Sebastian Vettel says he wasn’t a threat for victory in the Australian Grand Prix until the Virtual Safety Car period turned things his way.
The Ferrari driver said his chance to win came because Ferrari left him out longer than Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in the hope of capitalising on any opportunity which arose.
“We did our homework pre-race looking at different strategies and what might happen and so on,” said Vettel. “We had the freedom in P3 to do a little bit what we wanted because I wasn’t really a threat to P1 and P2, to Lewis and Kimi.”
“We stayed out and waited for something to happen and something happened. There’s been plenty of examples when people didn’t do that and settled for the safer option. But we stayed out and got a reward at the end.
“It wasn’t a walk in the park, Lewis was a little bit faster and trying to put pressure but we resisted well. No problems until the end, the balance was a bit better on the harder compound so overall I think we had a strong race.”
Despite his win Vettel believes Mercedes still hold the upper hand. “It was a sprint to the first stop where we all tried to push as hard as we could,” he said. “I lost a bit the connection because I was struggling a bit with the car and the feel for the tyres in the first stint.”
“For sure the result today, we got a bit lucky with the Virtual Safety Car, but overall out pace was strong but not as strong as it has to be to fight for victory in normal conditions.”
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2018 F1 season
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- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
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- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year