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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: We have to be satisfied with second

21 Sep 2014

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel cut a frustrated figure in the Singapore paddock on Saturday evening after feeling he’d blown his chance at pole position. But the reigning world champion was much more positive on Sunday evening after securing second place at Marina Bay - his best result of the season. After the race Vettel told reporters why he couldn’t have asked for anymore, despite a brief period in the lead…

Q: Sebastian, your first podium since Canada. How welcome is this?

Sebastian Vettel: I think after the bad Friday it was good to see that the pace is there - even though it is a bit weak in the defence. I think that the used tyres in the second stint ruined our strategy a bit, as it was a set of tyres that had already been used twice on Saturday and that caused us to lose ground to Fernando (Alonso). Probably we came in one lap too late - and in the end were really lucky that it all worked out so well for us. It also could have gone wrong, as I was the guy with the ‘oldest’ tyres out there.

Q: Today, were we seeing ‘Sebastian Vettel reloaded’ or was it only the ‘Singapore effect’?

SV: I think it was about time that things fell in our direction after all the races that have gone wrong.

Q: Daniel (Ricciardo) got pretty close over the final two or three laps. Did the chequered flag save you in the end?

SV: Yes, he came close, but I knew that I was able to come out of two corners well - and as overtaking is not such an easy thing here I focused on taking speed out of these two corners. This was not only in the last two laps.

Q: When you suddenly saw that on the formation lap the car in front of you was missing, was there a moment when you thought that perhaps the same glitches might overcome the second Mercedes?

SV: No, not really. I think we already knew before that Nico (Rosberg) had a problem and of course it did help to gain two places at the start and things looked pretty good in that phase, but towards the end of the race we ran into problems with tyre degradation so when looking at the result it was the most we could have asked. We should be pretty satisfied.

Q: Was there ever the idea to challenge Lewis (Hamilton) for the win when you had the lead?

SV: There was no point in fighting Lewis. Imagine you drive a Fiat Panda and there is a 911 (Porsche) behind you. You can try - but it’s a bit elusive. So there was no point in trying to hold him back. My tyres were getting difficult so I had to fully concentrate on them and didn’t waste a thought on getting involved in a fruitless battle.

Q: It was always clear that Singapore would represent a good chance for you to score a podium - but Suzuka will be a completely different ball-game. What do you expect in Japan?

SV: That our curve is going up further. We have seen here that there is no such thing as an invincible team and that the glitch demons can strike anywhere at any time - not only with us. It was good to see that we are competitive - probably more here than in Suzuka. But Suzuka is a wonderful high-speed track so driving there is a pleasure in itself.