Sebastian Vettel has described his first home victory in his Formula One career as ‘tough‘ but maintained that it ‘will remain in my head for a long, long time.’
The German, who was denied pole position by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton yesterday, took the lead of the race into the first corner of the race and eventually fought off the advances of Romain Grosjean and then Kimi Raikkonen to take the checkered flag.
“It was a tough race; it was one of the toughest for a long time,” He said. “I’m happy the race wasn’t two or three laps longer, as Kimi was a bit quicker towards the end. I’m very happy that it worked out and it’s very special. The team worked really hard to give me the chance to win this weekend and we got it.”
“First of all you have to remember that it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to race in your home country; we have around 20 races, but there are obviously more than 20 countries, so it’s special to race at home and get so much support. I had a good start and then just focused on every single lap during the race. You don’t really think about where you are while you are racing, you can’t allow your mind to drift, but when the flag came out and the race was over I really let myself enjoy the parade lap and saw a lot of people in the grandstands cheering and waving flags. These pictures will remain in my head for a long, long time.”
Meanwhile, Mark Webber was denied the chance to challenge for the victory at the track where he claimed his first career win, when a tyre came loose following a pitstop. A Safety Car later in the race helped the 36-year-old recover and he eventually finished seventh.
“I knew we had lost the tyre in the pit stop of course, but not that someone got hit by it. That’s bad and I hope he is okay, that’s the main thing. Today was a bit of a nightmare and you want to wake up tomorrow and have another go at it. We had an excellent start and were in a great position leading up to the first stop with Seb, but we lost all of that. We lost a lot of points today and a chance to challenge for the win, but there’s no rewind button now.”
Sebastian Vettel won the race while Mark Webber finished seventh. The team were subsequently fined €30,000 for their unsafe release.
Image courtesy of Getty Images.