Sebastian Vettel was sure that there was nothing more that he or Ferrari could have done on Sunday to stop Lewis Hamilton claiming victory in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Vettel took the lead off the starting line in the run down to the first corner. After that, he stayed in front for over half the race.

“I had a really good start,” he recalled. “I think Lewis and myself both picked up wheel spin straight away. Then I pulled the clutch in again and I then could gain on him, so I was really happy with that.

“The run to turn 1 was quite long but I managed to stay ahead, then settled into a nice rhythm. Everything was fine.”

The crucial moment came when Mercedes opted to switch Hamilton onto medium compound tyres for the second stint. Vettel had already decided to stay on the soft tyres, and use the slower medium compound at the end.

“Lewis stayed out longer, did the opposite, mirrored the strategy, so I knew in the end it would be crucial,” Vettel acknowledged.

“I think we did the right thing with strategy. Maybe there’s a couple of things we could have done better. But I think our tyre choice was the right one.

“Obviously Lewis sits behind, he has nothing to lose – there’s no threat from behind so he might as well try to mirror the strategy from the first stop onwards, which he did to somehow come back at the end. And that’s what happened.”

  • Hamilton wins gripping duel with Vettel in Spain

When Vettel came back out after his final pit stop, the two were neck and neck going into the first corner.

“I was a bit surprised when he came out that it was already so close, I tried to brake as late as possible and locked up. Don’t know if we touched, but I managed to stay ahead so it was really close.”

Hamilton was able to overtake the Ferrari and claim a few laps later using DRS. Vettel said there had been nothing more he could have done at that point.

“I was doing everything I could do to try and stay in front in front,” he insisted. “I was a bit lucky because there was always a car in front to giving me a bit of a tow. As soon as I was alone he just flew past down the straight, which was a shame. Then we tried to stay in the race.

“We were hoping that maybe Lewis would struggle with his tyres at the end. But normally at the end of the race the track picks up a lot of rubber and the tyres last very long, so he didn’t have any problems.

“But well done to him, he drove a good race. We did everything we could. It was a nice race and obviously a great crowd so it would have been great to win.”


GALLERY: All the action from Barcelona on Sunday

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