Sebastian Vettel was relieved to spin just once during a disappointing season-opening Austrian Grand Prix as he criticised the poor handling of his Ferrari SF1000.

The German only managed 11th on the grid and was unable to make much progress through the field in the early stages before his chance of a big points haul was ruined when he ran into the side of Carlos Sainz at Turn 3.  

Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc fared much better in Sunday's race, finishing in second place having benefited from Lewis Hamilton's penalty for colliding with Alexander Albon.

 

 


Reflecting on his tricky outing in Austria, Vettel told Sky Sports: “Well to be honest I am happy that I spun only once.

“It was very difficult. It got very tight and I think Carlos, I think it was Carlos, it was one of the McLarens, turned in and I was there just on the edge because I wanted to be as close as possible and lost the rear. To be honest, I lost the rear a couple of times today. As I said, I am quite happy it happened only once.''

Vettel was left perplexed to why the handling of his Ferrari was considerably worse compared to Friday practice.

“We don’t know,'' Vettel added. “We need to have a good look but for sure the car was very difficult today. I tried my best. The Safety Car helped us. It was quite entertaining in the end but not the result that we wanted.''

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto rued the missed opportunity for his team to capitalize on Red Bull's double retirement, with Albon and Max Verstappen failing to make the flag due to technical issues.

“I think he wasn’t comfortable with the car, the balance of the car, the set-up of the car was not as driveable as it was on Friday,” Binotto told Sky Sports.

“When driving in such conditions, he’s not delivering on his best. The spin and the contact was certainly not a great action from his side. I think he’s conscious of it.

“I think it’s a shame because today it could’ve been important to score points, especially maybe when our direct competitors are not scoring much points.

“It’s really a shame, but now we need to understand why the car was not behaving.”

 

 

 

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