Formula 1 News

Late pit stop saved my race says Vettel

The 24-year-old German, had planned a one-stop strategy and was challenging Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren for the lead for most of the race.
Monday, June 11, 2012

MONTREAL, June 10, 2012 (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel praised his Red Bull team on Sunday after a last-minute pit stop helped him secure fourth place in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old German, who started in pole position for the Montreal race, had planned a one-stop strategy and was challenging Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren for the lead for most of the race.

However, Vettel's car began to lose speed and grip in the latter stages of the race and was unable to fend off challenges from rival drivers.

As a result, the Milton Keynes-based team decided to call him into the pits in a bid to stop him slipping further behind -- a decision that paid off as he was able to re-take some positions he had lost and eventually wound up fourth.

The double-champion praised his team for making the decision, saying, "We could have (done something differently) but now it is easy to say that.

"In the end Lewis decided to go for the second stop -- I think we tried then to get the place back by going for one-stop, the same as Ferrari.

"But it turned out to be the wrong call, so we decided to come in again, which I think was a good call, and a great call at the time, given the position and what you can lose."

His Red Bull team-mate, Australian Mark Webber, also struggled to find the right strategy in the race and wound up seventh.

"I knew it was going to be mixed up today, but not that mixed up," Webber said.

"In the first 10 laps, we had a small issue with the engine which we had to manage, but then I settled into the pace. We pitted and came out behind the one-stoppers.

"It's hard to get it right here -- if you push to try and pass you kill the tyres but if you wait, then you find youre on the same strategy and finish behind them anyway.

"I think ultimately we were quick at times today and its good that we finished in the points. With hindsight we could have done a different strategy, but its easy to say that now and Ive had worst days than today."

Vettel is now third in the drivers' standings, three points behind Championship leader Lewis Hamilton and six points ahead of fourth-placed Webber.

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2 Lewis Hamilton 161
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4 Fernando Alonso 87
5 Valtteri Bottas 73
6 Sebastian Vettel 70
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2 Red Bull Racing 168
3 Ferrari 106
4 Williams F1 103
5 Sahara Force India 91
6 McLaren 90

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