Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to learn from Chinese GP
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel intends to learn from his mistakes after he was out-witted by Lewis Hamilton's better strategy in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Vettel led the race on a two-stop strategy but lost the lead in the last few laps as Hamilton passed him on fresher tyres in his McLaren.
"There's an important lesson to learn," said Vettel, who has an 18-point lead in the championship over Hamilton.
"Hamilton and McLaren were too strong and not in reach with our strategy."
After sailing to comfortable pole-to-flag victories in Australia and Malaysia, Vettel was made to work much harder in Shanghai.
The world champion was passed at the start by both Hamilton and his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button but Vettel regained track advantage after the first round of pit stops.
But Hamilton, whose McLaren had been heavily upgraded for China, was able to close down and pass Vettel as the German laboured in the final stint on tyres that were seven laps older than Hamilton's.
"I was struggling a lot, you could see," explained Vettel. "I had to wait to turn the car and get on the power as I did not have the tyres left.
"It was quite a nice fight with Lewis, down the long straight I was able to stay ahead but I saw that there were seven laps to go and that there was not much that I could do.
"Lewis did a very good job to surprise me with his move into Turn 7 and so congratulations to them.
"With a different strategy you cannot show everything you have. I don't see second today as a disappointment. Second is the best we could do today."
Team principal Christian Horner insisted that despite the result the Red Bull strategy had been the best option once Button and Hamilton had overtaken Vettel at the start.
"We thought we could make it work, but we came up four laps shy of making that strategy work," said Horner.
"We made the decision based on being third behind the McLarens, we thought that was the best way to beat them.
"If we had made three stops when we were behind them we'd have probably been behind both of them, so we thought we'd try something different. Second is still a great result.
"At the end, Lewis was so much quicker it wasn't worth fighting so hard. He made him work for it, but it was inevitable in the end."
Vettel was further hindered by a problem with his team radio, which meant his team could not hear him clearly and were therefore unable to answer his questions throughout the race.
"Having no radio for the majority of the race doesn't make it any easier," said Vettel.
"Kers was a bit of an on-off, on-off situation, which makes quite a bit of difference too."
The problem with the Kers power-boost device in both the Red Bull cars will give the team cause for concern ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix on 8 May.
Horner confirmed: "Kers worked well for the first half of the race and then became more intermittent in the latter part. We have got three weeks between now and Istanbul to make it work."
Vettel, 23, plans to regroup before reigniting his charge in Turkey.
"We have to keep our feet on the ground," said the defending world champion. "We have had three races, two victories and one second place.
"The strategy I picked was obviously not meant to be the best. We were happy with second as first was not meant to be."