Sebastian Vettel reckons that Fernando Alonso deserved their victory at today’s British Grand Prix, admitting that Ferrari had been very quick throughout the weekend at Silverstone.
The reigning world champion got off to a great start, passing his team-mate of the line to take the lead. However, a problem at a pit stop gifted Alonso the lead, and Vettel was unable to catch him again, let alone have an opportunity to pass the Spaniard. That said, Vettel was still reasonably happy with the result.
“I had an excellent start and with hindsight I wouldn't have minded if there had been more rain because I really liked the conditions when we were racing on the intermediate tyres,” he said. “We seemed to be in very good shape and I was pulling away. We probably waited a little bit too long to go onto the dry tyres, but it was right as there was no need for us to take a risk and we were in control.
“At the pit stop we had a problem – the car was already back on the floor, but then we had to lift it back up again. By then I had lost the lead and came out in third. I struggled to pass Lewis, I thought I could go much quicker, but I never really had the chance. Once I was very close, but it didn't work. We got him at the pit stop, but by then Fernando was already gone.
“It was a good result for us, but we had some problems and, if you're not at your optimum, then there's always someone there to beat you. Ferrari was very quick all weekend and they deserved the victory today.”
Mark Webber started the race from pole position and finished in third. Speaking after the race, he did not sound to happy with how his afternoon had panned out.
“It was a mixed race, it was very slippery at the start with the intermediate tyres, half the track was dry and half was wet and we had to wait for the slicks to come into play,” said the Australian. “Michael [Schumacher] pitted first and we were waiting to hear what his pace was like.
“On my in-lap I had a massive moment in Becketts, so Fernando closed on me a bit, I went across the grass, so it was a bit scrappy there – then we had an interesting race after that. I felt strong at the start of each stint, but less so towards the end of the stints – both Seb and I were having trouble with the tyres at the end of the race. I tried to pass him, but not quite, and that was the race.“
Webber was told in the closing stages not to keep the gap to Vettel and not attempt a pass on his team-mate. He was clearly unhappy about this at the end of the race, but Red Bull team principal Christian Horner defended the decision to issue that team order.
“In the closing laps and with the two cars going wheel to wheel, from a team point of view it made absolute sense to consolidate a big haul of points today and not risk having both cars in the fence, which nearly happened to Lewis and Felipe on the last corner,” he reasoned. “From a team point of view it's been a very strong day – we gained 33 points and both drivers are now first and second in the Drivers' Championship.”