Vettel: We were close on a track that did not suit us

Sebastian Vettel, Maurizio Arrivabene

Sebastian Vettel is no stranger to the top of the Formula 1 championship, and as he shares top spot on the table with Lewis Hamilton the Ferrari driver points out that he was close to the Silver Arrows despite Shanghai International Circuit not being a venue that is ideally suited to the SF-70H.

Speaking to Sport Bild after finishing second in the Chinese Grand Prix, Vettel reflected on the race, “I think that was the optimum. We had bad luck early with the safety car because we could not use the fresh slicks.”

“After that it was a good race, it was fun, we can be very satisfied with the result. I look forward to the coming week [in Bahrain], we are really good on a good path.”

“We hope this would be a good news for us. We travel to Bahrain without great expectations. Mercedes remains the measure of things, but we were relatively close [in Shanghai] on a circuit that is not ideal for us.”

As for Hamilton and he, who each have 43 points after the first two rounds of the championship, slugging it out for the title, Vettel said, “At some point, we can no longer share the lead, in the end there can only be one World Champion.”

“But it would be great for us to be in such a strong position at the end of the season. Until now we have been a little faster, sometimes a bit slower. I do not want to make things more complicated than they are.”

One of the highlights of the race in China was the rubbing wheels duel he had with former Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, “I had to pass him quickly to chase Lewis. I did not really know where Daniel was going and scared me a little when our wheels touched. It was extremely tight but great fun.”

“With the new regulations you can push again over the whole race, which we like. The limit is significantly higher than in the past years, the tyres last longer, the cars are faster.”

“And fast driving is just more fun than hanging on the cruise control,” added Vettel ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.