Strategy was wrong but we're on the right track - Vettel

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Third-placed man Sebastian Vettel says that Ferrari's aggressive strategy in today's Australian GP which followed the mid-race red flag was the wrong choice in hindsight.

Vettel stormed off the grid and quickly got the upper hand over both Mercedes drivers before Turn 1, with team mate Raikkonen in tow.

The German built up a substantial lead but it was all put into question when the race was red-flagged after a massive crash involving Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez.

Teams were allowed complete freedom to change strategies during the suspended race period, and while Mercedes wisely chose to put their drivers on medium rubber.

The Scuderia went for a more aggressive plan by mounting Vettel with super-softs, a choice which would impose an additional pit stop for the German.

"We went for the aggressive route," said Vettel after finishing in third.

"Maybe with hindsight we could have done something else, but I don't want to blame anyone. It's a shame the other car didn't make it but it is positive.

"Ultimately I'm very happy with third. I tried everything and hope it works next time."

In the closing stages of the race, Vettel succeeded in closing the gap with Hamilton, hounding the Mercedes and looking eventually to pounce, but a slight mistake a few laps from the end put that hope to rest.

Still, despite losing out, Vettel definitely felt satisfied with Ferrari's performance level relative to that of arch rival Mercedes.

"We were a lot closer, and this is one of our worst tracks. We expected to be stronger in qualifying, that wasn't the case as we had a bit of a rough session.

"Today was a lot better for us. We are on the right track and things are coming together. All in all we are a lot closer so plenty of positives.

"We know we can up our game and we want to put pressure on these guys."

AS IT HAPPENED: 2016 Australian Grand Prix 

2016 F1 season: Team-by-team preview