BARCELONA, Spain -- Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari has to be honest about the reasons behind its struggles at the Spanish Grand Prix if it wants to stop Mercedes running away with the title.
Vettel spent the early part of the race in Barcelona fighting Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas for second, but he was soon shuffled down to fourth after being forced into a second pit-stop. It was a disappointing weekend for Ferrari which also featured a concerning engine failure for Kimi Raikkonen in the other car during a season where engines are more restricted than ever before in the V6 turbo era.
After finishing, the German called on Ferrari to make an honest evaluation of why it found itself so far off the pace of the world champions.
"I think two things today or this weekend," Vettel said. "One, we were not quick enough. If we're not able to see that, we're more than blind, because we didn't have the pace in the first stint. Second, I think we struggled a bit over the course of the weekend with the tyres. They changed but they changed for everyone.
"Our ambition needs to be that we're better off rather than worse off. That's the second thing we need to focus on. Third, I think it was a poor weekend in terms of reliability. Kimi had an issue with the engine yesterday, had to change the engine today and obviously retired in the race. I don't know what happened. Overall, there are three things we must be able to see. If we don't see those there are no excuses."
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has called on the team to be calm in its analysis of the performance and Vettel agrees with that approach.
"I've said many times this team is strong and we have a lot of potential, but we also need to make sure we address the problems that we have and work together in the same direction. The season so far has been positive for us. Today was not a good day but it's important to understand why. You look back and you understand what is missing in the preparation to the race, or this race, or the next races."
"I think the last couple of races we were a bit closer in terms of pace, we had a car fighting for the win, having winning pace. We didn't have winning pace today, that's why we didn't win. There are a couple of things, as I said. Short term, we all had our updates for this race, maybe the others have brought more than us. On top of that, we had different tyres, which maybe suited others more than us. But what does it help? Why find excuses?"