Vettel 'quite happy' with fightback
World Champion says he and team-mate Webber ran their own races
Last Updated: 27/05/12 4:26pm
Sebastian Vettel: Salvaged a solid result
Sebastian Vettel says he can be "quite happy" with the way his recovery drive in the Monaco Grand Prix panned out after he came from ninth on the grid to finish right in the middle of the battle for victory in fourth.
Having struggled for pace in his RB8 in the early stages of qualifying on Saturday, Vettel opted to sit out Q3 in order to give him a free tyre choice for the first stint of the race and on Sunday duly opted to go against the grain compared with the cars ahead and start on the more durable soft tyre.
The German managed to pick his way past the spinning Romain Grosjean into the first corner and, after ending the first lap already in sixth place, completed a mighty 45-lap first stint which saw him move into the lead after the runners ahead of him pitted.
Having continued to show strong speed on his first set of tyres prior to his eventual stop, Vettel re-emerged right ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in fourth place as they raced up the hill. This put the German just several seconds behind the leading trio - led by team-mate Mark Webber - at this stage but despite running almost nose-to-tail over the closing stages, Monaco's tight confines prohibited any overtaking.
Mid-way through the race there had been suggestions that Webber may have been deliberately controlling his pace to hold up the cars behind to aid Vettel, but the World Champion confirmed there had been no team tactics at play and they simply ran their own races.
"Mark raced his race, I raced my race. In the end we had opposite strategies - same strategies, but obviously he started on the supersoft and I started on the soft and then the other way round in the end," he told Sky Sports F1.
"As I said, I think we was pushing his race, I was pushing my race. For me it was important to use the couple of laps I was in the lead and in the end we were able to gain about eight seconds so I can be quite happy with that.
"But obviously in the end [it was] difficult to pass and gain some more places."
With all the top runners completing just a single pit stop over the 79-lap distance, Vettel admitted tyre management was a big consideration but was pleased with how he was able to run until he hit the traffic jam at the end.
"It was a challenge," he said.
"Especially in my case I stayed out quite long in the first stint - longer than the all the rest - but we had some good laps. So it wasn't disastrous and in the end obviously you can't judge because we couldn't go [at] the speed that was maybe in the car."