Pole position and victory, all on the same day - for Sebastien Vettel, Sunday's outing at Suzuka could not have worked out any better. Autoblog UK spoke with him afterwards.
Was there a moment in the race where you thought things might get a bit tricky?
Sebastian Vettel: Well obviously Mark was trying to pressure me, but I always managed to react quickly enough. I was in no great hurry after the pit stop, because it wasn't possible to build up a massive lead over Mark and it wouldn't have been worthwhile. If something unforeseen happens, you need to have good tyres, and I was aiming to nurse them through to the end. My speed was absolutely adequate, so there would have been no sense in pulling away and maybe damaging the engine or wearing out the tyres in the process. On the last couple of laps, I eased up on the gas slightly while Mark was trying to push more. But it was clear to me that, as long as I was ahead and stayed ahead, nothing could go wrong.
Was it a big relief to have got away from the grid unscathed?
Sebastian Vettel: Yes, absolutely. I got off to a good start. Robert had a super start and was catching up in my slipstream, but he didn't have quite enough track before we reached the first corner. The safety car then came out for a relatively long period, and after the restart, the important thing for me and Mark was to pull away from the rest of the field.
Sebastian Vettel: Especially since they introduced the new points system, the championship is going to be up for grabs right up to the final race. I think we're in for a few more surprises yet. This season has been full of ups and downs and it looks like there could be a few more to come. We have to make sure that we are consistent and that, even we don't win, we're at least up on the podium. We have to ensure that we always get the maximum out of each race.