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Formula One: Steering wheel of fortune for Vettel

Budapest, Hungary | AFP |  Sebastian Vettel admitted he was glad that it is so difficult to overtake around the tight Hungaroring circuit after nursing his Ferrari car, with steering problems, to victory in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion, whose victory lifted him 14 points clear of nearest rival Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in this year’s title race, said he felt something wrong with his car on the grid, adding that it became worse during the race.

“It was a tough one for me” he told reporters after the 46th win of his career. “I was hoping for a bit more of a quiet afternoon.

“I felt already there was something not right when we dropped the car on the grid. The steering wheel was not on straight. It didn’t feel right and then it got worse.

“I did try to adapt. I knew you could not change it and then I tried to save the rears. We spoke a little bit on the radio about it, talking through the problem.

“They told me to avoid the kerbs, but on a track where you use the kerbs, it compromises your performance. In the second stint I wanted to make sure I could use the tyres so I was holding back.

“In the end I was pretty well flat out and they were behind me queuing. It is good you cannot overtake around his track — I had no room for error!”

He added that Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who finished second behind him was “a lot faster” that he was during the closing stages of the race.

“Kimi had good pace and could go a lot faster than me for the majority of the race,” he said.

Raikkonen said: “I had the whole race following Sebastian and hoping he goes as fast as he can and not saving tyres — as the Mercedes was catching me.

“But I was not too worried because the car was handling well,” he said. “I could follow [Vettel] very well, but it wasn’t ideal because I felt I had the speed and I was stuck in the middle.”

 

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