Vettel 'had his hands full' in Hungary with steering issue

© XPB 

Despite outward appearances, Sebastian Vettel says that the Hungarian Grand Prix had been anything but an easy run to victory.

Vettel's Ferrari developed steering problems shortly after the safety car period for Daniel Ricciardo's retirement. It prevented him from pulling out a big lead over his team mate Kimi Raikkonen, and left him vulnerable in the second half of the race.

"It was a really difficult race. Maybe it didn't look like, but I had my hands full from three, four laps after the safety car," he said. "It was a tough one. I was hoping for a bit more of a quiet afternoon.

"I felt already there was something not right when we dropped the car on the grid," he continued. "There was something wrong. I don't know why, the steering started to go sideways. It seemed to get worse.

"It was a weird feeling," he recalled. "Basically it was tilted to the left. You go down the straights and the steering isn't straight.

"The right handers are okay, but in left handers you have to get used to it. After a couple of laps it's okay.

"But if it keeps changing all the time it's difficult because you have to go further than you want, and then you think in your head. So not ideal!

"We spoke a little bit on the radio about it, talking through the problem. They told me to avoid the kerbs. But on a track where you use the kerbs, it compromises your performance.

"It wasn't easy. Didn't do a favour to Kimi, who obviously could go faster," he said. "In the end I was pretty well flat out and they were behind me queuing. It is good you cannot overtake around his track. I had no room for error.

"Toward the end it did came back a bit. I had a couple of laps where I had a bit of a cushion and could breath a bit.

"But I had to stay focussed the whole race," he added. "I was hoping for a couple of laps to breath but they didn't come, so it was really tough."

Despite the issues, Vettel was able to keep things together all the way to the chequered flag.

"I'm over the moon," he beamed. "It's been a very good weekend for us. Overall, very very happy for the team. Great result, great day. Couldn't be better today."

The result means that he's extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers championship to 14 points, but he wasn't overly interested in that aspect: "It's okay - it could be worse!"

Vettel can now put his feet up for a few weeks before the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix in four weeks time after Formula 1's mandatory summer shutdown.

"No big plans," he said when asked what he would do with the time off. "I just want to enjoy the time at home. We spend so much time on the road travelling, it's nice to just have a couple of days home and rest, and enjoy that."

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