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F1 Japanese GP: Vettel rues missed opportunities in ‘second quickest car’

Sebastian Vettel is left frustrated that Ferrari's positive pace does not result in the podium he feels the team deserved in Japan.
RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Race results

Sebastian Vettel insists there are positives to take away from Ferrari's Japanese Grand Prix weekend despite eye-catching pace not translating to the podium he felt the team deserved.

Ferrari came into the race on the back foot after Vettel's three place grid penalty saw him down to sixth on the grid was compounded by Kimi Raikkonen being relegated from third to eighth following an overnight gearbox change.

In race conditions though Vettel showed strong pace, running third from lap three though he would struggle to get close to Max Verstappen in second place.

However, Vettel would lose a three second undercut to Lewis Hamilton at the final round of stops, coming out behind the Mercedes and being unable to stay in touch as he faded to a fairly distant fourth place.

At the time blaming blue flags for his failure to keep the pace, though Vettel doesn't feel it necessarily changed his result, he was disappointed fourth didn't ultimately represent what he felt the car was capable of.

POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Japanese Grand Prix

“I think there's been a lot of positives this weekend. Despite the penalty, the qualifying was very strong, the pace of the car was good in the race as well, we were probably the second quickest car out there. So a lot of positives.

“I think we weren't lucky today with when we hit the blue flags around the track. Lewis I think was gaining around four seconds around the lapped cars at that point. That's how it goes, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, he seemed to always clear the cars on the straights whereas I was pretty often stuck for the majority of the first sector or the middle part of the track and lost quite a bit of time. But that's how it goes sometimes.

“For sure, not entirely happy because if the podium's there for grasp and you don't take it then it always feels a bit disappointing. But as I said, a lot of positives. If you compare here to Silverstone, which in terms of track characteristics is similar, plus the fact it was quite windy today, stuff like that, I think we've improved a big amount since that time.”

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richard

October 09, 2016 1:13 PM

once again, very poor strategy lost seb a podium. ferrari left it far too late to pit....shoulf have done before lulu as kimi on hard tyres was considerably faster. and then to put seb on the softs? weird decision....i cant see arrivabene being in his position much longer. his strategy is depriving ferrari and seb of points !



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