Sebastian Vettel has insisted that his world championship is not over, after Red Bull’s chances were severely dented during the Italian Grand Prix.
Both drivers experienced a disappointing afternoon and although Vettel managed to claim one world championship point in eighth, Mark Webber’s title chances were effectively ended after the Australian was eliminated on the first lap.
Despite this, Vettel believes that he still remains in the championship fight and will be competitive for the remainder of the season.
Sebastian Vettel – 8th: “I think we had a good start and a good first lap, but then I was struggling to stay with the cars in front. The biggest issue today was the first five to ten laps when I was struggling with low grip, I was sliding a lot and lost a lot of time.
“Overall, we didn’t have the speed and perhaps this wasn’t the best track for our car. For the next race we will put more downforce in again and maybe we’ll be better, we will see. The championship isn’t over – our target is to do our best, we’re here to win races and the championship, so we have to focus on that, all the rest is out of our hands.”
Mark Webber – DNF: “I had a reasonable start, I was trying to find a good line through the chicane. I had Sebastian in front, so I was pretty clean as I didn’t want to get tangled up with him. Both of us got through the first chicane, I was following Sebastian into the next, but then had a racing incident with Robert Kubica. It seems like his front wheel was inside my rear left at the second chicane, it was difficult to know he was there.
“We had contact which flicked the car into the air a little bit, then nosed it into the guard rail. The car was undamaged, but I couldn’t get it out and back onto the track. I couldn’t have done anything differently. It’s frustrating to retire through such a small incident, especially when all the guys have put so much effort into preparing the car. It’s not great for the Drivers’ Championship, but this is my first DNF of the year. We will bounce back from this and do what we can in the final races.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “A disappointing start to the race when Mark was tipped out by one of the BMWs and Sebastian lost quite a bit of time in the first stint behind Kubica, who then had a damaged front wing. Thereafter we were lucky to pick up one point following Hamilton’s accident. Unfortunately we just weren’t quick enough today it’s been our worst performance of the year at a track which has exposed some of our weaknesses. Hopefully the remaining circuits will come back more in our favour.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support: “What a disappointing result. To get only one point and have a retirement is very bad for us. Brawn scored a one-two finish, so congratulations to them but our result is hard to swallow. It’s going to be very difficult in both titles for us, but we won’t give up we still have four races in which we can fight.”