It wasn’t the best result for Ferrari’s home race, but at least the team was able to get a driver to salute the tifosi from the podium, after the difficulties of yesterday. Vettel is now three points behind the leader in the Drivers’ World Championship.
The German started alongside his team-mate Raikkonen on the third row but fought his way up to third.
But the four-time world champion revealed afterwards that he had taken damage during an excursion off the track that had left his car suffering an unknown problem.
“The last 15 or 20 laps, after I went off, something went wrong,” Vettel said over team radio after the race ended.
“That’s why I was going up and down on the engine. That explains why Ricciardo closed him down so quickly.
“It was entertaining. My start was not so good and it took a while for me to trust the car.” Vettel said on the podium.
“After that we were a bit isolated. We didn’t have the pace of the leading two drivers. Even if this race has been difficult, I know we have a strong car and will have a strong end to the season.”
Vettel remains self-assurance in Ferrari’s capability to contest Mercedes in the remaining seven races of 2017 F1 season.
“You could say it was a bad day, but I know the team is on the right way and there is a lot of stuff that is going to improve,” said Vettel.
“Overall, it has been amazing to see where we are, but I know we will get strong so I am in a positive mood.
“I’m not worried. I know that there is still a long way to go and we have the people behind us, so it is a great feeling.”