• Canadian Grand Prix

Vettel 'surprised' by Hamilton strategy

ESPN Staff
June 10, 2012 « Aggressive strategy paid off - Perez | Alonso proud Ferrari gambled on the win »
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap © Press Association

Sebastian Vettel admitted that he was "a little bit surprised" when Lewis Hamilton pitted from the lead of the Canadian Grand Prix, but was happy enough with his own strategy as he finished fourth.

Having led away from pole position, Vettel dropped behind both Hamilton and Fernando Alonso during the first round of pit stops. Hamilton then pitted with 19 laps remaining when the pace at the front still seemed strong, and both Vettel and Alonso attempted to run to the end of the race. Ultimately, Hamilton passed both again with ease to win, and Vettel eventually finished fourth after a late pit stop. Despite that, Vettel insisted there was no way of predicting how the tyres would react.

"It all made sense but obviously when you're in the race you don't know what will be the final outcome," Vettel said. "At the time Lewis decided to box he was in the lead and I think Fernando and myself were a little bit surprised because the tyres seemed to hold up fairly well, but then all of a sudden they started to go off in the end. Obviously we were hoping to get the place back against Lewis but it was pretty obvious then that there was no way to hold him off so in the end we decided to box again."

Vettel still felt that the team was vindicated in its decision to pit late on because he managed to jump Alonso, and believes Red Bull is displaying consistency .

"We lost the podium but I think we made the right decision because at the time we went for the stop we were three or four seconds behind Fernando and we finished ahead so I think we've seen how much he was struggling, he had no more traction. It was very similar when I decided to pit about three or four laps before that. As I said now it's easy to know everything, but I think nevertheless it was a very good weekend for us; very consistent and if we keep going in that direction then we can hopefully make another step forward in Valencia."