Sebastian Vettel says he will 'always defend' Canadian GP Ferrari strategy

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Sebastian Vettel pits during the Canadian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel has won only once in Canada

Sebastian Vettel has defended the strategy decision that cost him the lead - and arguably victory - in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The German was leading Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes when he was pitted during a virtual safety car period and switched to a two-stop strategy.

Hamilton stayed on a one-stop and went on to a controlled victory.

"I will always defend it. We have very good people and I don't want them criticised," Vettel said.

Sebastian Vettel leads into the first corner
Sebastian Vettel's storming start saw him leap from third to first heading into the first corner

Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene admitted Ferrari's strategists had made an error.

"We overestimated the degradation of the tyres," Arrivabene said. "This is the reason we called him in. It was the wrong decision."

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But when asked whether he would have won had Ferrari stayed on a one-stop, Vettel said: "Possibly. I have to look. With hindsight it is always very easy, but then the car behind has the possibility to take a bit more risk.

"It is not like we had a lot of pace on them. Maybe here and there we could have done some things better but I will always defend what we did."

Ferrari had their most competitive race of the season after a series of grands prix in which they have hit trouble for various reasons, whether it be reliability problems, strategic errors or a general lack of pace.

Listen: Sebastian Vettel makes sensational start

A comparison of race finishes between Vettel and Raikkonen
Ferrari drivers' last five grands prix

This came after a new turbocharger design gave them a clear step forward in performance.

Vettel praised the progress Ferrari had made, pointing back to their winless season in 2014 which persuaded Fernando Alonso to leave the team and opened up the seat for Vettel to take in 2015 after he decided to leave Red Bull.

"I tried absolutely everything, arguably a bit too much here and there, but we desperately wanted to win," Vettel said. "We didn't but we showed we had a very good weekend.

"The car is quick, it has potential, which has been argued here and there. We are moving forward with a lot of confidence and I think the team is on a great path.

Ferrari have finished 3rd, 4th and 2nd in the last three seasons
Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari are making advancements following their fourth place finish in the constructors championship in 2014

"Look where the car and engine were in 2014 and look where we are now.

"The team is making immense progress and we are challenging an opponent who two years ago was supposed to be untouchable.

"We had a good start but we had good pace. Some races ago we were far from that. It will be tight but there will be a point when we start to be ahead."

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