Vettel hoped leaders would pit again
27 May 2012 – Although his very strong mid-race stint looked to threaten for victory in Monaco, despite coming from ninth on the starting grid, Sebastian Vettel was unable to edge out enough of a gap to team-mate Mark Webber. Once his tyres began to drop off the cliff, the World Champion pitted; still making up time, he slotted back into fourth position.
“It would have been nice to have been on the podium today,” said the pole-sitter and race winner of 12 months ago. “I think the speed was there but in the end we had the same strategy as the leaders, just the other way round. It was quite difficult as we were on older tyres, but we had some good laps and we gained roughly around eight seconds, so that was strong. After that I was in traffic and it’s difficult to pass in Monaco, as I showed last year and Mark showed this year.
“We were hoping some of the leaders would be forced to do two stops, but unfortunately Kimi (Räikkönen) made quite a big gap behind me, so the leaders had clean air after their first stop. That helped them and it made it more difficult for us, but we started ninth and considering it’s hard to pass here, then to gain five places was a good day.
“It’s definitely good for Mark to win here and also for the team to get their third Monaco win in a row – it’s impressive.”
Vettel has now lost the championship lead he had shared with Fernando Alonso; he now lies three points in arrears of the Spaniard and is tied with team-mate Webber.