• Singapore Grand Prix

Laps after safety car were crucial - Vettel

ESPN Staff
September 22, 2013 « Caterham sticks with Renault power | Alonso relying on 'luck' to win title »
Sebastian Vettel has his lead neutralised under the safety car © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel said his remarkable pace after the safety car at the Singapore Grand Prix was vital for his victory ahead of Fernando Alonso.

The timing of the safety car did not suit Vettel, as some cars behind him - including title rival Fernando Alonso - made their second stops early. He stayed out but then put in a series of staggeringly quick laps after the safety car period to build a lead of 22 seconds over second place Nico Rosberg in just 10 laps.

He then had a large enough cushion over Alonso, who was not set to pit again, to make his final stop and retain the lead.

"It really was a dream day," he said. "The laps after the safety car was crucial and we pushed 100% with a very strong pace. Towards the end we had the luxury of controlling the race on the super-soft with the fresh set we saved yesterday in qualifying.

"The tyre itself is around 1.5s to 2.0s quicker and Fernando and Kimi [Raikkonen] by that stage were just trying to make it to the chequered flag and we were able to extend the lead to the chequered flag without pushing too hard."

For the second race weekend in a row Vettel was booed on the podium, but he shrugged off the negative attention.

"Some people like what we do, other people don't. If they boo it's a compliment, that's the way I take it because they are jealous when we win in front of whoever they support. It seems that they are on a tour and are wealthy enough to afford the flights to come to Singapore. But we have a lot of Red Bull fans that are around the track, especially here where a lot of Australians come to support Mark but still cheer for the team. I think it's not worth thinking about it and we love winning, which is what we did in the end."

Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber failed to make the finish after a problem in the closing stages, but Vettel said the team would not panic about upcoming races and investigate the issues.

"We had some issues in Monza, we had some issues on Friday," he said. "In the end I think he [Webber] had a water leak and I'm sure we now know a little bit more. It's a shame because he was on the fight back and he didn't benefit from the cars pitting under the safety car, but sometimes the small things break down that haven't broken down ages. We need to understand why and it's a shame when that happens."