Sebastian Vettel has admitted that the drivers who finished on the podium today were too fast for Red Bull, lamenting the Pirelli tires for his own lack of pace.
Vettel had qualified in P2 and held position until the first round of stops, but he eventually lost out to Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa to finish 4th. Despite trying to make a three-stop strategy work, the defending world champion was forced into pitting one further time due to the tires.
“I think we can be happy with fourth today,” Vettel said in a team statement. “The first three cars were a little bit too fast for us and regarding looking after the tyres, they did a better job.”
After missing out on the podium today, Vettel encouraged his team to work on improving the tire wear of the RB9 car, suggesting that its pace was beyond what the Pirellis would allow.
“We need to catch up; we’re not going the pace of the car, we’re going the pace of the tires and obviously we do something to make the tires wear more.”
He did, however, admit that the team’s 22 point haul was good, and it has ensured that Red Bull remain at the top of the constructors’ championship.
“We got some good points today, although of course we wanted more. The start was good, we then tried to hold on with a three-stop strategy, but had to change to four stops.”
Vettel will be disappointed to have failed to challenge for the win in Spain, finishing 38 seconds behind Alonso. Red Bull will be working to return to winning ways in Monaco, where they have won for the last three years.