After his first Formula One season victory since 392 days, Sebastian Vettel stressed, that the undercut against his teammates in Singapore was a very late and spontaneous decision.
How relieved are you about your first success for more than a year?
I am a little sweaty but very happy. The start of the season was difficult for us, but last we woke to life. I’m very proud of everyone’s work at home. I would especially like to thank the fans for the last few weeks. We weren’t the best. It was a pleasure that they wrote us letters and nice messages in which they reported on difficult times. When you read these lines, it touches me. It gave me strength and faith. Today I packed it all in the car.
How much has the criticism of the past few weeks affected you?
It is not the first time I have been in the situation. It’s very nice to be supported by so many people. I didn’t doubt myself. I didn’t have to go through it the first time, and it won’t be the last. If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay to criticize me. It’s part of the game. I’ve been around a long time. I have the highest expectations of myself and I’m not satisfied if I don’t make the best of myself. But it was also not as disastrous as some people have described it.
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How important is this victory for you in the duel with your teammate Charles Leclerc?
You are way off if you think you are bigger than this team. I told you this was a win for the team. Nothing can beat this team. Charles was very strong last time. He deserves to win the last two races. But I knew things would get better for me, too. I’m glad it was sooner than later.
When was the decision that you should come before your teammate to change tires?
That was a very late instruction. It was only in the last corner before the box that the call came. I thought it was a little early for a stop. I had a feeling the tires were still holding. Then I put it all in the next round. I was very surprised that I stayed ahead.