Vettel admits he lacked Hamilton's pace
22 October 2017 – Sebastian Vettel has conceded that Ferrari lacked the pace to fight with Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix, after finishing second to his Mercedes rival.
Vettel, having qualified second, held hopes of battling Hamilton for victory, and grabbed the lead on the run to Turn 1, before attempting to pull clear.
However, Vettel was soon overhauled by Hamilton, who surged ahead, while Vettel switched to a two-stop strategy, as opposed to Hamilton's sole stop.
Vettel came out in fourth place but quickly returned to second, though conceded that Hamilton was out of reach, irrespective of the strategy.
"I think at the start it was looking good," said Vettel.
"Obviously we got past Lewis, but fairly quickly we realised that we couldn't go at his pace today, so well done and congratulations to him.
"Then I think we were in a bit of no man's land.
"It was close after the first pit-stop again, but obviously [I was] stuck again and towards the end we decided to pit again for some fresh tyres.
"It was a bit more exciting, the last couple of laps especially, but overall, not the result that we wanted.
"There was no real secret other than they [Mercedes] were quicker than us, so I think we have to admit that today in the race we couldn't go at their pace.
"I don't think it's down to the strategy."
A downbeat Vettel conceded that his title prospects "don't look good", with the Ferrari driver now 66 behind Hamilton, and just 75 up for grabs over the final three races.