Sebastian Vettel says his pace during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was “scary” at times, but felt in complete control of the car throughout the 55-lap race. The German took the chequered flag 30 seconds clear of team-mate Mark Webber to win for the 11th time this season.
The 26-year-old’s race win at the Yas Marina Circuit was, incredibly, his seventh in a row and the 37th of his career. He made a mistake on his second qualifying lap which dropped him behind Webber on the grid, but took the lead of the race into turn one and remained unchallenged all the way to the chequered flag.
Talking after the race, he found it difficult to put the result into perspective: “I think today was incredible; the pace we had was scary at some stages, I felt very, very good on the soft tyres and was able to pull out a good gap in the first couple of laps. I think it’s difficult, being an active member of the team, to put things like today into perspective.
“When I think of the times we’ve experienced over the last few years, it’s incredible to have a strong group of people together that believes so much in what they do. To be part of that is great and makes me proud.”
He added: “The car was so enjoyable on every single lap. There are not that many races when you are in complete control of the car – so it’s special. I didn’t get the maximum out of myself yesterday, but we made up for it today.”
Team-mate Mark Webber had a poor start from pole position but admits that he was fortunate to only lose two positions: “Nico had a very good start on both Sebastian and I, but fortunately it wasn’t a long run to the first corner. We got under way from there and I attacked Nico on the first lap, but then we had to look after the tyres, so we waited and then on lap eight or nine we were in trouble with the rears. I made a good move on Nico to get back into position.”
However, he concedes that Vettel was in a league of his own during the race and will head to the next race in the USA determined to do better: “Seb was on another planet today and was very, very strong in the first stint. He was super quick and his tyres didn’t wear out, which is a recipe for disaster for the rest of the opposition, me included. It would have been good to win, but we got second and I’ll go to Austin and try and do better.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic