Sebastian Vettel gave a champion’s performance at the Spanish Grand Prix, turning around problem packed practice and qualifying sessions, which resulted in him starting 15th on the grid, to finish a fighting fourth in Barcelona. He declared after the race that the championship battle is “still on” despite Mercedes’ dominance.
Speaking after the race in Spain, Vettel acknowledged, “Mercedes [are] very strong – they have a phenomenal engine, two very good drivers, a very good car, and a very good team, they’re doing a good job so it would be wrong to complain and moan about how dominant they are – they worked better than everyone else in the winter and deserve to be in that position.”
“We are here to fight for the championship,” Vettel told the BBC. “Hopefully, from our point of view, rather sooner than later we’ll give them a hard time – that’s our motivation. I hope that in time we can catch up, and as I said start giving them a run for their money.”
In the race Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished best of the rest behind the Mercedes in third.
Of his own race Vettel said, “All in all I think that was the best that we could do today; the start was not so great and I lost a place, but then I was able to get it back towards the end of the lap; it’s always tricky when you are further back.”
“It was a very busy first lap. I was then sort of stuck in the train, so I couldn’t really feel how far we could go today and how quick we were, but once we came in I was on the harder tyre and was able to stick with the people in front and even catch them a little bit.”
“I think we realised that the pace was there and after that we had two fresh sets of tyres from yesterday, so we could go even further up the road!”
“I enjoyed it a lot and I think fourth was the best we could do today. Daniel drove a good race today and I think, from a team point of view, third and fourth is what we could get,” admitted Vettel who lies fourth in the championship with 45 points – 55 adrift of top spot.
Team Principal Christian Horner was full of praise for the quadruple world champion, “After a nightmare start to the weekend losing all of Friday, a gearbox failure on Saturday and a further five place grid penalty, Sebastian produced a fantastic comeback drive.”
“With the help of a strong strategy and great team work, including the fastest team pit stop of the day, Sebastian moved back up to fourth place and got the fastest lap, so all things considered, it was a positive race,” concluded Horner. (GP247)
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