Vettel - Win wasn't easy
Australian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel insisted his victory in Melbourne was not as easy as it looked.
Last Updated: 27/03/11 6:24pm
Sebastian Vettel insisted his victory in the Australian Grand Prix was not as easy as it looked, despite his strong performance in Melbourne throughout the weekend.
The defending world champion did not put a wheel out of place during Sunday's race, leading comfortably off the line and eventually taking the chequered flag ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
However, neither was Vettel's win the crushing sort that might have been anticipated after he claimed pole position on Saturday with a lap almost eight tenths-of-a-second quicker than the rest.
He failed to pull decisively away from Hamilton during the early laps and although the gap then became more pronounced, the 22-second victory margin was only assured when the McLaren driver damaged the floor of his car.
"I'm very pleased, it was a very good weekend and I had a very nice car to sit in this afternoon," Vettel said. "It was a good race - towards the end things calmed down a bit. Lewis didn't push as hard, so we tried to control the last part of the race.
"I don't think it was easy today. The start was crucial and being on the clean side I had a very good getaway. I didn't know if it was enough, but then I saw Lewis and Mark (Webber) battling for position.
"I got a cushion on lap one and we tried to hold the gap for the first stint. When the tyres went off, Lewis caught up and we came in. I think it was the right time, as I couldn't have done more laps."
Vettel came up behind Jenson Button after his first stop and admitted that life could have been more difficult had he not managed to pass Hamilton's team-mate.
"After my first stop it was crucial to get past Jenson, which I did. That was important," he said.
"In the second part of the race I didn't know what was gong on behind Lewis, if he was under pressure or not, but towards the end of the race I could control it more.
"We learned a lot of things today. It's good coming here after a long winter and setting the pace."
Vettel's win also came despite team boss Christian Horner electing not to use Red Bull's KERS power boost because of reliability problems.
"He could have told me first, I was pushing the button all race and there was nothing there," Vettel joked.
However, team-mate Webber was left scratching his head after another disappointing performance in his home race.
The Australian pulled straight off the track after finishing fifth - Webber having almost passed Hamilton off the line but then needing three stops as tyre wear took its toll.
"I wasn't quick today and it was the same in qualifying yesterday, so we need to understand the reason why. There wasn't much else I could do today," he said.
"I lost the last position to Fernando (Alonso) during the pit stops and that was it really. It was very frustrating.
"Seb drove a good race, in terms of what the car can do, but it's not normal for me not to go and match the rhythm at the front.
"To finish that far behind is not really usual, but let's stay cool; it's the first race. I'm looking forward to going to Malaysia; I wish the race was tomorrow already.
"I was in a different race to Sebastian today, so we had to do different things. I was in trouble with the tyres much sooner than he was, so we need to have a look why."