MARINA BAY, Singapore — Sebastian Vettel admits Ferrari’s decision to pit him on lap 15 of the Singapore Grand Prix and fit the less durable ultra-soft tyre was the wrong one but stresses he will always support the team’s strategy.
After making his stop, Vettel returned to the track behind Sergio Perez’s Force India and was unable to find a way past for two laps. As he lost time behind the Mexican, Max Verstappen was able to pit and rejoin ahead of him in what was effectively net second place.
Vettel said sometimes you need to take risks in order to make gains but you must accept when they don’t come off.
“I believe we saw something and we went for it,” Vettel said. “I will always defend the team. I think the decisions we took in the race, the decision to try and be aggressive, if it works it’s great and today it didn’t work and it didn’t work by quite a bit, so we need to look into that.
“Inside the car it’s difficult to be on top of everything because you don’t see the whole picture. We were aggressive trying to get ahead, taking into account that you have to go through traffic, but that came back to bite us as we also lost second place.
“If it doesn’t work it’s always easy to criticise afterwards, but we will always defend what we did.”
Vettel eventually finished the race in third place but with Hamilton claiming the win he dropped a further 10 points behind in the drivers’ standings. The German is now 40 points adrift of Hamilton, the greatest margin so far in the 2018 season.
Neverthless, Vettel remains confident of pegging the difference back, saying there are plenty more opportunities left in the season.
“Having had the race that we had there is full justification for losing ten points and obviously we take it. There are still a lot of races to go and points to score,” Vettel said. “We don’t have to fear any track that is coming, our car is working well in every track so there’s nothing to fear until the end of the season.”