Vettel encouraged by Ferrari’s reduced gap to Mercedes

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix lap charts

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Sebastian Vettel said he was encouraged to finish the Brazilian Grand Prix only six seconds behind the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

“I think in general if you look at the beginning of the season to now we are a lot closer,” said Vettel after finishing on the podium for the 13th time this year.

“I don’t know what happened to Lewis in the end, I think the real gap we have to look at is the one to Nico [Rosberg]. I think they were dropping a bit of pace, I was catching up as well but we are a lot closer than previous races.”

“I think already in Mexico – obviously my race didn’t go too well – but I think the pace was strong so yes, I think we are closer, that’s due to hard work. We’ve improved on the engine side, the motoristi [engine developers] in Maranello have done a miracle this year, that’s due to the car.”

However Vettel conceded the strategic battle being fought out by the two Mercedes ahead of him may also have had a bearing on how close he got to the silver cars.

“Then again, it’s difficult to say how much Nico was controlling with Lewis behind,” Vettel added. “Obviously when you’re in the lead it’s always a bit different and not necessary to push into the unknown.”

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, click name to highlight, right-click to reset:

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, click name to highlight, right-click to reset:

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Vettel encouraged by Ferrari’s reduced gap to Mercedes”

  1. So for the second race in a row Nico Rosberg has destroyed Lewis Hamilton fair and square. That’s interesting.

    1. Hamiltons pace was better (as it always is), Rosberg had track position and Hamilton wasn’t allowed an attacking strategy. Simple as that. The race easily could have gone the other way, it was very close in qualifying, .08 of a second is hardly destroyed! :)

      1. It was the other way around for Nico all year. Lewis was on pole and was granted to win the race, with Nico having no chance to overtake and not getting a different strategy. The guy infront controls the race. Right the instance Lewis got out of the DRS window he lost quite a bit of time, too. Nico didn’t ‘destroy’ him, but he was the better driver this weekend – fair and square.
        5 poles in a row for Rosberg are a pretty good effort too, in my opinion. Regardless of how close the difference was.

        With that sort of strategy, it could have gone the other way around all season, too.

        1. Yeah this year Nico seemed to focus on the race but this year the cars cannot follow as easily so if he had qualified like he did last year and has done in the last 5 races the season may have been closer but it did not happen. It must be hard for Hamilton now though as he has won the title and these are nothing races, when you have something to go for you can push through this but when you have not got to fight for the title and you are drained I think this can happen like with Vettel last year or Hakkinen in 2001. We will see at the start of next season whether this is a blip for Hamilton or Nico has raised his game.

    2. Make that four races, pace-wise.
      And He had the upper hand, didn’t exactly destroyed him.

      P.S. I get that the new charts are far more readable and flexible, but am I missing an obvious way to read the actual lap times?

      1. @stefanauss there have been different articles for years. This one is for positions and gaps, then there is another one with pit stop strategies and times, and finally the one with lap times and fastest laps. You can find the latter here: 2015 Brazilian GP lap times and fastest laps

        1. It was indeed obvious. Thank you!

  2. The Mercedes cars were pushing each other, so to only finish 14s behind is indeed quite the feature for Vettel and Ferrari. If Ferrari can somehow find the extra in Q and start ahead, they can win races.

  3. I think the Ferrari is closer, but Rosberg and Hamilton are faster than Vettel. Back in 2007 and 2008 the Ferrari was the faster car but it was masked by the pace of the Mclaren drivers. Ferrari might only be 3 tenths slower.

    1. I think it’s the other way around. Due to Vettel’s consistency and pace, Ferrari looks better than it actually is.

    2. I agree totally about 2007/2008 :) Massa and Kimi have never been a match for Alonso and Hamilton.

      But Vettel is comparing the gap here to Rosberg when Hamilton was trapped behind. Had Hamilton been in front then the Mercedes Ferrari gap would look a lot bigger.

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