Apr 14, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT
Sebastian Vettel is disappointed to have finished off the podium in China following a strong run to 4th.
The defending world champion started 9th on the medium compound tire, but he closed on 3rd placed Hamilton in the dying stages of the race, eventually finishing just 0.2 seconds behind the Mercedes. However, Vettel did admit he was unsure whether or not he could catch Hamilton.
“When I came on to the long straight and saw Lewis at the other end turning into the hairpin I thought ‘well, that’s a bit too far’,” Vettel said in a team statement.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
“But obviously we had much more speed on the fresher tires. It was a little bit disappointing to lose out by such a tiny bit; a few corners more and we could have tried something.”
Vettel believes that he lost the chance to jump Hamilton during his first stint, getting stuck behind Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg.
“We knew it would be difficult and that it was crucial to get clean laps, but we didn’t in the first stint. I was faster than Nico, but if you follow another car you lean on your front tires too much and it was hard to find the right compromise, but overall we can be happy.”
Red Bull had a mixed weekend, with Mark Webber failing to finish the race having started from the pit lane, but they still lead both championships and they will be working hard to improve their fortunes in Bahrain next weekend.