Z Spark plug problems in Bahrain, a defective wheel nut in Melbourne - for Sebastian Vettel the season didn't start quite as planned. All the greater was the joy that the perfect race finally worked out in Malaysia on Sunday. 'The car held up and the weather stayed dry', the German said happily afterwards.
Only the heat bothered the Red Bull driver. 'It's really brutal in the car. I sweated a lot and lost a lot of fluids throughout the race. Luckily we had enough to drink with us. Now I'm glad we're out of this oven. It's not so pleasant for Europeans. '
On the podium, he was able to quench his thirst with a well-chilled magnum bottle. However, this had unexpected effects. 'I feel a bit tipped up,' admitted the German with beaming eyes. 'I guess I took too big a sip from the champagne bottle. The heat probably also plays a role.'
Back in the lead in the overall standings
Vettel will be able to cope with it. Like last year, he took home his first win of the season in the third race. And now it's off to China, where the German triumphed in 2009. 'You have to look at it separately. Last year was last year. Now is a new season. We just have to maintain our good performance and earn points.'
In the overall standings, Vettel has now made a big step forward can do. Together with Fernando Alonso, the Red Bull is in second place. Felipe Massa is only two points away. 'We knew that nothing had been decided yet. Of course our position is now much better than this morning. I saw that Fernando Alonso apparently had an engine problem on the last lap. I was 25 points behind him. So that's not now more the case. We have shown that we can fight back. '