Sebastian Vettel, who charged through the field in the Canadian Grand Prix, was delighted to finish fifth, just four seconds behind Kimi Raikkonen.
Vettel, who had dropped out after the first qualifying session due to power problems with his Ferrari, was also penalised five grid places for overtaking Roberto Merhi under red flag conditions during Saturday's third free practice session. He started the race in 18th position.
“It was a fun race,” he said. “Starting from the back is always more entertaining. We had a great time in the race, the pace just kept coming so as soon as we were in free air we could progress. I would have loved to have had a better opening lap but there were no real gaps to dive into, so I had to wait. I started to overtake cars after that.”
The German downplayed a few racing incidents with Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg. This despite narrowly missing Hulkenberg's spinning Force India while overtaking and briefly coming into to contact with Alonso's car as he passed.
“It was fairly clear [with Hulkenberg]. I was a lot quicker, I was arriving and I didn't stress that much to prepare the overtaking. When I got close enough I went around the outside, braking later and still managing to get the corner. I was clearly ahead and then I saw him opening the brakes into the last part of the chicane, so I reacted and jumped the second part because if I started on the track, we would have crashed."
“[With Alonso] In hindsight I should have been smarter. Obviously Fernando was not giving in one inch! The second time around I was a bit cleverer and benefited from a better exit. I had a better radius and more speed on the way out. It was close, I touched him with my front-right wheel, but fortunately nothing happened.”