Vettel: Tyres going off made race a challenge

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Sepang, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Sepang, 2011

Sebastian Vettel said the team had to tread a fine line on race strategy in Sepang.

Speaking after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix he said: “I think the Grand Prix was quite different to what we saw two weeks ago, especially with tyres going off.

“On one side you don’t want to be first in [to the pits] because obviously the shorter you get the more stops you might have to do in the end. On the other hand if someone has the advantage on new tyres they might under-cut you.

“I think it was quite difficult and obviously it was tight with Lewis. I always had a couple of seconds in hand so we could control that but still it was never easy until the last stint.

“Then obviously Lewis had a problem, I don’t know what happened to him. I realised Jenson was behind and I could comfortably control the gap with not too many laps to go.”

Vettel added that Nick Heidfeld inadvertently helped him at the start by passing Lewis Hamilton:

“The start was really crucial. I thought I had a really good start, I saw Lewis lining up behind me quickly.

“And then I was surprised going into turn one, all of a sudden I saw something black in my mirrors and I knew it was Lotus, so then I realised it was Nick.

“Obviously for the first stint I think it was a good thing to have him because I could pull away lap by lap.”

Vettel said he lost the use of KERS at times during the race:

“Obviously it was not according to plan, but then it was coming back. It was a little bit on-off during the race.

“It’s something we have to work on but still never forget two weeks ago we didn’t race it at all. Today it was very crucial at the start without KERS we would have been in a completely different position and the race would have unfolded in a different way.”

Despite winning his fourth race in a row Vettel says he’s wary of the growing threat of Ferrari and McLaren: “We can’t stop pushing, we’ve seen how close it is, much closer here than in Australia. So that’s how quickly things can change so we have to keep our heads cool and keep working, keep pushing.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    14 comments on “Vettel: Tyres going off made race a challenge”

    1. maybe now we need No-Vettel-Pole race. It was quite interesting except P1 :P

      1. Exactly Eggry. Really exiting race, a bit of a shame that was not more tight for the lead. And FOM could have certainly done a better job.

    2. Finger boy again.. is that finger brings him luck?? :)

    3. Webber suffered from more issues but Redbull will have a more reliable car for him by the 5th or 6th race so he can retire with some good performances albeit way off contention for the championship.

    4. Red Bull should be very careful – if things continue like that Vettel won’t be able to bend his finger anymore. Damn…I have a feeling this championship’s gonna close at Suzuka

      1. I have a feeling this championship’s gonna close at Suzuka

        Wow, what a prediction.

    5. Winning is the prize you have to pay for being fastest. I feel bad your you Sebastian :(

      1. poor boy has been cursed, with a great team and a great car… damn you fate, damn you to hell.

    6. Well done by Vettel, and what he says about tyres etc., and especially the Renault start are all true. He probably is happy and relieved to win this too. I also find myself shrugging, and thinking that it compared to the other drivers, he had it pretty easy. He can’t help that of course, just doing a great job, but I find myself hoping for just a bit of misfortune for him already, to make at least one race actually difficult and see how he copes, and have someone else get a bit closer for the championship.

    7. What Vettel says about the tyres here is completely correct. What MB and DC say about DRS in qualifying is complete bs, I haven’t seen a pass facilitated by DRS yet every pass has been by the drivers saving more KERS than the driver they are chasing. DRS needs to go.

      1. That’s the reason why DRS DOESN’T need to go. It allows people to get wheel to wheel then calls upon one drivers natural ability to defend and the other to attack while being fractionally later on the brakes. I didn’t see one DRS overtake on the straight where the attacking driver could take that first corner on the ideal line, it’s really tight.

    8. I always find it difficult to really get my teeth into the race winners performance, especially as the very nature of most victories are that comfortable they don’t warrant the FOM coverage. That said Vettel strikes me as a driver who knows how to look after his car. The fact Button could close the gap as well as he did is just as indicative to Vettel’s performance as his own.

    9. Anyone else noticed that Vettel called Nick’s car a Lotus rather than a Lotus Renault? If he wants to contract it to a single word it should be Renault, not Lotus — Danny Bahar must be crying with joy.

    10. If he wins in China then I don’t think anyone will be able to stop his this season to get his 2nd WC title.

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