Vettel suggests error cost him higher French GP result

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE – JUNE 20: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes on track during the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 20, 2021 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel was pleased with his performance at the French Grand Prix but says a mistake during his first stint may have cost him a higher points finish.

The Aston Martin driver qualified 12th for the Grand Prix and finished it P9, making it his third points-scoring finish in a row for his team.

“It was a good recovery drive,” Vettel said. “Good to have both cars in the points. It’s not a lot of points for ninth and tenth, but it’s good.”

The German admits a mistake during his first stint may have cost him a higher place finish in the race.

“We had to try something different and I think it worked,” he said. “Unfortunately, I had one-off in the first stint where I lost a lot of time. Otherwise, I think maybe we could have been closer with the group at the very end of the race and we had better tires, maybe score some more points.

“But it’s quite windy and the car was quite inconsistent for all of us today,” he explained, “so that was very tricky to judge. I was pushing quite hard and maybe in that one lap pushing a little bit too much,”

Vettel said Aston Martin is having a strong form, recovering from their poor start to the season.

“I think the team, in general, is strong. Obviously, we are not where we would like to be with the car but I think overall the team is doing very, very well. I think we have been catching up a little bit, which is important.

“It’s very tight and we need to score points like today, even if it’s not a lot. We did good. We are fighting with AlphaTauri and Alpine as well. It’s going to be a long year, hopefully we are getting better and better and starting to have a bit of an edge, but it’s a long way to go.”

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