Mark Webber said he his best start of the season as the lights went out in Monaco, only to find himself stuck behind the Mercedes pair around the notoriously tricky Monte Carlo circuit.
Not known for his fast starts, Webber and team-mate Vettel both made good getaways, but couldn’t get passed Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Forced to settle in behind them, only a mistake behind the safety car allowed the Tilbrook team to leapfrog Hamilton at his pit-stop, following Rosberg home to their second and third place finishes.
“I got an absolutely incredible start and it’s sod’s law that it’s the shortest run into the first corner here,” Webber said.
“Seb and I had nowhere to go, so we were lifting while Nico and Lewis looked like they had tricky ones. We will save some of those starts for future reference!
“Then after that it was basically about saving the tyres and making the one-stop work for us. It was predictable that if the race was going to stack up, then the two-stop was not really an option as you could have come back into traffic. We had to go pretty long and all the drivers were nursing the tyres – it was nice to get Lewis on the stops.”
Vettel likened the Mercedes duo to buses, but was pleased to open his championship lead.
“I had a fantastic start, but there was no room! I think I could have gone past both Mercedes, but there was no space and I had to lift.
“I was a bit surprised by the slow pace of the opening laps – usually you expect two silver arrows in front of you, but they were more like buses today going for a cruise on the first couple of laps.
“But, the strategy for them was clear and they did a very good job. It was a good strategy from our team to get past Lewis.
“It was hard with the restarts, but we can be happy with the result. It was a good achievement by the team; we seem to like this place. Congratulations to everyone and thanks to all our partners – two cars on the podium is very good.”