Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari had a largely forgetful Spanish GP, as Vettel had to settle for 4th after what seemed like a strategic error on part of the Ferrari think tank.
Vettel had gone past Bottas in the early exchange, and held onto his second place until he was brought into the pit lane very early on in the race. The medium tyres were put in place and it seemed like Ferrari had opted for a one pit-stop strategy.
However, Vettel was found in the pit-lane during the VSC and ultimately ended up losing his second spot to Bottas and had to settle for 4th place at the end.
After the race, Vettel had a few complaints about the VSC and how the drivers were using a loophole to their advantage.
“It’s the same for everyone but the FIA is supplying us with a system that makes us follow a delta time, and everybody has to slow down by, I think, 40%, but I think everybody’s aware you can have a faster way to go under VSC than just follow the delta – by saving distance,”
“So, I think we should have a system that hasn’t got this loophole, because it forces us to drive ridiculous lines around the track and everybody’s doing it so I don’t think it’s a secret.
“Our sport should be in a better shape than supplying software that’s just poor and allows us to find some extra performance that way.” Vettel had said.
However, Charlie Whiting was quick to brush away those Vettel claims, as there was no way in which the drivers could manipulate the system.
“I don’t know what he’s talking about, honestly,” Whiting said.
“The VSC has a map in the ECU which is 30% slower than a quick lap. Drivers have to follow that lap.
“It’s measured every 50m of travel along the track. It measures where it is relevant to the reference lap and gives you a plus or minus.
“Every 50m they are reminded if they are above or below.
“They are allowed to go negative [quicker than the reference time] but as long as they are positive once in each marshalling sector and at the safety car 1 line [it’s OK].
“Even if someone does go slow, as long as they get to zero by that point it doesn’t matter.
“If it’s measured every 50m then any advantage you can get for taking a different line on the track is going to be absolutely minimal.
“I can sort of see what he’s saying, but the racing line is the optimal one.” he concluded.