Sebastian Vettel suspects there is more than just a power unit deficit to blame for Ferrari’s struggles in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ferrari was slow throughout Friday practice and both cars dropped out in Q2 on Saturday, having been under threat of being eliminated in the first part of qualifying. Vettel eventually finished 13th — one position ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc — on a challenging day for the Scuderia but with Kimi Raikkonen beating both works Ferraris, the German believes there is more to it than just a lack of power.
“I think on one hand obviously Spa is one of the most power-sensitive tracks and we struggle this year with power, so naturally you would expect to fall a bit behind,” Vettel said. “But I think we were even behind the people we were quite a bit faster than, especially on race day in the last couple of races, speaking of Sauber (Alfa Romeo) and Haas, so there’s probably something that is not exactly clear.
“I hope it will be a bit Spa-specific but we have to work hard — there’s a lot of lessons this weekend, and we need to make sure we stay strong, stay together, and do the best we can.
“We have two important races coming for the team and that’s what we focus on. But you also have to be realistic — you cannot expect miracles. The package is what it is, we are not strong as we would like to be. We need to stay optimistic and see the good things even if at the moment they are not many.”
Vettel says he was experimenting with different ways of trying to get the most out of the car during the race as Ferrari wasn’t in contention for points, while urging the team to stay calm despite the next race in Monza looking similarly painful.
“I tried a lot in the race, to try and drive around the car and its problems, but the underlying factor is we were just not quick enough. You can work on a couple of tenths but it was difficult to have a decent pace this race and this weekend and like I said, there’s lots of things we learned. We need to make sure we stay calm and don’t get frustrated, as frustration won’t get you anywhere.”