• Korean Grand Prix

'Impossible' to fight Vettel - Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
October 16, 2011 « 'It's the team's day' - Webber | Schumacher accepts Petrov crash »
Lewis Hamilton said he was happy to return to the podium in Korea © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton said it felt good to return to the podium at the Korean Grand Prix, but conceded it was "impossible" to catch and pass race-winner Sebastian Vettel on Sunday.

Hamilton had gone five races without a podium finish ahead of the race and was facing criticism for the amount of on-track incidents he had been involved in. But Korea saw a return to form as he started from pole position and drove to second, splitting the two Red Bulls which had an advantage in terms of race pace.

Asked by the BBC if it was one of his best races of late, Hamilton responded: "Definitely, definitely. I think, especially with the amount of pressure that I was being put under, it was very easy to lock up, make a mistake or go wide, and I didn't do that once. I was very happy in terms of that performance and, of course, the last five races I've not been anywhere near this position so it feels good to be there."

Vettel finished 12 seconds clear of Hamilton by the end of the race and the McLaren driver did well to hold off the second Red Bull of Mark Webber in third. After the race he admitted there was no way he could compete with Vettel's pace.

"Mark drove really well throughout the whole race and congratulations to Sebastian," Hamilton added. "They were massively quick throughout the weekend, particularly in the race, and it was impossible to be able to really catch Sebastian and overtake."

He said the closing stages of the race had been particularly difficult as he struggled with understeer in his McLaren.

"The car started off reasonably well but then just got worse and worse at the front end of the car," Hamilton said. "I had all my adjustment switches for more turn-in up to the maximum - diff was on the maximum to help the car turn, there was nothing else I could do. In the pit stops I got all the [front] wing I could possibly have and still I had to turn almost maximum lock and the car was not turning. So that's really where Mark was catching me because I couldn't carry the speed through the corners because of my front end. The team came on the radio and said there might be a problem with my front wing, but I looked at it and it looks fine. Maybe I just didn't have the best setup for the race."