Nov.4 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Sebastian Vettel picked up the pieces of a devastating Saturday in Abu Dhabi by carving through the field to finish Sunday’s spectacular grand prix in third place.
Given his pitlane start, an extra pitstop for a twice-damaged front wing, and having to give back a place after overtaking off the Yas circuit, minimising his loss of points to championship rival Fernando Alonso was an impressive result for the Red Bull driver.
“There was the chance (this weekend) to f**k it up,” the delighted Vettel told David Coulthard – who apologised for the double world champion’s language – on the podium.
Vettel, having started the race 13 points ahead of Ferrari’s Spaniard Alonso, is now 10 points ahead with just one more back to back pairing of races in Austin and Interlagos now to run.
“I told you guys,” Vettel said on the radio after recovering his disastrous weekend, “don’t stop believing.”
Also still believing is Alonso, who uttered not a word to his title rival in the post-race podium preparation room, shook his trophy with determination a few minutes later, and cracked no smile when Vettel tipped champagne on Coulthard’s head.
“You can see he’s pumped up,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner told British Sky television.
Alonso confirmed: “We keep fighting until the end.”
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen finally broke through to win a race in his F1 comeback, but the victory was helped along by pole sitter and runaway leader Lewis Hamilton’s failure.