Sebastian Vettel was glad to deliver Ferrari its first Formula 1 win since the end of July after controlling proceedings in the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, bouncing back from a “tough couple of weeks”.
Vettel led the F1 drivers’ championship for Ferrari from the opening round in Australia until the Italian Grand Prix in September, only for reliability issues across the Asian flyaways to severely dent his hopes of a fifth title.
Vettel’s defeat to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship was confirmed two weeks ago in Mexico, with Ferrari having lost the constructors’ title to Mercedes one week earlier.
Despite the result having no bearing on the championship, Vettel was delighted to deliver Ferrari its first win since Hungary and bounce back after a rough period, having overhauled Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas early on en route to victory.
“Initially I had a very good getaway and then I had some wheelspin, so I thought that I’ve missed my chance,” Vettel said.
“But I think Valtteri was struggling even more off the line so I really had the chance to squeeze him on the inside line, I think I surprised him a bit, which obviously was very crucial.
“After that, I was pushing, after the safety car, for 65 laps flat out. I was trying to give everything to pull a little bit of a gap and control the race from there.
“I’m really happy especially for all the guys in the team and back home in Maranello. They’ve been working so hard.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for us, but nice to get it to the end and have both cars up here.”
Vettel headed up a double-podium finish for Ferrari as teammate Kimi Raikkonen took third, with the German’s result also putting him on the brink of securing P2 in the drivers’ championship.
Vettel enters the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi 22 points clear of Mercedes rival Bottas, meaning a top-eight finish will be enough to clinch runner-up in the final standings.