Vettel thought he had 'missed chance'
12 November 2017 – Sebastian Vettel says he initially thought he had missed his opportunity to pass Valtteri Bottas off the line, before making a race-winning move into the Senna 'S' at the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel lined up from second place on the grid but neither he nor Bottas made strong getaways, as they duelled for the lead into the Senna 'S'.
Vettel pulled alongside his rival on the run to the left-hander and edged clear, before preserving the advantage through the next sequence of corners, at which point the Safety Car was deployed.
Vettel bolted clear at the restart and preserved an advantage over Bottas through the remainder of the race to record his fifth win of the campaign, and first since the summer break.
"Initially I had a very good getaway and then I had some wheelspin," said Vettel.
"I thought, 'I've missed my chance', but then Valtteri was struggling even more so I really had a chance to squeeze down the inside.
"I think I surprised him a bit, which obviously is very crucial.
"I think after that we were pushing after the Safety Car for the remaining 65 laps flat out, I was trying to give everything to pull a little bit of a gap, to control the race from there.
"So I'm really happy, especially for all the guys and the team back in Maranello, they're working so hard.
"It's been a tough couple of weeks for us but it's nice to get it today and have both cars up here."
Vettel went on to describe his win as a "relief", after a sequence of events compromised by incidents and reliability setbacks, which derailed his title bid.
"I think for now it's been a great relief, it's been a very tough day, tough race," he said.
"I just spoke with Valtteri, I think the pace was all… we were all more or less the same, it was very difficult, no room for mistakes, really difficult to control the tyres for the whole race."
Vettel is now 22 points clear of Bottas in the standings.