Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was pleased with his recovery drive from 18th to fifth in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, but admits he could have gained more time in the opening laps.
Vettel started from way down the grid after an energy-recovery system failure in Q1 compounded his five-place grid penalty for overtaking under red flags in practice.
“It was a good recovery,” said Vettel. “Especially towards the end, the pace kept coming and getting quicker and quicker. Starting from the back is always a bit more entertaining.
“In the opening laps I wasn’t so happy with myself, I was being very aggressive but sometimes there was not the gap – sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not. I need to have a close look at what I could have done better because that’s where you really can make a lot of ground initially – I’m talking 5,6,7,8s of race time. So I had to be patient.
“I did enjoy it, and the people enjoyed it too. Every time I got past someone I looked at the grandstands at the hairpin, and the people went crazy. That was nice to see. Talking as a race fan, it makes your day special. “
Clashes with Hulkenberg & Alonso
Vettel also explained the skirmishes he got into with Nico Hulkenberg, who spun his Force India at the chicane as his fellow German passed him, and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.
“I was a lot quicker [than Hulkenberg], when I got close enough I went on the outside, braking later and making the corner,” said Vettel. “I was clearly ahead, and saw him opening the brakes into the first part of the chicane, and that’s where I reacted and jumped the second part or we’d have just crashed. He opened too much the brakes, and that’s why he spun.”
In his earlier battle with Alonso, Vettel admitted: “With hindsight I should have been a bit smarter, obviously Fernando was not giving me an inch and defended the inside very well, and I touched him with my right-front wheel, the second time around I was a bit more clever, and got a better exit to pass him.”