Vettel calls P3 a “great success”, but fails to challenge Mercedes in China

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Sebastian Vettel has called his third place finish at the Chinese Grand Prix a “great success” despite failing to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the race win in Shanghai on Sunday.

Coming off the back of his victory in Malaysia two weeks ago, Vettel had been expected to trouble the Mercedes drivers once again and fight for the race win in China.

Despite keeping within two seconds of second-placed Nico Rosberg during his first two stints, Vettel struggled when he moved onto the prime tire, causing him to drop back and end the race in third place.

“I think it was a good race all in all,” Vettel said. “I think we were a bit closer on the softer compound tires. We were able to put some pressure on them.

“We tried to put more pressure on by stopping fairly early for the last set of tires, but I think on the harder tires they were just that bit too quick so they were able to pull away.

“From then onwards, we tried to control the race, and bring the podium back home which is a great success for us. I’m very happy. Thanks to the team, thanks back to the factory and to all the support here from the fans.”

In third, Vettel continued his 100% podium record since joining Ferrari at the beginning of the season, and once again said how embedded he already felt at Maranello.

“It’s been three out of three [podiums] so far, so it feels pretty good,” Vettel said. “A big change over winter, a lot has changed.

“I feel really happy in the team, the fans are great, so really enjoying the work and hopefully we can get a little bit closer to challenge these two guys.”