Sebastian Vettel: “Overall we had great pace, good strategy”

Despite the first lap incident between Scuderia Ferrari team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen that looked set to destroy the Maranello based squad’s chance of a podium finish in the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, Vettel was able to salvage the race and finish in a more than was expected second position.

The German was happy with the pace Ferrari showed, despite the coming together at the first corner, and after initially laying the blame firmly on Daniil Kvyat, the German felt ultimately it was a racing incident.

“What happened at the first lap, in the end, is a racing incident. From my side I didn’t really know where to go, I was sandwiched between Kimi and Daniil. Obviously I am terribly sorry for what has happened, I mean touching the car with the same colours is not right. It was a shame, because it destroyed both of our races, Kimi’s and mine.

“At the end of the day we’ve been lucky because we were still able to continue. The safety car helped us to sort of come back. Kimi locked up in turn one. I tried to go inside to pass him. Daniil was behind me. He had a better start and was lining up for the same move initially. I was determined to overtake Kimi. Daniil was determined to overtake me.

“Kimi came back from the left, Kvyat came from the back from the right and I was reacting to him. I tried to back out of it, going off throttle and hitting the brakes, but there was no way, so I had contact with Kimi which is a shame, the car was damaged after that, but obviously a great recovery by the Team, which managed to stay calm initially and then change the nose while the safety car was out.

“Overall we had great pace, good strategy, fantastic pit stops, I couldn’t have asked for more after this poor first lap. Hopefully in Russia we have a smoother race!”