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Vettel complaint ‘was in heat of the moment’

29 July 2013

Sebastian Vettel has admitted that complaining about Kimi Raikkonen's defence of second place in the Hungarian Grand Prix was never likely to elicit a better result.

The German chased his rival across the line at the Hungaroring having had a series of passing attempts rebuffed by the Lotus driver, but admits that a remark he made over team radio – following one particular move from Raikkonen – was probably an over-reaction.

“[It was] in the heat of the moment, for sure,” he conceded, “It was quite tight getting into there. I tried to prepare the next corner, but nearly lost the car. That's racing.

“Kimi is not an idiot - it's a narrow part of the track, but I was pushing very hard, trying to create a chance, put him under pressure. As I said, it was clear I didn't [want to] pass him there, but maybe two corners later or something.

“We were faster, I had fresher tyres but, as I said, [there was] no way past. Obviously, I couldn't go around the outside and pass him, but I was trying to maybe put him under pressure for the next couple of corners. I tried, [but it] didn't work,

“Yeah, I was not too happy but, as I said, it was quite hot this afternoon, I was pushing very hard, it was quite narrow and I was a little bit on the dirt, turning in. You feel that you have to say something, so that's what I did.”

Despite having started second on the grid, Vettel found himself playing catch-up, not only with leader Lewis Hamilton, but also the likes of Raikkonen, who had been able to make their tyres last longer than the Red Bull. Vettel also admitted that damage sustained in the early lap skirmishes, as well as rapidly deteriorating tyres ahead of his stop, had contrived to limit his performance, resulting in a long spell spent behind the McLaren of Jenson Button that he felt ended his chances of victory.

“It was not the best race,” he sighed, “The start was difficult, but I was able to defend second. When Lewis pulled in, we thought we had a little bit more on the soft, but the rear tyres seemed to fall apart pretty quickly and then I lost a bit, came out behind Jenson, which was crucial. I struggled to get past, and damaged my front wing - which didn't help.

“It's not the best circuit to be stuck in traffic because it's quite difficult to overtake. I don't think we had enough speed on the straights to put people under enough pressure so [I] obviously got stuck behind Jenson for a long time.

“It was very close with Kimi in the end but, as he mentioned, he was very quick through the last two corners and then I couldn't really get him on the straight. I did all we could but surely wanted a little bit more.

Asked the now obligatory question about whether he would enjoy having Raikkonen as his team-mate next season – this time with the added twist of having finished behind the Lotus driver – Vettel admitted that he was quite happy racing rivals from other teams….

“He's one of the drivers I get along most with - he's been very honest all the time, which I appreciate a lot,” he noted, “I think, at the end of the day, we're a group of 20, 22 guys - some of them you like, others you don't. At the end of the day, you have to beat everyone. Obviously, we enjoy it a lot more if you're fighting other drivers in similar cars, meaning with similar pace, because it's kind of boring when you're only fighting your team-mate...”


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