Sebastian Vettel: “The red flag didn’t help us”

Sebastian Vettel led during the early stages of the Australian Grand Prix following a fantastic start from third on the grid, but felt his afternoon was compromised by the red flag during the race on Sunday.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver felt it was the correct decision to stop the race in order to clean up the debris left over from the crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez, with the German insisting the most important thing was that both drivers were unhurt.

However, after making the decision to restart the race on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre compared to Mercedes choosing the Medium’s for both their drivers, his chance of victory at Albert Park disappeared, with Vettel feeling he could have had a better result but for the race stoppage.

“I obviously had a great start, I was very happy to see that I had a better start than the two cars in front of me, reminding me of Hungary last year and it worked out,” said Vettel.

“It was great to see that Kimi [Raikkonen] made it as well, so we got first and second and from there we dictated the pace. The red flag didn’t help us, but to be fair the most important thing was that Fernando and Esteban were alright. It was the right decision to stop the race. First time I went through I saw the debris on the track.

“Naturally the expectations are higher when you had a strong season last year and you wanted to close the gap. Yesterday we were a bit further away and today we were closer.

“In general it was a great race, I was racing flat out until to the end, I didn’t want to go onto the grass but I did the lawn mower! So I don’t have to do it next week when I go home, but for sure we would have liked more from today.”