Sebastian Vettel described how hard he was pushed by McLaren after winning his fourth race of the season in Spain.
“McLaren was very strong, Lewis was very strong in particular. They stay out a little bit longer, a different strategy which brought them up to second behind us. And from then onwards I knew it will be very, very close.
“Going into the last ten laps I was feeling a bit like [in] China where I felt my tyres going away from me, I was just praying the same thing happened to Lewis because he was catching up. They seemed to be so much quicker in the last sector so he was always getting in the DRS zone so he could use his rear wing on the straights. Obviously he was sitting for some time in the limiter at the end of the straight.
The championship leader had to cope without KERS at times during the race:
“We had sometimes KERS on, sometimes KERS off, I was flicking around with the buttons and brake distribution. So it wasn’t an easy race and obviously the McLarens and Lewis especially gave us a very, very hard time.
“But it’s quite a big release when you cross the line and you open onto the main straight and you know there’s the chequered flag and we made it.”
He managed to pass pole sitter Mark Webber at the start but was surprised to see Fernando Alonso pass them both:
“I think I had a good start but I don’t understand where Fernando came from! He started behind me, some 16 metres behind, and halfway along the straight he was already side by side. He went on the inside of Mark, I went on the outside, so he was leading after the first lap.
“I couldn’t get really close enough to get into the DRS so that we really get an advantage and could pass him. But then we got him with a pit stop.”
2011 Spanish Grand Prix
Image © Red Bull/Getty images