Sebastian Vettel says he’s “happy that I spun only once” in the Austrian Grand Prix given how “difficult” he found the Ferrari SF1000 in the race.
Vettel found himself facing the wrong way on track after a failed attempt to draw closer to Carlos Sainz Jr under braking for Turn 3 at the first safety car restart, while the McLaren driver was engaged in battle for sixth place against Vettel’s team-mate Leclerc.
Forced to the outside of the corner, Sainz cut back to take the apex, but Vettel – coming from relatively far behind – was caught out, losing control of the car and tangling with Sainz.
Both cars were able to continue, but Vettel’s race never fully recovered from the spin and he only took 10th out of the 11 finishers.
“Very difficult race,” Vettel told his Ferrari team through the in-car radio after the finish.
“The car was very difficult to drive. Very poor braking stability and very, very, very difficult at the rear.
“It was nowhere near the same car that we had two days ago [in Friday practice].”
When asked by Sky Sports about his spin after the race, Vettel said: “Well to be honest I’m happy that I spun only once.
“It was very difficult. It got very tight, I think Carlos turned in and I was just on the edge because I wanted to be as close as possible, and lost the rear.
“When driving in such conditions, he’s not delivering on his best. The spin and the contact was certainly not a great action from his side” :: Mattia Binotto
“But to be honest I lost the rear a couple of times today. So as I said, I’m happy it happened only once.”
Asked what had changed between practice and race day, he said: “We don’t know, we need to have a good look.
“But for sure the car was really difficult today.”
Team principal Mattia Binotto said Vettel, who will be replaced at Ferrari in 2021 by Sainz, did not have “his greatest race” in Austria.
“I think he wasn’t comfortable with the car, the balance of the car, the set-up of the car was not as driveable as it was on Friday,” Binotto told Sky.
“When driving in such conditions, he’s not delivering on his best.
“The spin and the contact was certainly not a great action from his side. I think he’s conscious of it.
“I think it’s a shame because today it could’ve been important to score points, especially maybe when our direct competitors are not scoring much points.
“It’s really a shame, but now we need to understand why the car was not behaving.”