Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was pleased to finish second in the F1 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix today after having to manage a gearbox issue for much of the race.
Despite that problem though, he led until around lap 30 and even at the end he was only 16.9 seconds behind his team-mate, Mark Webber and comfortably ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren in third.
“I got the message we had a problem [early on], which was a shame as we had a great start to the race,” Vettel reflected. “After that, it was obvious that that I had to shift early and save the gearbox.
“I hoped it would recover so I kept pushing, but it didn't happen and then the target was to see the chequered flag.
“Mark had a great race and deserved to win. I got second and I'm happy to have a trophy. It was a great end to the season; to finish with both cars and a one-two is very good.
“I would have loved to have won the race, but nonetheless we had a great season. It's really incredible – going into the season we thought we had a competitive car and that maybe we could win some races, but it has been phenomenal.
“The team has been faultless most of the time and raised their level massively compared to the last two years.
“We enjoy what we do and it's nice to come into the garage each day and see everyone with a smile on their face being happy. That's the main thing – we love what we do and are passionate about it.”
Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, meanwhile added that the way Vettel nursed the car to the flag was 'awesome'.
“The race was dominated by trying to manage the problem that Sebastian had; he did an unbelievable job to keep his car alive to the end of the race,” Horner noted.
“The problem appeared on lap 5, due to a gearbox that was losing oil. Temperatures were therefore creeping up, but he adopted his driving technique and did an awesome job to get the car to the end.”