Sebastian Vettel says he is pleased to have “served the team” and help Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Charles Leclerc win the Belgian Grand Prix by holding up Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel spent a brief spell in the lead of the race after Ferrari opted to stop him earlier than his rivals. Despite showing strong initial pace on Mediums, the German’s pace dropped off and he was ultimately told to let Leclerc past.

Having dropped back down to second place, Vettel was able to delay Hamilton’s charge for a few laps as he kept the Mercedes driver behind, enabling Leclerc to open up some breathing space.

“Well for the team yes [I’m happy], but for myself I’m obviously not happy,” Vettel explained after the race.

“I didn’t have the pace ultimately. I was struggling to stay on top of the tyres which normally is not a problem at all. So it was a tough race.

“Obviously from some point onwards, from the first lap onwards, it was clear we won’t be in the fight. So all I could do by then was serve the team.

“I was struggling in the corners so that allowed him to get close and then I couldn’t hold him off for a very long time.

“I tried to obviously make him lose time in order to give Charles a cushion. In the end it was just enough, so did the job.”

Hamilton reduced a six-second deficit to Leclerc in the closing stages but ultimately ran out of laps to put in a serious challenge for victory as he trailed the Monegasque driver home by less than a second at the chequered flag.

Leclerc was quick to praise Vettel’s contribution, saying: “Seb has been very nice and without him I think it would have been a lot more difficult to win this race so thanks to him.”

 

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