Vettel defends backmarkers despite complaints

Sebastian Vettel has defended the backmarkers' efforts to get out of his way during the Japanese Grand Prix despite his frustration during the race.

Vettel defends backmarkers despite complaints
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H and Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 battle for position
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H and team mate Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H battle for position
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H battle for position with Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H

The Ferrari driver complained about the lapped cars on the radio and was seen waving at them a few times as he overtook them.

But after the race, Vettel said the backmarkers could not have done a better job given the nature of the circuit.

"It's really frustrating inside the car - and today I had the feeling every time I got to the car ahead... the people in front couldn't have done any better, really," said Vettel.

"There's a lot of consecutive corners here and if you're in that part of the track, you can't expect the car in front to move over.

"Equally you're losing a lot of time - if it happens on the straights, it's a different story.

"I think we probably weren't on the lucky side today, in general it's not easy, being lapped, to let the cars past, to find a good spot."

Vettel, who finished out of the podium in fourth, reckons his result was not affected by the time lost behind the lapped cars.

"In the end, if you see the degradation we had on the soft tyre, it was too high - and the gap of 14 seconds or 10 seconds to that [podium] group at the end of the race was too big," he added.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was also left frustrated by the lapped cars on his way to fifth place.

"The fact that is that certain people slow down and let you pass and they are a lap down," said Raikkonen. "I understand sometimes they are in a fight, but it's not difficult to let people pass.

"Obviously he's going to lose time, but you are one lap down and it's part of racing. On a track like this maybe it affects probably more when you follow people and it's just crazy. We end up following them for one lap.

"It could have better, but I don't think it changed our race. It was more about where we started," the Finn, who had lined up eighth after a penalty, added.

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