Sebastian Vettel hailed the “great recovery” by Ferrari that allowed him to finish Sunday’s European Grand Prix in second place behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.
Vettel struggled to dial in to the new Baku City Circuit in practice on Friday, but bounced back in qualifying to line up third on the grid.
The German made light work of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo early on before enduring a somewhat lonely race en route to second place at the checkered flag.
“Today has been a great job for us. Already by the end of yesterday the car was coming alive,” Vettel said on the podium after the race.
“We were struggling a bit on Friday, but to see where we are now is a great recovery. Second place, two times on the podium now in a row after Canada which is great, I’m scoring some good points even if this weekend was a bit different to last week.
“I think the pace is there, the car is good, we’re coming along. All in all a great day and thanks to the team.”
Vettel professed his liking for the street track in Baku, which played host to its first F1 race on Sunday.
“First time we are here in Azerbaijan, I didn’t really know what to expect but it’s been a great track, a great pleasure, a great welcome for all of us,” he said.
“I think the circuit is incredible. You need to be well-equipped around here, let’s put it that way, around here, some proper high-speed corners. very, very close.
“I think quite a lot of people lost a lot of money today because they bet on a safety car and we didn’t have one. I think it also speaks for the quality of the drivers, it was a clean race.
“I expected a safety car but it never came out. It’s a great circuit, a great challenge. It’s really narrow and a lot of fun.”