Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Formula One: There’s a long way to go, says Vettel after winning Turkish Grand Prix

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 08: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme after winning the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit on May 8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 08: F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone shares a joke with Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing on the grid before the start of the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit on May 8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 08: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren drives during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit on May 8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel is adamant he is not unbeatable despite his near-perfect start to the defence of his Formula One world title.

From four grand prix this season Vettel has scooped four poles, three victories and a second to give him 93 points from a potential maximum of 100.

The 23-year-old's latest triumph, in Turkey yesterday, was untroubled as he led for 56 of the 58 laps around the Istanbul Park circuit in a Red Bull that appears virtually untouchable.

Vettel's only blemish was a tactical one on behalf of the team in the last race in China when they opted for a two-stop strategy, in contrast to Lewis Hamilton's winning three-stopper.

On this occasion Hamilton finished fourth, a remarkable 40 seconds behind Vettel who was 8.8 seconds clear of team-mate Mark Webber for an 11th Red Bull one-two.

At present it appears all too easy for Vettel and Red Bull.

But Vettel said: “The day you start to think you are unbeatable is the day you are beaten.

“We are racing at the highest level where we all try to win, try to be better than the other guys.

“But there is always someone at some point who will teach you a lesson and will give you a very hard time and beat you.

“Of course I'm very happy with today, the start of the season and how we work together as a team and pull together in one direction. But there is never any time to really rest and think everything is under control.

“It's been a good start to the season, but there is a long, long way to go.

“We've only had four of 19 races, so I think you can work out how many points are left.”

Vettel admitted to being in control from start to finish, enjoying “a smooth race” while overtaking mayhem unfolded behind him.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso made the podium for the first time this season, while behind Hamilton, who is second in the standings but a whopping 34 points behind Vettel, came Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.

Hamilton admitted he was too rash on the first lap when he attempted to pass Webber, losing two places.

“I've apologised to the guys because they worked as hard as they could, but we were definitely able to do better,” said Hamilton.

“The problem is I made a couple of mistakes at the beginning which cost me quite a lot of ground, but to get fourth is not too bad a recovery.”

As for Button, he revealed his three-stop strategy, in comparison to the four of all those around him, ultimately proved costly.

“In some ways it was the wrong one. I'm so disappointed to finish where I did,” said Button.

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