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Monday 14 May at 10:35
Vettel concerned after Barcelona tyre struggle
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Monday 14 May at 10:35 : May 14 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel is concerned but not panicked after falling even further behind in the world championship battle in Spain.

The gap to Lewis Hamilton is now 17 points after Barcelona, although unlike in Baku the reason this time is that Mercedes was genuinely faster than Ferrari.

Vettel suspects it could be because of the tyre compound thickness, which Pirelli changed for this race to reduce the risk of blistering.

"Apparently, the changes that were made did us more harm than it did our opponents," Ferrari's Vettel said.

"Fortunately, there are normal tyres again for Monaco."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff denied Pirelli made the change specifically to benefit the reigning world champions.

But now Sky Italia reports that Pirelli may test the pre-Spanish grand prix tyres in the post race test this week to see how they compare to the new ones.

"In the next few days there will be meetings and we don't know if the same tyres will be used in France and Britain. But if they go back, it will be like admitting the mistake," a source said.

If Pirelli sticks to the plan, Vettel admits Ferrari has some homework to do.

"We need to understand why we struggled with the tyres more than the others did," he said.

"I think we have the same tyres in France and Silverstone so it's important that we find an answer."

In Ferrari's favour, Mercedes has struggled at certain circuits in past years, including Monaco.

"There are just some tracks that we are not that good at," Wolff admitted. "Monaco, Hungary, Singapore. Part of why that is we know, but part is still a mystery.

"So that's why I'm only partly celebrating," he added. "I'm thinking of Monte Carlo."
RELATED NEWS ITEMS
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25-06 Vettel penalty too lenient - Lauda
21-06 Vettel not worried about thinner Pirelli tyres
30-04 Vettel upbeat despite losing title lead
28-04 Vettel plays down talk about mystery lever
29-03 Vettel admits 'struggling' with 2018 Ferrari
 
NEXT RACE 26 March 2017
Grand Prix of Australia (5,303 m)
Melbourne, Albert Park Circuit
Last Winner: Nico Rosberg
TV schedule
Friday - practice 1
12:30 - 14:00

Friday - practice 2
16:30 - 18:00

Saturday - practice 3
14:00 - 15:00

Saturday - qualification
17:00 - 18:00

Sunday - race
16:00

Friday - practice 1

Friday - practice 2

Saturday - practice 3

Saturday - qualification

Sunday - race

STANDINGS 2016
Driver championship
1.Vettel171
2.Hamilton163
3.Raikkonen116
Constructors championship
1.Ferrari287
2.Mercedes267
3.Red Bull199
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