Sebastian Vettel says that the Monaco Grand Prix weekend was all about Niki Lauda, and believes everyone will miss the Formula 1 legend who passed away on Tuesday after battling a long illness following a lung transplant in August last year.
The German enjoyed a fairly quiet race on the day, but performed solidly to finish second and break the current run of one-two finishes for Mercedes.
First and foremost, however, he thinks remembering Lauda was more important than the race result.
“Today is obviously about the winner, so congrats to Lewis [Hamilton], but even more so about Niki. He would be happy today,” Vettel said after the conclusion of the GP.
“But I think, he will always be around. We will definitely miss him. I think he's been an icon in the past and will be in the future. So, my thoughts are with his family, and with him.”
Looking back on the race itself, Vettel claims he tried to take advantage of the collision between Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas in the pitlane, and although he managed to get ahead of the latter, he couldn’t get his tyres hot enough to get beyond the Dutchman.
“Yeah, it was obviously a tough race to manage. In Monaco, something always can happen, and today something happened. I think we had a good stop - Max must have had an incredible stop,” he admitted.
“Yeah, obviously saw them [Verstappen and Bottas] touching in the pitlane, so yeah, I thought there could be a good chance for me to capitalise on Valtteri's puncture, which was a shame for him.
“From there, we tried to stay there, to put the pressure on. Obviously, with Max's penalty after that, we tried to always stay in range. I struggled a little bit towards the end of the race, I struggled with my rear tyres.
“I think Lewis and Max were in a worse position, managing the tyres, but mine were just not getting hot. So, it was actually a bit tricky.
“Obviously, a great result for us and the team, but we know we've got a lot of work to do. We know we're not yet quick enough compared to these guys,” he said of Mercedes.
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