Sebastian Vettel says his third place finish on his Ferrari debut in Australia ‘feels like a victory’.
Vettel shadowed Felipe Massa throughout the first stint, and was able to jump the Williams racer at his one and only stop, despite stopping later than the Brazilian.
Despite finishing over half a minute shy of the dominant Mercedes team-mates, Vettel says it was special to finish on the podium in his first race for the Scuderia.
“I think this was a great race for us,” Vettel said. “Obviously the start was not ideal, I was very close.
“I did not succeed to pass Felipe straight away and then we had a great strategy and were able to save some tyres to, yeah, go the opposite of the usual strategy to overtake someone through the pitstop, so that worked very well.
“It has been very calm, very professional, led by the pitwall throughout the race. Of course it’s not a victory but for us today it feels like a victory.”
Vettel praised the efforts of his new team, and admitted he was already enjoying the magic of driving for Ferrari.
“It’s a great relief after a horrible season last year to know that the car in general is working,” he added. “People have done a great job both on engine and chassis sides, so big compliments to Maranello obviously.
“I’ve secretly been a fan, now officially I can be a fan of Ferrari and since the day I got there, there is something magic about the place. I feel very happy.
“I had a very good time with Red Bull and certainly was able to learn a lot, the experience I can now bring into the new project as well. So, as I said, people are fired up and we know where we want to go.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari