Sebastian Vettel sees no reason to panic despite enduring a difficult British Grand Prix that saw him finish almost a lap down in ninth place.
Vettel started the race 11th by virtue of a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox change, but said on Saturday that he thought the pace of the Ferrari SF16-H car would allow him to battle up the order.
However, Vettel never ran any higher ninth in the race, spinning early on the slick tires and then receiving a five-second time penalty for forcing Felipe Massa off-track while battling for position.
With Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen crossing the line fifth, Ferrari left Silverstone just nine points clear of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship.
Vettel sees no reason to panic after the result, though, and instead wants to learn from the weekend.
“Today it was a tough day, but we trust our team and trust our car, so there is no reason to panic and to turn the world upside down,” Vettel said.
“The call to come into the pits was absolutely right, but then the spin didn’t help, and all my advantage was gone again.
“The penalty in the end didn’t make a difference, it was not on purpose that I was trying to squeeze Felipe. Actually I was going out myself, and I was surprised how little grip there was, going side by side with him. In the end it was a racing incident.
“Now we need to understand where we lost something. We have a lot of things to learn from a weekend like this. Clearly today we weren’t as competitive as in other races, but at least we recovered some points.
“And this was the only race of the year where we weren’t able to beat the Red Bulls in terms of race pace. Things may look different in two weeks’ time, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.
“We need to go forward and understand why we made a step back this time around.”
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene echoed Vettel’s thoughts, believing many of Ferrari’s issues to be Silverstone-specific.
“We knew, coming here, that it would not be an easy track for us – but if you want to be on top, there must be no ‘difficult’ ones,” Arrivabene said.
“This is a circuit which, power unit aside, puts a premium on other factors which we were lacking here. It’s not the first time it happens, but perhaps it was much more apparent this weekend.
“In these conditions, we opted for a very aggressive strategy, pitting in for intermediates after the initial safety car stint. Unfortunately, this choice did not pay off because of the Virtual Safety Car which came out immediately afterwards.
“But to be honest, the best we could have done was to gain one position in the race. Our drivers did a solid job, despite being hampered and somewhat frustrated by the technical issues we are aware of.
“Now we must turn the page, look ahead to Hungary and capitalize on the hard lesson we learned here.”