‘Best possible result’ says Vettel after gaining 11 places

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

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Sebastian Vettel reckoned he could have done no better after climbing from 15th on the grid to finish fourth behind his team mate.

“I think today’s result was the best possible one for us as a team,” said Vettel after the race. “I lost quite a lot of time at the beginning and then kept playing catch up until the end.”

Vettel ran a long stint on soft tyres at the beginning of the race. However Ferrari brought him in fairly early for his final stop leaving him with 16 laps to do on the super-soft tyres (see below). The value of this approach was that he was able to immediately regain the places lost to Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez by attacking them when his tyres were freshest.

“The pace was good, especially in the first and final stint, the car was also good and I managed to do some overtaking,” said Vettel.

However Ferrari were quick to keep him out of the way of Kimi Raikkonen as the pair were on different strategies.

“We knew from before that Kimi and I would have crossed path with each other, as we were on very different tyre strategies,” he said. “It was clear that when Kimi would be close enough I would give him way to haunt the Mercedes: unfortunately that was not enough to achieve that, but I did not want to be in his way.”

The only obstacle to Vettel’s recovery was Fernando Alonso, who appeared reluctant to be lapped. Vettel told his team on the radio the McLaren driver cost him around a second.

“He must really hate me,” Vettel mused on the radio. “I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Nico RosbergSuper soft (10)Soft (21)Soft (24)
Lewis HamiltonSuper soft (11)Soft (30)Soft (14)
Kimi RaikkonenSuper soft (10)Soft (22)Soft (23)
Sebastian VettelSoft (23)Soft (16)Super soft (16)
Sergio PerezSuper soft (6)Soft (21)Soft (28)
Daniel RicciardoSuper soft (6)Soft (20)Soft (29)
Nico HulkenbergSuper soft (7)Soft (17)Soft (31)
Felipe MassaSuper soft (6)Soft (20)Soft (29)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (23)Soft (20)Super soft (12)
Daniil KvyatSuper soft (5)Soft (20)Soft (30)
Carlos Sainz JnrSuper soft (7)Soft (21)Soft (27)
Max VerstappenSuper soft (8)Soft (12)Soft (18)Super soft (16)
Jenson ButtonSuper soft (8)Soft (19)Soft (27)
Valtteri BottasSuper soft (8)Soft (1)Soft (20)Soft (25)
Marcus EricssonSoft (15)Soft (26)Super soft (13)
Felipe NasrSuper soft (4)Soft (22)Soft (18)Super soft (10)
Fernando AlonsoSuper soft (1)Soft (16)Soft (30)Super soft (6)
Will StevensSoft (23)Super soft (10)Soft (20)
Roberto MerhiSoft (24)Super soft (28)
Pastor Maldonado

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes21.34611
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes21.3920.04641
3Nico RosbergMercedes21.5800.23431
4Sebastian VettelFerrari21.6280.28239
5Daniil KvyatRed Bull21.6340.28825
6Nico RosbergMercedes21.6370.29110
7Sebastian VettelFerrari21.7950.44923
8Daniil KvyatRed Bull21.8680.5225
9Sergio PerezForce India21.9220.5766
10Daniel RicciardoRed Bull21.9490.6036
11Nico HulkenbergForce India22.0450.6997
12Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso22.0630.71728
13Felipe NasrSauber22.0860.74044
14Sergio PerezForce India22.1160.77027
15Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22.1180.77226
16Kimi RaikkonenFerrari22.1620.81610
17Nico HulkenbergForce India22.1740.82824
18Marcus EricssonSauber22.2000.85441
19Romain GrosjeanLotus22.2030.85723
20Romain GrosjeanLotus22.2340.88843
21Fernando AlonsoMcLaren22.2460.90017
22Max VerstappenToro Rosso22.3090.9638
23Jenson ButtonMcLaren22.3100.96427
24Max VerstappenToro Rosso22.3551.00938
25Fernando AlonsoMcLaren22.3771.03147
26Max VerstappenToro Rosso22.4571.11120
27Felipe MassaWilliams22.7101.36426
28Felipe NasrSauber22.8061.46026
29Marcus EricssonSauber22.8381.49215
30Felipe MassaWilliams22.8511.5056
31Will StevensManor22.8541.50833
32Will StevensManor22.9131.56723
33Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.7222.3768
34Roberto MerhiManor24.3142.96824
35Valtteri BottasWilliams24.4853.1398
36Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso25.3073.9617
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari25.6134.26732
38Felipe NasrSauber28.4077.0614
39Valtteri BottasWilliams28.6227.2769
40Valtteri BottasWilliams29.5928.24629
41Fernando AlonsoMcLaren44.99023.6441

2015 Abu Dhabi 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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21 comments on “‘Best possible result’ says Vettel after gaining 11 places”

  1. Ah Alonso fast becoming the cantankerous old git of F1. Vettel should not worry Alonso will be in a Nissan LMP1 car next year as they are clearly best placed to defeat Porsche.

  2. Good Drive. Had fast pace, pity about Q1 – small mistakes can be costly (like Massa’s Singapore 2008 pitstop).

    The 44s down on the winning time is very respectable for VET, given the extra pitstop 22s and time lost moving through traffic, mostly in the early part of the first stint, at least c.15s, otherwise he would have been pretty close to Mercs. If Allison can improve the chassis for mechanical grip, they may make a better spectacle next year.

    The 2016 car will be JA first fully integrated Ferrari he has designed

    1. given the extra pitstop 22s

      What extra pit stop? He pitted twice (S-S-SS), which was the strategy most ran.

      Agree with @me4me below, Ferrari should probably have let him do 1 or 2 more laps on his first stint, then a stint of supersoft which would probably have shown S-SS-SS was the best strategy.

