Belgian GP: Sebastian Vettel says Spa start carnage proves Formula 1 title battle wide open
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer
||Sunday, September 2nd 2012, 14:17 GMT
Sebastian Vettel says the Belgian Grand Prix result shows that the 2012 Formula 1 title fight is still wide open.
As points leader Fernando Alonso and title contender Lewis Hamilton were eliminated in a frightening first-lap tangle with Romain Grosjean, Vettel came through from 10th on the grid to finish second and reduce Alonso's points lead to 24.
"It's better than before!" said Vettel. "I had a look when I went on holiday, and right now I don't care about scoring and points, but I care about the championship.
"I don't know what happened in the first corner but [Alonso] didn't finish the race.
"I am not bothered by gaps and points. You saw the first corner and you see how quickly things can change - that is racing.
"Next week we go to Monza, and it would be nice to qualify on pole and be first into the chicane. Behind there it can be a bit more of a risk."
The first-lap crash had not initially worked to Vettel's benefit, as he was delayed behind the tangled cars and came out in 12th. A series of passes and a one-stop strategy then brought him through to second behind runaway winner Jenson Button.
"I think after the first corner I was probably only one not improving," Vettel said.
"A lot of cars crashed in front of us. I had a poor initial launch and lost positions.
"I started around the Force Indias and they were with Jenson at the first corner, and I was with Caterham.
"The pace was there but it was not easy up the straight when everyone has DRS available.
"You're still on the limiter and it's difficult to benefit from that.
"But we made reasonable progress through the field and then were able to have a couple of good laps in clean air.
"That allowed us to come back through strategy, which enabled us to finish second.
"We didn't expect the tyres to last that well. Most people were thinking of two or three stops and one stop seemed out of reach, but after a couple of laps it was clear the tyres were lasting pretty well and the pace was not too bad.
"Saturday morning went quite well, qualifying was shit and Sunday was OK. I'm happy with second."