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Vettel: Max deserved to win

Vettel: Max deserved to win

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Vettel: Max deserved to win

Vettel: Max deserved to win

Sebastian Vettel's performance at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday allowed him to claim a podium position and overtake Lewis Hamilton in the championship rankings, but although he would have wanted more, the German has conceded that Max Verstappen deserved to win.

Vettel went into the GP with Hamilton leading in the F1 driver rankings, but thanks to a mid-race retirement from the 2017 world champion, the German retook the lead having conceded it last week in France.

Due to a penalty Vettel started further back in the grid, but he is pleased to have recovered to get on the podium.

No, I think that is boring if I take that," Vettel told Sky Sports when asked if he would have taken a podium place before the race.

"I don't want to sound arrogant but you never know what the race is holding up. Obviously it looked after lap one than it did going into the last lap. I think we had a really good car, really good pace and obviously, we were quite far back after lap one and we recovered well. I'm obviously happy with the podium and it was a great race, but equally, I think there was more to grasp. I don't know, a bit mixed."

Vettel was then asked if there were discussions to allow him to go ahead of Kimi Raikkonen into second to extend his lead over Hamilton in the rankings, but he simply said: "No, why?

READ MORE: Raikkonen 'f***ing disappointed' with Austria podium

READ MORE: Verstappen targets championship gains after 'incredible' Austria win

"I was trying to hunt both of them down. I think Kimi was pushing as hard as he could and I was pushing as hard as I could. I think the both of us were catching [Verstapppen].

"Obviously, I was further back in lap one. I lost with the pitstop. Arguably I had to recover more than others but I'm fine with that. I think we had great speed, but the difference was made with the tyres today, which worked well. The strategy worked well.

Vettel then went on to praise the race management of Verstappen, who claimed his first victory of 2018 in front of thousands of fans draped in the orange of the Netherlands.

"I think Max won the race because he deserved it. He did very well managing his tyres to the end. He didn't have any mistakes by my understanding.

"Kimi did everything he could - he had one lockup I believe and he lost a position to Daniel, but he recovered after that and I tried my bit to come back.

"Obviously, saving tyres and pushing at the same time, you're a bit blind because the race is long and it was more than 50 laps with the same tyres. So I tried to do all of that and I think, most of it, I got more or less right. But I think also it could have been a bit better today without the plus three from the start."

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