Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes must improve the tyre usage its 2017 Formula 1 car after being beaten by Ferrari in the Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton started the race on pole position and led the first stint but couldn't pull away from Vettel in the first stint of the race, and eventually had to come in earlier than originally planned as he had "run out of grip" on his set of ultra-softs.
Hamilton lost time behind Max Verstappen after stopping, while Vettel ran six laps longer before stopping and emerging from the pits still ahead of Hamilton, and explained a lack of grip held him back.
"The team asked me to give information where the tyres are throughout the run - and just the race that we had planned to race and I was asked to race wasn't necessarily the optimum," said Hamilton.
"We didn't firstly have the pace to be able to pull a gap, for example, to Sebastian, we knew that early on. We continued on this road, which just didn't end up working out.
"There's an area that we have to work on, obviously our tyre usage is something [that] we understand is where we're losing.
"So we're just trying to make changes to improve that in the future, which we will do."
"Could have done better."
Responding to suggestions that he didn't seem too unhappy to have missed out on victory, Hamilton said his disappointment was tempered by the fact Mercedes remains in the hunt for victories despite rule changes.
"[I] wouldn't say I'm happy," he said. "You realistically, with all things in perspective, see we've come from to massive rule change.
"To see us come here and be battling so closely for a win and missing out marginally, there's a lot of things to be incredibly proud of.
"It's great to see Ferrari up there, I think it's good for the sport that we have this close battle.
"I could've won the race today and there's certain things that we could've perhaps done better but I gave it everything I could. Can't win them all."
Asked to elaborate what, aside from tyre usage, those "certain things" were, Hamilton declined to do so.
"I can't really tell you. There's so many things - it's all internal stuff that we have to work on," he said."
"It's a bunch of things. How hard you push, the balance, there's so many things.