Sebastian Vettel secured his third victory of the season around the streets of Monaco as he jumped team-mate Kimi Raikkonen during the pit stops on Sunday.
The Scuderia Ferrari and current Championship leader trailed Raikkonen in the first half of the race, but put in some strong laps once the Finn had made his pit stop, and did enough to come back out in front of his team-mate when he made his own stop.
Vettel admitted he did not expect to set such strong laps after early struggles with his rear tyres, but said those laps were crucial in securing his forty-fifth career victory.
“It’s an incredible day,” said Vettel. “In the laps before my pit-stop I was surprised by my own pace because earlier on Kimi and I were both struggling with the rear tyres.
“Those laps I did today were comparatively better than the ones I did in qualifying yesterday. It was impossible for me to predict how fast I could go today. At one point I thought a second, maybe half a second, but then it turned out it was more than that, which was obviously crucial to grant me first place out of the box.
“It was fantastic to be in the lead and win the race. There was a lot of adrenaline during those laps but in general I could control the race. It sure helps to be the leading car, without any traffic, so that you get better into the rhythm. Once I had new tyres, again I was able to control the position.”
Vettel was delighted that the team could take away the maximum amount of points from Monaco, which helped him extend his championship advantage over Lewis Hamilton to twenty-five points heading into the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time.
“We had the chance this weekend to finish first and second and that’s what the team did,” said Vettel. “It’s great to see what we were able to do. Today the team gained a lot of points.
“It’s been a while since Ferrari won here so it’s a great day. I really enjoyed driving for the team. It is great to work together, we try to push each other and the best thing is to see that the team keeps growing.”