Sebastian Vettel believes Esteban Ocon made the difference to win his maiden Formula 1 race at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he soaked up the pressure from the four-time world champion for over 60 laps.
Ocon and Vettel fought for the lead all race long with the gap rarely going above two seconds throughout the afternoon. Vettel was disqualified post-race but didn't have anything to make a real attack to overtake Ocon.
"Esteban made the difference," Vettel told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. "He drove a fantastic race and didn't do a mistake.
"The guy won his first Grand Prix and it's his day and his moment. I tried absolutely everything to push him into a mistake, he had some minor lock ups but nothing big and it's obviously not easy to pass. But it's also not easy to stay controlled and smooth like he did so well done to Esteban."
Ocon and Vettel found themselves towards the front of the pack following chaos on the opening lap at Turn 1 when Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas outbraked themselves, colliding with multiple cars including Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc.
Vettel thinks he was fortunate that his start from 10th in the grid was a poor one as it meant he missed both accidents.
"l had a really bad start, but it turned out to be the best place to be," said Vettel. "So I did get lucky. I took a bit of margin and in these conditions it's so easy to make a mistake as we saw.
"I really planned to be on the inside and it turned out to be the place to be, with other people taking each other out. I had a clear track, Esteban obviously reacted at the last second and we were on a similar trajectory and in a good place."
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