Sebastian Vettel may have seen his chance of winning the Canadian Grand Prix pass by thanks to a questionable strategy call, but he was pleased to unleash the full performance of his Ferrari en route to second place in Montreal.
Vettel made a rocket getaway from third on the grid to take the lead at Turn 1 from pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari gambled on a two-stop strategy early on, pitting Vettel under a Virtual Safety Car period called following Jenson Button’s retirement.
Vettel emerged from the pits after his second stop six seconds behind Hamilton, and although he was able to cut the gap to 4.4 seconds at one stage, he could not sustain this pace to the end of the race, leaving him to settle for second place.
When asked on the podium what the issue was late on, Vettel wryly responded: “Lewis was a bit too quick, that was the issue!
“I think we had a great weekend. Fantastic start. Then lap one was bit hairy, I struggled to stop the car in the last corner. It was very windy today, maybe struggled a bit from the wind from behind.
“I was pushing all race. I think we committed fairly early to a different strategy which we were planning to come back. Obviously then Lewis had the chance to stay and see what the tires were doing.
“Probably the tires lasted a bit better than what we expected, so hat made it quite tricky with fresher tires to close the gap.”
Vettel was nevertheless pleased with the pace that Ferrari showed in Canada, making a big step forwards that showed it can compete with Mercedes for pace.
“Overall a great weekend for us. We struggled a little bit in the last couple of races and the beginning of the season,” Vettel said.
“But now to see the car has performance and I could unleash it, it was a really fun race. I really enjoyed it.”