Ferrari frustrated as strategy and pace left wanting again in Spain

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Ferrari are licking their wounds after another difficult showing at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Scuderia was once again the creator of their own downfall as Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc found themselves in each other's way at different points.

This allowed Max Verstappen to capitalise with a second podium of the season in third for Red Bull, after he had opportunistically driven around the outside of both of them in Turn 3 on the opening lap.

That came moments after Vettel had been side-by-side with the two Mercedes' going into the first corner.

“I think I had a shot at the podium but obviously [locking up] in Turn 1 [and causing] the flat spot in the first stint compromised my own race,” the German reflected.

"I wanted to try something to mix things up. I knew that I won’t win the race in Turn 1 but at least I thought we can mix things up with Mercedes and then have a bit more of a fight with everybody."

It was his slow pace with the flat-spot which gave Verstappen a big margin as Leclerc was held up behind, and luck was to intervene again as his attempted one-stop strategy was ruined by a Safety Car.

“I don't think it was a bad call to go to the end of the race with them [the hard tyres] but unfortunately we didn’t make them work as expected," the 21-year-old told Sky Sports.

"We were struggling quite a lot with the rears on my side but it was the same on the medium, to be honest. We need to look into that.”

It was Vettel that was then held up behind Leclerc on the slowest tyre costing Ferrari more time, and Vettel does think the constant analysis of the Italian team's approach and strategy is impacting decisions.

"I think we tried to work together as much as we can," he said, "but obviously every time we try to do something there’s a lot of talk afterwards which maybe doesn’t help to be a bit more reactive on the fly.”

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Having watched Mercedes go on to claim a fifth straight 1-2, it also means the championship situation is becoming increasingly bleak with almost 50 points between himself and Lewis Hamilton.

But Sebastian isn't giving up yet with almost a quarter of the season gone.

“I think at this point there is nobody looking at the championship so early, you need to go race by race,” he suggested.

“We will see. Obviously a disappointing weekend for us. We were hoping to be a lot faster. Now we find ourselves not so fast. But I think we can only come back to where we are now.”