Sebastian Vettel concedes the final sector in Barcelona proved to be “more than an Achilles’ Heel” for Ferrari during qualifying for Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Despite bringing an upgraded engine and host of updates, Ferrari lagged well behind Mercedes throughout practice and qualifying, with Vettel ending up a massive eight-tenths adrift of pacesetter Valtteri Bottas in third place. 

Both Ferrari drivers were quicker than the Mercedes pair in the opening two sectors, but lost significant time in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s tight and technical final sector.

“It [sector three] seems to be more than an Achilles’ Heel at the moment,” Vettel said.

“I just spoke to Valtteri and they were both very happy with the car and especially in the last sector but for us it is a bit more tricky.

“I think we got everything out of the car in the first run and in the second run I just had to try something different but it didn’t work. Happy but not happy if you know what I mean.”

Vettel, who also spun at the penultimate corner during final practice, believes Ferrari got its set-up “more or less right” for qualifying but admitted the team appears to be lacking grip in slower corners compared to Mercedes.

“The car doesn’t feel bad but obviously we are not quick enough,” he explained. “In terms of balance we got it more or less right.

“I had a bit of understeer and that was probably more than what they [Mercedes] had but I think overall in those sort of corners you need the grip so we might be a bit down on that.”

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