Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has admitted he was lucky to finish third today in the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round on the F1 2010 schedule.
Vettel endured a trying race at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya and while his team-mate, Mark Webber swept to a dominant victory, he had a number of problems.
Indeed at the first round of pit-stops he slipped to third when he lost out to McLaren man Lewis Hamilton. However worse was to come and 15 laps from the end he had a brake failure and went off at turn seven.
He then had to make a second precautionary stop and while he had enough time in hand over Michael Schumacher in P5, it looked like it had cost him a place on the podium, a position he only regained on the penultimate lap when Hamilton retired.
Speaking at the finish and after limping his car home, Vettel had mixed feelings: "A lot of things didn't go my way today," he said. "The start was okay; there was no chance to get past Mark, but also it wasn't worth taking the risk. It was quite slippery, so I didn't want to take a run down the outside.
"I was not quick enough today. I struggled a lot with the balance of the car. The car's fast – Mark was in his own league today, but for some reason I found it difficult. There were a few problems. I was unlucky as I had a slow stop and had to wait in the pit box for the Ferrari to drive past and then Jenson [Button] was coming in, so it felt very long! We lost ground and the position.
"It was close when Lewis [Hamilton] came out, but then he was impossible to pass. I felt the car was getting better, but as soon as you got close there was no chance to pass. Then fifteen laps to the end, I lost the front left brakes and had to back off. I was lucky as there was a gap to Michael [Schumacher] behind me.
"I don't know how to feel as third is not a bad position, but I think we had a difficult race today with some things happening that we didn't want. It's good to take some points, the car is fast, but it was difficult."
Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner meanwhile was disappointed to see Vettel hindered by brake problems – as he had been in Australia too. But he was still pleased to see him manage to nurse his car to the end and give the Milton Keynes-based outfit an 'almost perfect' 1-3 finish.
"Sebastian had a much more eventful race [than Mark in the other RB6]. We had a right front wheel issue at the first stop that cost him a bit of time and unfortunately allowed Lewis to sneak past.
"Thereafter he was comfortable, but stuck in dirty air until a brake issue appeared with about fifteen laps to go. We made a pit stop for a precautionary look at the brake disc – we could see it was still there, but it was a bit damaged and then it was a question of managing the pace of the car until the end of the race. Sebastian did a good job of building in a big enough safety margin in the braking areas for it not to be an issue. Ultimately first and third is a great team result – one place off a maximum score," Horner summed-up.