“It’s good to have the test to be able to compare and I think we have some ideas. Now it’s up to us to turn those ideas into reality. As I said it was good in terms of timing, coming from a poor weekend for us.
“We were not quick enough and more than not being quick enough we were struggling to make the tires last – these things have a link – so it was good to have a possibility to revisit it and now it’s up to us to take action.”
Asked if he now feels Ferrari is a step behind Mercedes after its performance on Sunday, Vettel added: “No, I think we had our struggles, which explains our performance.
“Obviously it looked like from the outside they had a stronger weekend, without any big issues, but we need to look at ourselves, focus on our car and our problems, so we’ll be stronger again.”