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'I don't apologise for winning' - Vettel
Sebastian Vettel says he does not apologise for winning, despite saying sorry to his Red Bull team for ignoring a direct team order that allowed him to take victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Vettel faced criticism following his victory three weeks ago in Sepang after passing team-mate Mark Webber for the lead despite being told to hold position by the Red Bull pit wall. After the race he admitted he had made a mistake and apologised to the team, but in an interview ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix said he does not apologise for winning.
"I think there is not much to add than what happened," he said in video interview with sponsors Infiniti. "I apologised to the team straight after for putting myself above the team, which I didn't mean to do. But there is not much more to say, really. I don't apologise for winning, that is why people employed me in the first place and why I'm here. I love racing and that's what I did."
Vettel said the team orders fallout had overshadowed Red Bull's impressive performance in Malaysia.
"I think unfortunately people didn't see that we performed well on the day - as a team I think we did a very good job," he added. "We got a fantastic result and I think we'd had a very strong weekend in Australia already, even if we didn't get quite the result we wanted. But in Malaysia we were surprised again to be at the top and racing at the top and the whole race we worked excellently well with the tyres etcetera. That's what people forgot and I think what stuck in their heads was obviously the way the race ended."
However, he is not taking Red Bull's pace for granted this weekend in China.
"We learned quite a bit from the first two races but China will be different again," he said. "It's a different circuit, different climate so I think we are still in the learning process. Obviously the first two races helped a lot and I think it was very obvious for everyone to see that working with the tyres and trying to make them work was crucial. It determines your strategy, the race and then your result.
"I think we have still got a lot to learn but I think we made some improvements. We tried to tweak the car a little bit to help that, but on the other hand we will still have to come to China, set the car up on Friday, see how long the tyres last and go from there."