Sebastian Vettel 'over the moon' to win difficult race with steering issue

Sebastian Vettel has described how a steering problem made what should have been a straight forward victory into a "really difficult race".

The Ferrari driver had the pace to control the race and immediately opened up a lead over his rivals when the Lap 1 Safety Car pitted, but then a few laps later, Vettel developed a steering issue that caused him to slow, meaning he spent the majority of the race defending his position from a faster Kimi Räikkönen behind.

"I’m over the moon, it was a really difficult race, maybe didn’t look like it, but I had my hands full from three or four laps after the Safety Car," explained Vettel.

"There was something wrong, I don’t know why, the steering started to go sideways, seemed to get worse. I stayed off the kerbs to try and save the car, it wasn’t easy.

"It didn’t do any favours for Kimi, who obviously could go faster. I didn’t have the pace, towards the end it came back at the end a bit, had a couple of laps where I had a bit of a cushion and could breathe a bit. It was really hard to stay focused the whole race, was hoping for a couple of laps to breath but they didn’t come, really tough but a great result, great day."

When asked what the specific issue was, Vettel was unsure and brushed it aside after winning the race and extending his championship lead.

"I don’t know, we’ll have a look," he added. "To be honest it doesn’t matter now, we won the race. Weird feeling because basically it was titled to the left, you go down the straight and the steering isn’t straight – right handers were okay but on left handers you have to get used to it, after a couple of laps it’s okay but it keeps changing all the time as you have to go further than you want.

"Not ideal, but as I said it doesn’t matter, big thanks to the team, a great race."