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June 12th, 2011
A crestfallen Sebastien Vettel bemoaned his “only mistake” as a slide on the final lap cost him victory in an epic Canadian Grand Prix.
The final laps of the pulsating race saw McLaren’s Jenson Button homing in on Vettel, who appeared to have enough to match the Briton until his last-lap slip ruined an otherwise faultless performance.
“Of course, I’m disappointed,” said Vettel in the post-race press conference. “It was a very difficult race from start to finish, and we led every single lap apart from the last one. I was probably too conservative after the last safety car.
“To lead and then give it away is not the sweetest feeling.
“We did the best we could,” he added. “It was important to finish, especially in race like that, but to make my only mistake on the last lap is not very sweet at the moment.”
After handling Montreal’s changeable weather conditions superbly for the first 69 laps, Vettel was caught out as he tried to increase his pace to fend off Button.
“I was a little bit late on the brakes,” he explained. “It was a difficult finish to a hard race, I could see that especially in the last sector Jenson was coming very close and catching up.”
Vettel recovered to follow Button home in second place, ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher.
The German also commented on the two-hour, four-minute break between laps 25 and 26, which added to the unique experience of this Canadian GP.
“It was a long race, and then a long break,” said Vettel, who was seen out of the car during the interlude talking with Webber. “It was tough and one of the most challenging races of this year.”