After describing his Ferrari SF1000 as “undriveable” during the Austrian Grand Prix and spinning after contact with Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel said it he was “happy” to only find himself facing the wrong direction once on his way to a lowly 10th place finish in the season opener.

    Vettel qualified a disappointing 11th in Austria, but had made it up to eighth by the first Safety Car period to spar tantalisingly with McLaren’s Sainz - the man set to replace him at Ferrari in 2021. But as the German attempted a very late lunge up the inside of the Spaniard at Turn 3 on Lap 31, he locked a wheel and ended up facing oncoming traffic.

    READ MORE: Bottas beats Leclerc and Norris to win dramatic Austrian GP as Hamilton is penalised

    “Well, to be honest, I’m happy that I spun only once,” surmised Vettel after the race, “it was very difficult. It got very tight and I think Carlos, I think it was Carlos – I don’t know, one of the McLarens – turned in and I was just on the edge because I wanted to be as close as possible and lost the rear.

    “To be honest I lost the rear a couple of times today so yeah, as I said, I’m happy that it happened only once...”

    Austrian Grand Prix 2020: Vettel spins after Sainz contact

    Whilst Vettel struggled, team mate Charles Leclerc was able to take a shock P2 finish. Asked whether he felt his Ferrari might be more compliant in next weekend's Styrian Grand Prix at the same track, Vettel replied: “We don’t know. We need to have a look, but, for sure, the car was very difficult today.

    READ MORE: ‘P2 feels like victory’ – Leclerc hails Austria recovery as one of his best races

    “I tried my best, obviously the Safety Cars helped us, it was quite entertaining in the end, but not the result that I wanted,” he concluded.

    Vettel's 10th place was his first finish in that position in 241 Grands Prix - though that's not a milestone he will celebrate...