Vettel admits 'really poor' start cost him at Suzuka
Sebastian Vettel believes his mistake made at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix cost him a better result at Suzuka.
Starting from pole position, the German went off after Lights Out, only to immediately stop, just for a moment, before eventually starting again. The loss of momentum handed the initiative to Valtteri Bottas, who took advantage to move into P1 where he remained to claim the victory.
Vettel laments his error, as he knew right away Mercedes would be tough to catch.
“I mean the lights were on for a long time but it was my mistake so I lost the momentum there, it was worse than just having a poor start, it was a really poor start,” the Ferrari man said after the race in Japan.
“Then it was difficult because Mercedes were quite quick in the race, they had more pace than us, Valtteri [Bottas] was flying at the end of the first stint and then Lewis tried a one-stopper and I guess it didn't work.
“In the end, I knew he would come out behind. I paced myself around and tried to get good exits in places he could be a threat.”
“They could have played a lot more with the tactics, that way they had one car comfortably in the lead. We weren't a threat for him. We just lacked a little bit of pace.”
Due to the finishes of Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes claimed their sixth constructors’ championship in a row. Even though this ultimately presented a failure for Ferrari, Vettel is satisfied with his outing at Suzuka.
“Overall it's been a positive day, with everything packed into one day, to get pole and second is reasonable,” he added.
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