Sebastian Vettel finished the Brazilian Grand Prix in fifth position for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team, making up a number of places after initially losing ground at the start. Unfortunately for team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, his race was over just after mid-distance with a suspension failure.
Vettel’s result also meant that Red Bull confirmed their second place in the Constructors’ Championship behind Mercedes.
Vettel felt he made a good start but lost a few places heading into turn four, evoking memories of the first lap of the 2012 race here when he was spun around while fighting for the championship that he ultimately won, but felt he fought back well to finish fifth, although he was hoping to beat the McLaren of Jenson Button into fourth.
“I had a good launch at the start and then into Turn 4… maybe I don’t have the best memories of Turn 4 here from two years ago,” said Vettel. “I didn’t know how aggressive Kevin (Magnussen) was going to be going into it and I left a bit too much space. I went a bit wide and lost two positions, as I couldn’t get on the power out of the corner.
“Then I had to fight hard to get the positions back during the race, which we did, especially with strategy.
“I hoped to get maybe one more position to finish fourth, but in the end it was a good result for us here.”
Team Principal Christian Horner felt Vettel recovered well from his difficult opening lap, but thought fifth was probably the best result the team could have hoped for at the Interlagos circuit.
“Sebastian unfortunately lost some time on the first lap,” said Horner. “But thereafter he recovered very well through good strategy and pit work to get back up to fifth, which I think was the maximum at this circuit.”
Ricciardo was running inside the top ten when he was forced to retire on lap 39 with what appeared to be a left-front suspension failure, although the Australian initially thought it was a brake issue. It was his first retirement since the Malaysian Grand Prix in March, ending a run of fifteen consecutive race finishes inside the points.
“When I went into Turn One, the car went to the right and I knew there was a problem,” said Ricciardo. “I came into the pits and the team told me it was suspension failure and we retired. It had been a bit of a boring race, we were close to everyone but not close enough to have many fights; I would have liked to have had a bit more fun, but it didn’t really happen.
“It’s a shame, but I had a pretty good run until now, so I can’t be too greedy. It would be good to finish on the podium at the final race of the season.”
Horner praised the team for securing the runners-up spot in the Constructors’ Championship, and will head into the Abu Dhabi finale with extra confidence.
“We managed to secure second in the Constructors’ Championship which, considering where we started the season, is a huge credit to the entire team for the fight back that we put up this year,” said Horner. “We now look forward to the last race in Abu Dhabi.”