Vettel: Ferrari were just slow

Sebastian Vettel had a simple verdict on Ferrari's shortcomings at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, stating they "were just slow".

Ferrari arrived in Melbourne with high hopes after setting the pace in pre-season testing, but the weekend did not go to plan for the Scuderia at Albert Park.

Vettel said he struggled to "get into the groove" in practice on Friday and qualified in third behind Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with the German's new team-mate Charles Leclerc fifth.

Bottas led a one-two for the Silver Arrows on Sunday as Vettel could only cross the line in fourth, a place ahead of Leclerc, after being overtaken by Max Verstappen.

Vettel finished 57.109 seconds after Bottas and the four-time Formula One champion said the Italian team simply lacked the pace to mount a challenge.

"We were just slow," he said. "[I had] way less grip. In Barcelona [testing], we were very happy with tyre life from day one. The balance was right, the car was responding to what I was asking it to do and I had a lot of confidence.

"All weekend, summing up, I didn't get the confidence I had in Barcelona, I didn't have the car underneath to play around, it wasn't doing what I was asking.

"There were glimpses - here and there we were strong. Our performance in some corners was good, but the majority of corners it wasn't, that's why we were slower than other people and lost out today."

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