Even though he didn’t quite manage to secure the drivers’ championship in Singapore this weekend, Sebastian Vettel was absolutely delighted to pick up his ninth win of 2011 and his third consecutive victory.
“I am very, very pleased with the result today, the car was fantastic all the way through,” said the German. “When we needed to push, we could pull away quite easily, which helped us.
“When the safety car came out, it didn’t really fit to our plan as we had a gap of about thirty seconds with thirty laps to go, but nevertheless I had a very good restart. I was a bit lucky that there were some back markers between me and Jenson and I was able to get back into the rhythm straight away. I pulled out a gap and I was quite happy.
“All in all it is a fantastic result. I really love this track and I love the challenge here – it's one of the longest races of the season, but the car was fantastic and engine-wise everything was great. Renault again did a very good job, so we were in a comfortable position for most of the race, which is pretty handy around here because it’s quite a challenge to put all the sectors together, not only in qualifying, but also in the race.
“I’m very pleased and for the Championship it looks like we have another chance at the next race.”
Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber once again had problems getting off the start line, and had to fight his way back through the field to finish third, behind Jenson Button.
“Unfortunately I've found myself having to come back through the field too often this season,” he said. “I can’t make the starts I made last year at the moment. I need to work on those; we’ll look at them and definitely improve. I have to keep working harder because it's quite frustrating and it’s quite risky to have to come back through and try to regain positions on the track, particularly when the DRS isn’t working.
“In the end I probably lost a position today out of that, JB put a good last stint together so it would have been good battle with him, even if he did have track position.
“Seb deserved the victory today and overall, if you come here and you get a podium, it's not too bad. Of course you’d love a win, that’s what we all strive for, but this is a very challenging venue. The guys have done a great job all weekend, for me in particular – as it's not the easiest track for me here.
“I want to thank all the guys – they've done a great job for me all weekend and Renault also – we have had 100% reliability, so a great job.”
Team principal Christian Horner said that both drivers had a fantastic race, and congratulated the pit crew on carrying out the fastest stop today.
“It was a big performance today to win the Singapore GP,” said Horner. “It's one of the stand-out venues of the calendar with a really unique atmosphere and it’s probably the toughest and most demanding race for the car and the drivers physically, due to the hot and humid conditions.
“Sebastian was faultless today; he was truly dominant in the first half and in managing the race to the end; not taking any risks to record his ninth win of the season. Starting from the left-hand side of the grid, the dirty side, Mark lost out as others did on the run to the first corner, but thereafter he had a really good race with Fernando and we seemed to be lighter on the tyres than the Ferrari today. He managed to pass Fernando twice and then our strategy worked to the end of the race.
“On top of that I think we also had the fastest pit stop of the day, so a truly great team performance that puts Sebastian within one point of achieving his second World Championship. However, that said, it doesn’t change our approach as we head to Japan.“