Sebastian Vettel admits his victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix comes as a "great relief" for Ferrari, having been beaten to the Formula One world championship title by Lewis Hamilton.
The German snatched the lead from polesitter Valtteri Bottas when the lights went out and held onto his advantage over the Finn throughout to claim his fifth victory of the 2017 season. Ferrari's strategy ensured Vettel retained his lead through the single round of pit stops, despite Mercedes' attempts to pull off an undercut.
When asked how he will celebrate his (and Ferrari's) first victory since July's Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel replied: "I think for now it's a great relief," Vettel said. "It's been a tough day, tough race. It was really difficult, no room for mistakes. A little bit difficult to control the tyres the whole race so we'll have a drink here and we'll see what's coming."
Vettel believes his lightning-quick start to beat Bottas into the first corner proved the crucial moment en route to sealing his eighth F1 win for the Scuderia.
"Initially I had a very good launch so I thought 'I got this'. I was maybe a bit too greedy with the throttle and spinning the wheels a little bit, losing a little bit of the momentum on Valtteri but then I looked over, and saw that he was still struggling. Then I sort of came a little bit on the second phase which was just enough to give me the momentum to hang in there into the first corner and I knew I had to go for it.
"There was a little bit of a gap, I went for that, and obviously it turned out to be very important. I think I surprised him a bit, which obviously was very crucial. I'm really happy especially for all the guys in the team and back home in Maranello. They've been working so hard. It's been a tough couple of weeks for us but nice to get it to the end and have both cars up here."