Sebastian Vettel expressed his devastation, after a mechanical failure robbed him of victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vettel, who had controlled the race from the start, was on course to take victory until an exhaust failure forced him to drop back through the field. Despite this, the German managed to hold off a charging Nico Rosberg to take fourth.
Meanwhile, it was also a frustrating day for Mark Webber who was forced to follow Jenson Button’s McLaren for the majority of the afternoon – he eventually finished eighth.
Sebastian Vettel (4th): “It’s a pity today. It was positive all weekend, except for the exhaust failure. From Saturday morning onwards, we were one of the quickest cars on track in all conditions. We had control of the race today and we were on top of the strategy – everything was running smoothly. I think at every point I knew how my tyres were, so we kept good control of the tyres and brakes. At some stage, I think about 15 to 20 laps from the end, you could see my lap times were getting slower. It seems something mechanical broke, luckily we could continue and finished fourth, but we should have won today. It cost us a lot, but we’ve got 12 important points.”
Mark Webber (8th): “It was a bit of a traffic jam out there. I had a fight with the two Mercedes in Turn one and Michael (Schumacher) had the inside for two; after that it was just about working out how we were going to jump them. It was very, very difficult to stay close to the cars in front. We got hurt yesterday in qualifying; we still managed to get a few points today, although not as many as we would have liked. We definitely learned a lot as a team today. It wasn’t the most exciting grand prix I’ve driven following gearboxes all afternoon but the world class drivers who were ahead don’t normally make mistakes. I tried as hard as I could to make Jenson (Button) and Michael make mistakes, but it wasn’t happening. We have a long Championship ahead and the boys are working incredibly hard; we showed last year we can fight, so I’m looking forward to Melbourne.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “It was cruel luck with Sebastian today. He drove a great race and was pulling away at the front. We had a very good pit stop with him and he was controlling the lead comfortably until lap 33, when he had a sudden loss of power. He was then powerless to defend to the Ferraris and Hamilton, but he drove extremely well to retain fourth position. It gives us valuable points, but ultimately it’s very disappointing to lose such a great opportunity for a victory. Mark lost ground in the first turn and a little more with a slight sticking front tyre at his pit stop, losing him a place to Jenson (Button). After that, despite being a lot faster than the cars in front, he was unable to overtake.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support: “It’s a very disappointing result. With the pace we showed yesterday we really thought we would get a better result. Mark had a bit of an engine problem at the start which lost him a place and then he lost another with the pit stop. He was eighth in the end, which shows how difficult it was to overtake. For Sebastian, everything seemed to be in our pocket, but then an exhaust problem caused him to lose power. He was still able to finish fourth, which shows great talent. We are a bit disappointed, but we can take a lot of positives from this weekend. We will clear the negatives and be stronger in Australia.”