Vettel surprised by costly drive-through
|By Geoff Creighton||Sunday, September 27th 2009, 15:12 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel was left surprised by the drive-through penalty that cost him a chance of fighting for victory at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Red Bull driver Vettel went on to finish in fourth position, 20 seconds behind winner Lewis Hamilton, after being caught speeding during his second pitstop.
Up until then Vettel was fighting Hamilton for the race lead.
The German said the team will need to look at the incident, as he was unsure why it had happened.
"That's all we could do in the end, fourth place," Vettel told BBC Sport. "Obviously I had a chance today to get at least a podium. I think, especially in the second stint we were quite quick, able to push to put some pressure on Lewis.
"Obviously I knew I would pit earlier, so there was no chance to get him at the pitstop, so I wasn't in a rush really and then I was very surprised when I got the call 'drive-through for speeding in the pitlane.'
"My point of view... As I said I wasn't in a rush and therefore can't really explain why I got caught. We have to check if it's maybe an electronic issue, but it was working before and afterwards so it's difficult to say.
"For sure disappointment because the car was quick. I was a bit unlucky with the start and then got traffic in both first and second stint. After that, obviously with the drive through, I think it was the best that we could do.
Vettel had to complete a big part of the race with a damaged car, first having lost one of his mirrors and then damaging the rear diffuser when running over a kerb.
"It was falling apart," he said. "It's a very tough race for the car, with a lot of bumps. At some point my mirror started to vibrate and then shake more and more up to the point where it fell off completely, so after that I felt that the car wasn't exactly the same.
"Nowadays every single bit of downforce is useful and, on top of that, towards the end we had a problem with the diffuser. I think I went a bit wide, exit of Turn 5, hit the kerb and damaged the strakes."
The Red Bull driver still managed to finish ahead of Brawn rivals Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, but he's 25 points behind the Briton with just 30 to play for.
Vettel said he will still try to win the remaining races.
"We will do the same as this race. We try to attack the maximum, try to win, I think we were quite close today and definitely had a chance. Would have been difficult of course to pass Lewis because of the straights, with the KERS, it's not really exciting when you are behind. We keep pushing and try to win races."