Sebastian Vettel secured his thirteenth visit to the podium of 2015 with a third place finish at Interlagos, even if the result meant he could no longer finish second in the championship in his first year with the Scuderia Ferrari team.
Vettel was unable to match the pace of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team up front, and was forced to settle for third. He admitted it was a relatively quiet race, never close enough to the battle for the lead, and well clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
“It was a good race! We were close as we had never been before, which is a massive achievement, considering that Mercedes was pushing all the way, as they had nothing to lose,” said Vettel.
“For sure it is not the most exciting race when you are a little bit alone, but it is still a very nice track, enjoyable on every single lap. It’s not easy to get everything right, looking after the tires but still trying to go to the limit.”
Vettel admitted he was happy with his performance, especially as he was able to stay closer to the Mercedes duo up front than he had expected to before hand. He praised the job the Ferrari engineers have performed this year to improve their car significantly, and hopes the progress continues into 2016.
“Overall I’m very happy,” said Vettel. “We know Mercedes have a very strong engine and Power Unit, a very strong car, and that both drivers are doing a good job. So that made their package very difficult to beat, but if you look at our Power Unit, the Motoristi have done a miracle this year and the same goes for the car.
“Also, let’s not forget there was a lot of changes in the team, and that usually takes time to digest. We got into the right rhythm straight away, achieving some podiums and winning already the second race of the season, and I think we improved more than anyone else.
“Now in the winter there is a chance to make a big step but that is also true for the other teams. Our target has to be, again, to make the bigger step compared to everyone.
“I am told I had more podium finishes than any other Ferrari driver at his first season with the Scuderia: so I hope I can turn all of these 13 podiums into victories next year!”