Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has revealed the extent of the tyre degradation in Barcelona last weekend, saying that the pace was hugely affected as a result.
After a dreadful qualifying for both Vettel and team-mate Lance Stroll, they started the race 16th and 17th respectively, and the German took one of his three fresh sets of Softs an impressive 21 laps into the race, before his Mediums on the final two stints could not provide him with the performance to make it into the points.
He was pipped by Yuki Tsunoda who, along with Max Verstappen, proved that the three-stop strategy was probably the way to go.
The four-time champion was disappointed not to score points for the second time this season, and revealed that the heat certainly did not help.
“It was hot in the car. With 11th we are not taking any points which was the target,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I think for everybody the car felt poor because it was so hot and so slippery with the tyres and we were going so slow.
“We were doing Formula 2 qualifying pace in the race, but we managed the tyres better than most.”
The German did not think he performed badly at all given where he started, but the offset strategy ultimately was unsuccessful.
“Everyone’s tyres were falling to pieces and lots of drivers pitted fairly early, so we tried something different by opting for a two-stopper,” added Vettel.
“We just lacked a bit too much pace to really be able to attack the points-scoring positions. But we tried something – P11 is not much of a reward, but we had a decent race.”
Aston Martin were the centre of controversy throughout the weekend due to the new sidepods they introduced because they looked extremely similar to Red Bull’s, who have warned that it is a “criminal offence” to steal another team’s data.
It came after a tough start to the year, but they did not have the desired effect last weekend, although Vettel always knew the alterations would not happen straight away.
“We knew this new package was not going to be a massive step straight away, but we believe it is a better direction for the future,” he explained.
“We are making progress and going forwards, and that is what really matters.”
The disappointing afternoon in Barcelona was the fourth time this year that the Silverstone side have walked away from a grand prix with no points to show for their efforts.