Sebastian Vettel admitted that getting ahead of Robert Kubica at the start had been crucial in the Monaco Grand Prix – with the German reflecting that it helped him secure the best result possible on the challenging street circuit.
Vettel benefitted from wheelspin for Kubica at the start to get into second on the run to St Devote and then saw off the challenge of the Renault man for the remaining 78 laps.
Having been unable to match the pace of his team-mate Mark Webber, Vettel was forced to drive with one in his mirrors as Kubica looked to find a way through and said that second was the best he could have hoped for from the race.
“I'm happy,” he said. “I think we achieved our optimum from third on the grid – normally it's hard to pass anyone, so second is good. I had good acceleration at the start and was able to dive down the inside and get into the first corner ahead of Robert. That was crucial to finishing second.
“I couldn't keep up with Mark today and we need to see why that was. It was difficult, especially at the beginning and after all the restarts. Later on
I finally felt I had more grip and wasn't too far off Mark's pace, but by then he was already down the road. There was no point trying to catch him, as overtaking is so difficult here. I also had to look more in my mirrors today. Robert was pushing quite hard and it was quite difficult to get away from him at the restarts. I was going sideways rather than straight at times.
“But, I'm happy. I think we couldn't have done better today – and we take away good points, which counts for a lot.”
Vettel now sits second in the championship standings, although he is level on points with Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.