British Grand Prix: Sebastien Vettel says Ferrari podium not a gift

Sebastian Vettel insisted his British Grand Prix podium was "not a gift" and earned on merit, though he conceded the Ferrari Formula 1 team was off the pace at Silverstone

British Grand Prix: Sebastien Vettel says Ferrari podium not a gift

The Ferraris were beaten to row two by the Williams on Saturday and then lost further ground in the opening stages of the race.

Vettel dropped to ninth early on but managed to recover to the podium thanks to a perfectly-timed change to intermediates tyres that vaulted him ahead of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas as the Williams lost ground in the wet.

But when it was suggested to Vettel that his podium was 'a Christmas present', he replied: "It's not a gift, Santa didn't wave me into the pits.

"It was our decision, and obviously not a lot of people got it right - we did, that was our choice and that's what we achieved."

British GP report: Hamilton takes hard-fought home win

He said the pit timing had been down to his own judgement from the cockpit.

"It's a tough call to make - if it rains some cars are already pitting and you think about it, but if the circuit is dry in most places there's no point," Vettel said.

"Then I came out of Chapel and noticed a lot more rain, I was looking at the clouds all the laps before, and I thought that's the lap to go.

"The rain was more intense, proper rain, not drizzle."

Vettel conceded Ferrari had been upstaged by its rivals for most of the event.

"It was not a very good weekend for us, we expected to be stronger," he said.

"I think the Williams pace surprised us on Saturday in qualifying and also on Sunday.

"I don't think we did a step back, we just couldn't find the right direction this weekend.

"It's tight between us and Williams, and Red Bull were quick this weekend so I think they have done a step forward."

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