Sebastian Vettel secured victory at the Hungaroring on Sunday, but immediately apologised to Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen after struggling with his SF70H during the race, which meant the Finn was forced to play the team game despite being the faster driver.
Vettel retained the lead at the start and was comfortable until a problem with his steering wheel developed, and although he was able to be quick with the issue, he found Raikkonen on his tail, while the two Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers were able to close up.
Vettel hopes this problem will not occur again as it made his Hungarian Grand Prix a much more difficult afternoon than it should have been, with the German having been the quickest driver pretty much since Saturday morning.
“Everybody inside the team can be very happy and proud of what we have done today!” said Vettel. “Afterwards, I said to Kimi that I was sorry, because I was slow and struggling during the race. For Kimi it was not good to be there in the middle of a sandwich.
“It was a tough race that, in the end, kept a good shape. I developed a problem with the steering wheel and I don’t know why yet. We need to avoid it happening again of course, but during the race I didn’t have an option. It’s not like parking the car, check if everything’s all right and then fix the problem.
“It was quite annoying because it was a strange feeling. But then, at some point, I forgot about it and just tried to get used to it, which was tricky because it just kept changing and getting worse. However, in the end the pace was still there.
“More generally, I don’t like the short term view that some people have, that after a good race everything is great and you are the hero, but after a bad race it is a disaster. It is not fair because people work hard spending a lot of time, working all together on the car.
“In my opinion, we have the best car and downforce which, hasn’t been the case for many years. In the end we can make a difference and we have done that so far.”
The German extended his championship advantage to fourteen points thanks to the win, especially as main rival Lewis Hamilton finished down in fourth after relinquishing the podium spot at the final corner to team-mate Valtteri Bottas after failing to find a way passed Raikkonen.