Hamilton had been comfortably leading throughout the race when a late safety car period saw Mercedes pit the race leader while second-placed Nico Rosberg and Vettel in third stayed out. Hamilton rejoined just behind Vettel and was unable to pass the Ferrari, and Vettel praised Ferrari for being close enough to Mercedes to take advantage.
"Obviously a bit of a turnaround in the end, which was a bit of a surprise, but we were there in the moment when it mattered obviously we were able just to pip Lewis when we he came out of the pits," Vettel said. "I think it was pretty close but I was pretty confident I was ahead.
"We tried all race to put pressure on Nico but I think, first of all, he had the speed to respond and second, when we decided to pit we were probably a little bit too far back and the undercut didn’t really work.
"Nevertheless, P2 is a great result for the team, thanks for the hard work. It’s good to be always there and I think we were a lot closer in the race than in qualifying so hopefully we can keep up this trend."
Asked if had considered switching to the supersoft tyres under the safety car, Vettel replied: "Not for the safety car.
"Obviously depending on the gaps behind to the car behind, we spoke about some things, some options, should the safety car come at various times but at that time it was clear that we stay out."
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