Rosberg: Ferrari has sacrificed Raikkonen
Melbourne – Sebastian Vettel confesses to having asked higher powers for help in his victory in Melbourne. Lewis Hamilton proves a fair loser. The voices.
With a coup during the virtual safety car phase Sebastian Vettel took victory over permanent rival Lewis Hamilton at the season opener of Formula 1 in Melbourne – and admits: “Of course we were a bit lucky.
Nevertheless, the four-time world champion knew that he could hardly have put Lewis Hamilton in serious trouble without the Virtual Safety Car.
“It was a strategic masterpiece by Ferrari, which they did brilliantly,” praised former World Champion Nico Rosberg on RTL, but also found critical words: “Unfortunately, they sacrificed something strategically for Kimi.
Titleholder Hamilton was fierce: “The World Championship is still long – it’s not just a race” (SERVICE: The Drivers’ Championship).
SPORT1 summarizes the votes from RTL, the press conference and the pit lane:
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 1st place: “I prayed for a safety car – and suddenly there was the Haas in the bend. Then, of course, the adrenaline went up. I had to get out in front of Lewis because it’s hard to overtake here. It was a close fight, only in the last rounds I could enjoy it a bit. We’re not quite where we want to be. We’re not on a par with Mercedes yet. Lewis was the fastest man out there. There’s been a couple of races against us this past year, and it’s evening out. But today was our key to victory, no question about it.”
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2nd place: “It was an incredible weekend. Congratulations to Sebastian and the Ferrari. You just did the best job. We need to look at this again and work on it. In the end I was able to put some pressure on him again, I tried to keep up the pressure. I made a few mistakes. Because Sebastian had the fresher tyres, I came as close as I could. But the aerodynamics make it so difficult. I also fought the engine temperatures. You’ve gone up too high.”
Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari), 3rd place: “The race was okay. What are you gonna do? Fortunately Sebastian was fortunate enough to be on his side. The speed was actually quite ok but it is simply difficult to overtake here. I stayed close to Lewis, tried it once in turn two, but didn’t pass. Red Bull had a bit fresher tyres in the end, but I was able to defend the podium and what we had in mind was clear. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. Today it turned out that we had two cars on the podium at the end” (SERVICE: Der Rennkalender)
Fernando Alonso (McLaren), 5th place: “That was a good race. We had great potential. Now we can defend ourselves and attack, that is now another racing. Now we have to get even more performance out of the car. If everything goes according to plan, we should be close to Red Bull soon.”
Max Verstappen (Red Bull), 6th place: “The start was good. Sebastian moved in and then I had no room. After five or six laps I always had to struggle with a lot of understeer in the middle of the corners. That’s why it was difficult to drive. After that I had a spin – that was a pity. I don’t think I took too many risks.”
Nico Hülkenberg (Renault), 7th place: “It was an exciting race. In the end it got pretty tight with the gas. Of course I didn’t want to give up seventh place against Bottas, but I had to watch out for the fuel. Finally, it is a good and deserved seventh place” (SERVICE: The team ranking).
Nico Rosberg (former World Champion): “This was a strategic masterpiece by Ferrari. You did a brilliant job. Unfortunately, they sacrificed something strategically to Kimi. Sebastian was clearly number one. Lewis had to respond to Kimi. So Sebastian could stay outside and that gives many chances. Then a little luck was added and Mercedes was five seconds behind. Something went massively wrong. That’s what cost her the win.”