MONTE CARLO (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel blamed Ferrari's topsy-turvy form, which led to a very mediocre showing in Saturday's (May 25) qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, on the team's failure to manage their tyres.
Speaking after he qualified fourth on the grid behind the Mercedes juggernaut of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, and third-placed Max Verstappen of Red Bull, the four-time world champion said Ferrari needed to "dig deeper" to solve their current problems.
He did not refer to the team's ongoing strategic management problems that led to team-mate and local Monegasque hero Charles Leclerc, who was fastest in morning practice, crashing out of Q1 and qualifying only 16th.
But he conceded that his own crash after only 18 minutes of the morning's final session had been his own fault and not Ferrari's.
"This morning has nothing to do with that (Ferrari and the tyre problems) in all fairness, I don't want to shift the blame.
"In the afternoon, certainly the first two laps, you need to rebuild and get in the rhythm, but I've been many times around here so that's not a problem.
"We struggled to get the tyres to work and then you just don't get the feel you want or need - especially the front tyres for us didn't work today. So, we need to dig deeper.
"We are already trying to understand as much as we can. Sometimes it works. This morning Charles was quite happy and the few laps I had too.
"But for now, obviously, it is what it is - and we need to accept it even if we don't want to, but we have to go from there."