• Australian Grand Prix

Vettel insists win wasn't easy

ESPNF1 Staff
March 27, 2011 « Schumacher quit for safety reasons | »
A face full of champagne for Sebastian Vettel as he leads the podium celebrations © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel insisted his lights-to-flag victory at the Australian Grand Prix was not easy, despite taking victory by over 20 seconds from Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull came under pressure in the early stages, but a well-timed first pit stop gave Vettel some breathing room. Nevertheless, he still had to work hard and made a crucial pass on the out-of-position McLaren of Jenson Button to keep Hamilton at bay. Midway through the race Hamilton's floor broke, meaning he dropped off the pace and took the pressure off Vettel at the front.

"Obviously it was a good race," the reigning world champion said. "In the end things calmed down a bit when Lewis didn't push as hard anymore, so we tried to control the last part of the race. But I don't think it was an easy race, obviously the start was crucial and being on the clean side I got a good getaway but I didn't know if it was enough. Then I saw that Lewis and Mark were battling for position and I was clear of that. In the first stint I tried to hold the gap, but we saw how quickly you then reach the cliff and the tyres start to see degradation. Lewis caught up and we came in, but I couldn't have really done more laps.

"After my first stop it was crucial to get past Jenson, which I could do immediately, so that was very important. The second part of the race I didn't know whether Lewis was under pressure or what, but when he dropped off and put less pressure on I could control the situation a bit better. But all in all a very good race, I think there were a lot of things to learn today and we need to definitely have another look at the race and move forward from here."

Although he barely had to make any passes for position, he said the moveable rear wing had helped him overtake Button despite the zone not being in the most advantageous position.

"The rear wing is still very fresh, this is a special circuit and turn one is not the best place for overtaking in the whole year," he added. "We need to see, but surely it helps to get you closer. I got closer to Jenson which helped me pass him. I think it worked as expected, but I can only judge what happened to me, I don't know what happened behind."