• European Grand Prix

Vettel relieved to be back on top

ESPNF1 Staff
June 27, 2010 « Hamilton hails 'positive result' in Valencia | »
Sebastian Vettel celebrates victory in Valencia © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel said he was relieved to be back on the top top step of the podium, after taking his second victory of the season at the European Grand Prix.

Vettel coped well under pressure from Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race and then held position after the safety car period caused by Mark Webber's massive aerial crash. He admitted it was a relief to be winning again after mistakes and reliability issues cost him points earlier in the year.

When asked if he was thrilled by the result, he replied: "It's about time I would say. Obviously it wasn't the easiest way to win so far this season, but what happened has happened - we can't change it - but it's good to be back on a circuit where we didn't expect to be that strong.

"We were quick enough at all times in the race to slightly pull away, find a gap and then carry the car home. Obviously it wasn't as easy as expected, when I saw the safety car board I was just on the main straight and I thought the cars that follow they might get a [pit] stop for free. But I was lucky that the first couple of cars were in the same situation as I was and after the safety car I had a huge lock-up into the last corner trying to brake as late as I could. Obviously when you go round slowly and after the pit stop, you never really have the chance to bring the tyres up to temperature. They were colder than expected, [I had a] big lock-up, but I could stay in front.

"After that I had a bit of a flat-stop, but it was alright, obviously after that I had a lot of laps to do so I tried not to push to hard and after I got the message that Lewis had to go to the pits to get his drive-through I backed off a bit."

He said that the result was what his team deserved after it worked overnight on Friday to improve the car.

"Finally we are back and it's good to get a lot of points," he said, "It's good for the championship and I'm very pleased with today. I think the guys can be extremely proud. Another tough weekend for them as I said already yesterday, very little sleep, but it paid off. Now we need to keep our head in and focus on the next one, it is our home grand prix - I think it's more or less everyone's home grand prix - but it's good for the team, we had a sensational weekend last year and we will try to repeat that."