Vettel: The car was fantastic and just kept getting better
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel turned fourth on the grid for the Russian Grand Prix into second on the podium and with it took second place in the drivers’ championship points standings with four rounds remaining. He spoke afterwards about his afternoon at Sochi Autodrom.
Four podiums in a row; you’re on a bit of a roll…
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah. I didn’t count but that’s good news. It was a very good race. The car was fantastic and just kept better. At some point I was hoping there was a slight chance to catch Lewis but he had so much pace in hand, I think he wasn’t really pushing at the end. Yeah, great result. Obviously, it would have been nice to have both cars up on the podium, which I think was possible today. It was maybe close, but very happy with how the race went.
Can we go back to Singapore for a second, where you last won. This is more an indication that we’re going to see a big, big fight from Ferrari next year. Is that the way you see it?
SV: I hope so! That’s our target. Obviously we want to be a bit better in the race and make sure we give some really, really good challenge to the Mercedes. Currently they are still a bit ahead, but I think we are doing a very good job. We are focusing on ourselves and gaining step by step, getting a bit closer, so I think we are in a good direction and hopefully next year we can be closer.
You seemed to lose a bit of time behind your team-mate early on. Would you have liked your team to get him to let you through? And then a little later on you were pretty close, it’s fair to say – when you watch the replays on your video I think you’ll be surprised just how close it was with Kimi – some thoughts on that please.
SV: I think we both enjoyed… obviously I came out in front so enjoyed a little bit more than him but I think it would have been the wrong thing to do, to do on the radio and just take away the fight and the excitement from us. So, obviously, was already close at the first part in the opening laps. I tried it around the outside and it didn’t work into Turn One. Then I tried to pace myself a bit, then we had another Safety Car and then I knew the restart could be a good option and this time I tried it around the inside but it was very, very close. I’m looking forward to seeing the footage but it felt very, very close. Yeah, he was fair, just giving me enough room to survive, so it was a good battle. After that, yeah, it was obviously crucial, chasing down the Williams was the main priority with Valtteri out in front. We could do so, then even stay out a little bit longer than him. He was a bit in traffic, we still had some juice in the tyres left so that was crucial for us – I didn’t know how crucial it was after the stop to overtake Sergio. I thought that, yeah, we’ll quickly do through him but at that time I didn’t see how important it was. So maybe I surprised him a bit going into Turn 13. It’s quite tricky around the outside but I managed to pass him – which turned out to be very important as other people got stuck. So, very happy, did the moves when it mattered and yeah, had a great race. The car was fantastic to drive. Just got better at the end so really happy. Still a bit behind the Mercedes but I think it was closer today than it was yesterday so I’m very happy.