Sebastian Vettel’s ongoing struggle to match team mate Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive form with the Red Bull RB10 have been one the stories of the season so far.
Vettel finished fifth in China, having run second in the early laps.
“The start was good, the first stint I was pretty happy, and then on the primes I was struggling more than we wished,” he said. “In the end obviously the gap to the cars in front is too big.
“I don’t think there was a problem with the car. At the moment he [Ricciardo] just seems to get more out of the car than I do. I’m sure there are a lot of things that I don’t really like at this stage, but in the end we have the same car. The gap for sure is too big to be just something small. In terms of set-up I know there is not too much difference, so we need to have a look, and keep working.”
Vettel insisted he had no problem about letting Ricciardo by after he was told they were on different strategies, although ultimately they both pitted twice.
“Initially I didn’t understand, but once I was told that we were on a different strategy there was no point to block him further, but also if you look at the raw result in the end it was quite obvious that he was quicker today.”
Meanwhile Vettel insisted that overall the team is in a much better position than could have been expected prior to the season.
“Right from the start it’s been a positive start to see that the car is more or less reliable, and see that the car is quick and has potential. We know that our main weakness compared to our rivals in down the straight, and from a driver point of view there’s not much you can do. It should be the easiest part, but we’re struggling with that. We need to obviously work on that front.”