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Sebastian Vettel

Vettel believes higher finish was possible after season-best result

Sebastian Vettel finished the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in sixth, his best result of the season so far. However, the Aston Martin driver has questioned whether more was achieveable.

Sebastian Vettel suspects he could have finished higher than sixth in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix if not for his mistake when trying to pass Esteban Ocon earlier in the race.

Having qualified in ninth, the Aston Martin driver made early progress by overtaking AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda on the opening lap.

He was then one of the drivers to pit under the first Virtual Safety Car, during which he passed the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

Trying to carve his way through the drivers yet to stop, Vettel's progress was hampered by locking up and running wide at Turn 3 when trying to overtake Alpine's Esteban Ocon.

He lost time and positions, but recovered strongly to finish the race in sixth, his and Aston Martin's best result of the season.

After the race, Vettel was asked if fourth place might have been possible without his off-track moment, given that P4 was where Hamilton eventually finished.

"I don't know. In fairness, I think Lewis' and Mercedes' race pace was faster," Vettel told Sky Sports F1.

Vettel content despite missed opportunity for more

Vettel's mistake wrote off his early advantage over Hamilton, who was able to gain places and secure fourth place for the Silver Arrows.

When considering where he could have finished, Vettel concluded that a battle with Pierre Gasly for fifth would have been a more likely scenario.

"In the beginning, he [Hamilton] was sort of stuck, so we managed to pip them in the pit-stop, which was really good for us," added Vettel.

"Maybe if I had jumped Esteban at the first go, then I think I would have been able to make a gap because Lewis had a worse straight line speed than us, and the Alpine was the fastest [in a straight line] so he took so long to get by.

"I think more P5 with Pierre [Gasly] is probably more realistic, but I think it's still a decent amount of points, so I'm really happy."

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F1 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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