When he lined up on the second place on the grid for the start of the British Grand Prix on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel knew that the one must-do item on his to-do list if he was to have a shot at winning the race was to get past Michael Schumacher starting alongside him.

Unfortunately for Vettel, that didn't happen - and not only did Schumacher get away in front, but the Red Bull also had Felipa Massa leapfrog it from behind.

"Yeah, the start was not too good to be honest, I lost a little bit too much," admitted Vettel after the race. "I had too much wheel slip and I could see the first row disappearing. It was quite tight and with Felipe he had a better start and I lost the position to him."

In the end, Vettel did well not to lose yet another place in the opening corners at Silverstone. "Down to turn four it was extremely tight" I tried to defend the position to Kimi who was right behind," said Vettel. "I think I damaged the front wing a little bit. Not sure how bad it was, but it didn't turn out to be a massive disadvantage. So from there I got stuck a little bit."

Massa proved impervious to his attempts to pass, although Vettel enjoyed the battle: "Once I got close to get past Felipe but he did a very good job, he very hard but very fair, so I enjoyed that a lot."

When it became clear that Vettel wasn't going to be able to pass Massa on the track, and that both cars were being held up by Michael Schumacher while the two leaders - Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber - were scampering away at the front in the meantime, the Red Bull strategists decided that the only only thing for it was an early pit stop.

"We did the right thing coming in a little bit earlier and used to the momentum and got past both Michael and Felipe at the same time, which was good," said Vettel, who was pleased to be shot of the soft option tyre, which he said "didn't perform very well."

"We were aggressive with the first stop and got Seb into clear air, which elevated him up the order," agreed Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

After that it was a case of running as hard as possible on the remaining two prime tyre stints and hoping that Fernando Alonso hit problems when it came to the Ferrari's turn on options in the closing laps. It worked for Webber, who won the race; and it almost worked for Vettel, too.

"I was just a little bit too far away to get Fernando at the end," he said. "In the last stint, to be honest, I wasn't so happy with the car, I picked up a lot of vibrations. I don't know why as I didn't have a lock-up or anything.

"I'm sure if the race had been a little bit longer then it would have been different but that's how it is, so I'm very happy with third today," Vettel added. But in the meantime, he was happy enough to see his Red Bull team mate take the top spot on the podium.

"I think all in all it was a good day. Obviously happy for the team, the factory is just down the road. It's more or less our home grand prix and therefore definitely special and I'm sure we'll have some drinks tomorrow," he said, adding: "I would be a bit happier if I had won today!"

Vettel can now look forward to his own home race in a fortnight's time when F1 arrives at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix.

"Obviously I'm looking forward to the next race, looking forward to Germany. It should be a very good one for us. I feel the car is picking up speed, so I definitely feel happier since the last race," he said. But it's not a race that's been especially successful for him: despite finishing on the podium twice, he's never won the event.

"I think we struggled last year there, in particular," he admitted. "So let's see if I succeed this year. It's a race like every other. Sure it would be very special to win, but I don't score more points just by winning my home race.

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