Sebastian Vettel has said it may have been a chassis issue that held him back in the last two races, rather than an outright pace discrepancy to his team-mate Mark Webber.
The German was significantly slower than Webber at both the Spanish and Monte Carlo event, leading to speculation that he might have lost a psychological performance advantage to his team-mate. But tests on the chassis he used in the two races, which he has named Luscious Liz, revealed there was a mechanical gremlin that could have slowed him.
“It can’t [have been] an advantage. I wasn’t happy for the last two races in particular.
“If you look at the last race in particular – especially after the safety car period and at the start of the race – at some points [Webber] was one second per lap quicker. Fortunately Monaco is not a place to overtake, but I was struggling to keep Robert [Kubica] behind me.
“I was complaining for the last couple of races that something was not feeling right, and it was good on Sunday night when we decided to change the chassis anyway just to make a change and find something. I think it explains a lot. On top of that, we also found other things that weren’t in proper shape.”
He went on to caution that a move to the T-car, a chassis he has now baptised Randy Mandy, would not necessarily translate to dominance once again over Webber.
“It doesn’t mean we’ll come here and everything is solved,” said Vettel. “We still have to work hard and try our best to be at the front again.”