Sebastian Vettel finished with a podium before the summer break. A chance for Ferrari to regroup and emerge stronger – the gap in Budapest was frightening.
For Sebastian Vettel, the third place in Budapest after his second place in Hockenheim was again like a victory. By overtaking Charles Leclerc in the final round of the race he hinted again, who should be the number one at Ferrari.
The Monegasque started ahead of the German and he remained there for most of the race. However, thanks to a two-stop strategy and a change to soft tires Vettel prevailed with a daring maneuver shortly before the end in turn one.
Vettel: “We just tried something different than Charles. I had a chance in the end. Third or fourth is not a big deal.”
But there remains a considerable problem for both Vettel and Ferrari: In the end, on the same strategy, the German was 61 seconds behind winner Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). In Formula 1, an eternity.
Vettel: “Today we got beat. The pace was not good enough. We were far behind Mercedes and Red Bull.”
The Hungaroring with its many curves mercilessly revealed Ferrari’s weakness in corners. Vettel admitted: “We lose a lot of time in corners. Efficiency doesn’t mean much here. So we have to keep working. It’s going to be a busy summer. Nobody will be able to really relax in the weeks ahead. It takes a lot of hard work to catch up.”
The speed-circuits in Belgium and Italy should suit Ferrari better: “Spa and Monza should be better for us, ” Vettel continued.
“But we want to control the races and at the moment we are far from it.”
By that he means himself. When asked how many points out of ten he would give himself for the first half of the season, the German replied:
“Five. I feel like I can do a better job.”
He still has a lot of opportunities after the summer break – but before that, there’s lots of homework to do for him and his team…
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.