Vettel: McLaren “gave us a very hard time”

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

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.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    22 comments on “Vettel: McLaren “gave us a very hard time””

    1. Vettel, Hamilton, Button and Glock under investigation. Not that it will make much difference to Vettel

      1. Glock? Buemi.

      2. Gary Paffett says it’s Lewis, Jenson, Sebastien (Buemi) and Webber.

        1. If Lewis, Jenson and Mark get a time penalty the results will remain unchanged.

      3. You mean Webber not Vettel I guess. If punished with a time penalty doesn’t seem like it will make a difference to anyone.

        1. was Webber I think, not Vettel.

    2. He did some overtakes today, after one of his pit stops. Massa could have tried to hold him up abit more. But he showed I reckon, that he actually does have racing in him, and he’s not merely Mr. Gran Turismo, the driving simulator where you go fast and the racing is non existent. Well taken win under alot of pressure. Probably his finest victory.

      1. Vettel certainly proved his ability to overtake after his first stop.

        1. Against people in worse cars with brand much older tyres? Hardly much proved there.

          Whilst I don’t doubt that he does have some ability to do it, I wouldn’t say that those moves today would stop the naysayers, nor should they.

    3. He did much more job than previous just-cruising-wins. but I’m not happy with the championship. We need at least 2 wins for Hamilton and at least 1 disaster for Vettel. I’m a fan of Alonso but it seems like much worse than the last year. Maybe some places such as Monaco, Canada, Monza, Spa, Alosno could beat one of them(Mclaren, Redbull) but I doubt he could challenge in terms of championship.

    4. A good race from Seb. It’s a pity he hasn’t yet had to really fight on track with regards to over-taking but I think what he displayed today in front of Hamilton showed a high level of maturity from him. In previous seasons I expect he could have buckled under the pressure.

      Oh, and Alonso did you both Seb as you were too busy with Mark weaving around each other ;)

    5. Maybe they should replace KERS,with a more ajustable (in car)front wing

      1. Why?

        I like the fact it seems to be hard to get working all the time.
        Red Bull are fastest but they have to switch it off part of the race to keep the batteries from overheating. A bit like nursing the engine not to blow in the turbo times.

      2. Also, we tried the moveable front wing thing in 09. Did nothing.

    6. It was funny actually. the alonso thing. he held the kers button pressed at the start and used up all of it and passed them. Kinda reminded me of Need for speed and the nitrous option on it. :D

    7. Vettel looked like he really had the biggest fight of his career to come out on top today.

    8. Vettel will get driver of the race from me. People get a little bit spoiled here seeing drivers that never run wide, hit every apex, don’t have off-laps. Vettel drove half the race with Hamilton breathing down his back, with a gimpy car, with the wall asking him to twist knobs this way and that all the time, and to have to adapt his driving to match the settings. He didn’t so much as lock a wheel or kick up a puff of dust on the exit. Very impressive.

      1. Exaggerations. Sure he did fine but Hamilton was behind him only the last 12 laps, not half the race and the condition of their tyres was the same.
        Vettel might have had KERS problems but his car was still better covering for it easily and Barcelone is easy to defend when you have a car like a Red Bull. Lewis should have had an extremely superior pace to even get a chance.
        It was so obvious seeing them in the last corner that only a miracle could make the Mclaren stick close to the Red Bull threw the corner.
        Vettel knew he didn’t even need to defend really but just not make a mistake.

    9. @ solo, I agree 100%…

    10. @Solo, I agree with You completely! Although, I must say again Seb Vettel is pretty d**n good.o I realize the tires exaggerated the effect of his overtaking today. But He is all poise and perfection in that car. I can’t deny it. Just as I cant deny Alonso’s greatness. That start today oughta make The Scuderia feel that their money is well spent. I realize that You are just correcting someone else’s misstatements Solo. I’m more making general statements, than directing anything other than agreement Your way

    11. Good job some mature & aggressive drive by him after his first pitstop I guess his passes over Button & Massa early is the time when he won the race in his favour.

    12. No Seb, you gave us(viewers) a hard time..
      enjoying the race. Hopefully Mark
      does perform well for the next GP or
      the Mclarens. Don’t pull away yet!
      Keep it close!

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