Red Bull are celebrating tonight after a weekend of total domination in Spain that saw Mark Webber collect his third F1 victory and Sebastian Vettel finish third despite brake issue.
Webber said the race ‘felt like the longest I’ve ever done’ after leading from lights to flag in a straightforward win in which he was never troubled. Speaking after the race, the Aussie said that the start had been key moment, and also congratulated the team on working so hard to produce such a fast car: “Today was a special day, no doubt about it and I'm very happy to capitalise on the pole position.
“It's an aggressive run in to turn one with the slip stream and the big head wind and I knew the guys would be arriving in the braking zone, so I needed to be very precise with everything into there. I had that covered and then settled into the race. I was very happy with how the first stint went and I had a nice clean pit stop.
“Everything went my way today, it was very good. It felt like the longest Grand Prix I've ever done though! With the other victories there has been a bit more going on as I wasn't always in the lead, but today was all about watching the lap board go down and my god, it just takes forever!
“It was so good to get the victory, I'm just stoked, absolutely over the moon. We had a good set up and the car felt good. It's a credit to all the guys, they worked like hell both in the garage and in the factory, they buried themselves in the last two weeks. This is what you have to do to be successful and take on the likes of Ferrari and McLaren. It's not a tea party, we need to work hard and today's result is a credit to Red Bull Racing and to Renault.”
Sebastian Vettel was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton after he had a slow pit stop. Later in the race he developed a brake problem and had to approach all corners with caution. The problem allowed Fernando Alonso to get past, but thanks to the large gap back to Michael Schumacher, Vettel didn’t lose more track position.
Speaking after the race Vettel conceded that he was just not quick enough to beat his teammate on this occasion. “A lot of things didn't go my way today. The start was okay; there was no chance to get past Mark, but also it wasn't worth taking the risk. It was quite slippery, so I didn't want to take a run down the outside.
“I was not quick enough today. I struggled a lot with the balance of the car. The car's fast – Mark was in his own league today, but for some reason I found it difficult. There were a few problems. I was unlucky as I had a slow stop and had to wait in the pit box for the Ferrari to drive past and then Jenson was coming in, so it felt very long! We lost ground and the position.
“It was close when Lewis came out, but then he was impossible to pass. I felt the car was getting better, but as soon as you got close there was no chance to pass. Fifteen laps to the end, I lost the front left brakes and had to back off. I was lucky as there was a gap to Michael (Schumacher) behind me.
“I don't know how to feel as third is not a bad position, but I think we had a difficult race today with some things happening that we didn't want. It's good to take some points, the car is fast, but it was difficult.”
Team principal Christian Horner praised both his drivers for their efforts, and explained the problem with Vettel’s car. “It was a fantastic race from Mark and a very commanding performance from him today. He has been sensationally quick all weekend and this was a fitting result.
“Sebastian had a much more eventful race. We had a right front wheel issue at the first stop that cost him a bit of time and unfortunately allowed Lewis to sneak past. Thereafter he was comfortable, but stuck in dirty air until a brake issue appeared with about fifteen laps to go.
“We made a pit stop for a precautionary look at the brake disc – we could see it was still there, but it was a bit damaged and then it was a question of managing the pace of the car until the end of the race. Sebastian did a good job of building in a big enough safety margin in the braking areas for it not to be an issue.
“Ultimately first and third is a great team result – one place off a maximum score. We've enjoyed a good step forward in our performance this weekend, which is credit to the effort put in by the whole team.”