It was another victory for Sebastian Vettel and more champagne showers in Spain, but it was a checkered flag which was ground out from start to finish with the celebrations kept on hold until the very last corner.
From the first turn, at which Fernando Alonso undercut both Sebastian and Mark Webber to take the lead, through the eight pit stops our boys took, to the final 15-lap battle between Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, it was never a sure thing that we’d come away with the win.
But another podium it was, another 37 championship points, and another celebration for Seb. The shame was that McLaren’s strong run on different strategies prevented Vettel's teammate Mark from joining him on the podium. However, Mark demonstrated again his determination under pressure with a valiant fight against Alonso.
"It’s quite a release when you cross the line and you know that you made it." -Vettel
For our reigning world champion, relief was the overriding emotion after winning the tense battle with Hamilton. In the final 10 laps, Sebastian not only had to contend with Lewis breathing down his neck but also manage the KERS system and the Pirellis: “My tires were going away from me and I prayed the same was happening to Lewis, as he was catching up. At the end of the straights he would be right in my mirrors.
"It was very close, but on the last two laps, I could make it stick. It’s quite a release when you cross the line and you know that you made it, so I’m very, very happy.”
Mark, meanwhile, was left to reflect on a frustrating afternoon of cat-and-mouse tactics that just didn’t go his way on the day: “It was a bit of a chess game. People were covering each other’s pit stops and I really didn't do much racing on track. We were frustrated by Fernando who seemed to pit every time I did! At certain stages I was quick and at others I wasn’t – that’s the way it was today.”
It’s the quickest turnaround of the season now as the cars are due to be running again in just four days time around the idyllic harbor course in Monte Carlo. While for many, the Monaco Grand Prix is about glamour, fashion, boats and parties, for us it’s another chance to add more points to both our drivers’ tallies.
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