      Not that it would have mattered that much, though. Would still have been fourth place.

  3. Seb seem to thrive better on the super-softs this weekend. I think Ferrari should have went for SS in the 2nd stint, see how long they hold up, and then either S or SS for the 3rd stint. But anyway, 3-4 is a good result for what was a little bit of an messy weekend with the qualifying screw-up and a bad pit stop for Kimi.

  4. He had the fastest car for 4 straight years. He denied Alonso his 3rd title twice in the last race of the season. He took Alonso’s place in Alonso’s old team and immediately got blessed with the second best car on the grid (this after being thrashed by his new teammate) while Alonso got the second worst car on the grid.

    After all this, if I was Alonso, I would really hate Vettel too ;-)

    1. He had the fastest car for 4 straight years

      No, he didn’t

      1. You’re really going to argue about that fact? 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013: Red Bull got most poles and fastest laps each year……..

        1. Well it was only the fastest car in the hands of one of the drivers …

          1. Best.Reply.Ever.

      2. @oletros
        2010, 2011 and 2013 are not really debatable.

        2012 is the only one that is somewhat debatable. McLaren was as fast, maybe even a bit faster than Red Bull. But everything that could have gone wrong for Hamilton that year, did go wrong. In that sense, Red Bull was still the best overall package.

        1. 2010 is debatable. Both Ferrari AND McLaren was just as fast. That gap from quali was also gone in races. And overtaking was at its highest during those years…

    2. Cry me a river

      ALO must suck it up , he won 1 WDC because of the better car and unreliability of others in 2006. 2006 ALO car was designed by the same designer at RBR (ROB MARSHALL) when at Renault. In 2005, the MCL was a better car but was very unreliable and the Ferrari was no where due to the Tyre Fiasco. So he must take it like a man.

      VET had the best car for 3 years (very marginally in 2010). In 2012 the McLaren was the fastest car (cold hard fact, the MCL results were lacking). In only two years was RBR dominant in his hands only. His wins were as much to do with consistency of results than with best car. In 2010 ALO made enough driving errors that denied him title in the end (ever forget the Monaco crash or Turkey when VET DNFd, he was nowhere to capitalize, MAS had to gift him Ger GP)

      2014, Vettel was beaten by his teammate (he admits RIC did a better job last year), but he wasn’t thrashed when you consider VET had over 8 weekends that were impacted by severe PU issues (AUS, ESP, MON, AUS, BEL, SIN, US) where RIC had none, not 1 issue even in FP. The PU issues resulted in components having to get stretched out for more races, so less performance is available).RIC completed the most race laps of non MGP cars by some margin. RIC still did a better job, but thrashed he wasn’t. His 3 wins, only Belgium was due to better driving than VET.

      RIC was beaten this year, will we say that KYVAT is better than RIC and therefore VET – don’t be silly.

      1. Ricciardo has been beaten by his team mate 2 times and won 3 times. I would be mortified if Ferrari swaped Vettel for Ricciardo. I was sceptical when Ferrari replaced Alonso with Vettel but I would not swap them back for me Vettel brings more to the team.

      2. Great analysis! With some minor changes it can be a decent article, and at the very least #cotd!

      3. @barbara

        2014, Vettel was beaten by his teammate (he admits RIC did a better job last year), but he wasn’t thrashed when you consider VET had over 8 weekends that were impacted by severe PU issues (AUS, ESP, MON, AUS, BEL, SIN, US) where RIC had none, not 1 issue even in FP

        Ricciardo didn’t have any PU issues all season? Not one? Really? Did you even watch the 2014 season?

        RIC still did a better job, but thrashed he wasn’t. His 3 wins, only Belgium was due to better driving than VET.

        Ummmm…yes, Ricciardo DID thrash Vettel – badly! Pick any statistic you like, Ricciardo destroyed Vettel. Only Belgium was due to driving better than Vettel? HAHAHA! Do me a favour! Every single time they got on the track and especially when they went wheel to wheel Ricciardo made Vettel look like an amateur!

        1. In 2014 Ricciardo was the only driver other than Mercedes ones to win GPs. His wins came because of Mercedes suffering from reliability. In 2015 Vettel is the only driver other than Mercedes to win GPs, his wins were fair and square, not because Mercedes suffered any reliability issue.
          Vettel was beaten in 2014 from his team mate, anyone saw it, Vettel himself admitted it (not like many others who would have found excuses). But thrashed!?
          When you consider Vettel an amateur is easy to understand that you will never change your mind though.

        2. @ Nick (@nick101)

          “Every single time they got on the track and especially when they went wheel to wheel Ricciardo made Vettel look like an amateur!”

          Have fun baby, their latest fight on track in equal machinery. (Daniel really wanted to win, we know it from the man himself) :

          And btw. Daniel had fantastic season this year lmao !

        3. @nick101
          Well yeah, because Ric’s 2 retirements were a pitstop screw up and a suspension failure.

          And in Canada they screwed up Vettel’s stop which cost him track position over Ricciardo, while in Hungary, Vettel was P3, way ahead of Ric, before the safety car shuffled the order and suddenly Dan was P1. Of course, perfect safety cars were what gave him a chance in Hungary this year, too.

          1. @david-a

            Sorry David-A, you’ve been given a drive through and 4 points on your posting license for introducing facts into an argument.


  5. They must really do something about these back-markers like Alonso who has nothing to gain by getting in the way of faster cars. A warning at the least.

    1. @aliced

      They added Verstappen 20 seconds to his time and 2 points on his license for ignoring blue flags for a whole lap. I loved his excuse though – “he wasn’t close enough to pass me” – after all, it worked with his team in Singapore lol.

      Alonso is more being Alonso, and just made the pass more difficult, but he didn’t block Vet for that long.

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