Sebastian Vettel has admitted that finishing on the podium at his favourite circuit is of no importance following the accident that ended the Japanese Grand Prix.

The German took an unlikely third place as red flags brought an early end to the Suzuka race, but his delight at recording back-to-back podiums in a barren season was quickly tempered by news that Jules Bianchi had been taken to hospital.

"Obviously, we didn't know what had happened," he conceded, "The safety car came out and I think we were aware that Adrian [Sutil] went off in turn seven, but it was difficult to see what happened after that.

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"It's great to be on the podium - it's my favourite track - and it's very nice [to do so] in those tricky conditions but, in the end, it doesn't really matter. What is most important is that we hope the best for Jules."

Red Bull were in the minority in setting its cars up for the anticipated raceday conditions, and showed the wisdom of the decision by picking up places once the race was released from behind the safety car. The two Williams proved no match for either Vettel or team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and, having similarly overcome Jenson Button's McLaren, it wasn't long before the two Red Bulls were vying over the final podium position. Both drivers took turns to occupy the position, but Ricciardo appeared to be in the control when Vettel pitted late on for another set of intermediate tyres.

"It was very, very tricky and took a while to get the race started as we waited for the conditions, but then I think it was good," Vettel claimed, "Concentration has to be very, very high when it is wet and it is so easy to do a mistake. In the end, we pitted and decided to go for fresh tyres. It was a great race and we seemed to have great pace."

The aftermath of the Sutil and Bianchi accidents, however, brought out the safety car and, shortly afterwards, the second red flag of the race, this time ending proceedings and taking the result back a lap, returning Vettel to third place.

"From a racing point of view, there was quite a good gap to pit and we lost only one position," the German confirmed, "We were initially not on the podium, but the way the rules are, there was a little bit of confusion [after the red flag]. I was lucky to have the safety car come out and lucky to be up here."