Sebastian Vettel lodged another personal landmark with his seventh consecutive win in Abu Dhabi, but as usual, the 2013 World Champion was keen to take the focus off the statistics.
He also pointed out that it wasn’t as routine as it might have looked from the outside.
“The thing is that what people see is seven races,” he said. “People don’t see the challenge it takes every single race to nail it. It’s been exceptional. The fact that we got everything right – smooth pit stops, reliability – all these things need to come together. The numbers are not that important to me, but equally they make me very, very proud.”
For Vettel, Abu Dhabi proved to be a fairly straightforward race after he jumped pole man Mark Webber at the start, and quickly opened up a lead on nearest pursuer Nico Rosberg.
“I realized that we were pulling away from Nico and also from Mark,” Vettel said. “Obviously, you make use of it because you don’t know what’s coming later on in the race. We had a very, very strong pace on the option (tire). We could even have stayed out a little bit longer. I was busy, for sure. I was pushing because I felt that I can take lap time, I can take a couple of seconds out of the guys behind, so I was pushing but I was also trying to look after them to be flexible on strategy and help the guys on the pit wall to make the call.
“Also, I could then afford to take it a little bit easier in the pit lane which I think is one of the trickiest all year with a slippery entry and a very narrow exit. I think it just all came together. I think it was a perfect day for us.”
Vettel acknowledged that he’s enjoyed some great races in Abu Dhabi: “This year, for sure, stands out in a way that we had control over the race, very, very strong pace and could match the cars behind whenever we had to, and were able to pull out a very, very big gap, so in a way, similar to – if you look at the time and the gaps – a little bit similar to the race in Singapore.
“It’s a bit similar, if you look at the track layout, quite technical, quite challenging, obviously mostly low-speed corners but important to get the balance right in the car and to look after the tires, which I think we did very well.”Abu Dhabi GP, Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel