Sebastian Vettel has said that he has apologised for putting his own ambitions above those of the team, yet he is not sorry about winning.
Vettel passed team-mate Mark Webber for the race lead in Malaysia, disobeying orders to remain behind the Australian.
“Obviously what stuck to their [people's] heads is the way the race ended, but I think as I said there’s not much more to add than what happened,” he said in an interview with title sponsors Infiniti ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
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“I told the team straight after, I apologised for putting myself above the team, which I didn’t mean to do, but there’s not much more to say really.”
“I don’t apologise for winning – I think that’s why people employed me in the first place and why I’m here. I love racing and that’s what I did.”
The reigning world champion also believes the team orders saga deflected attention away from the pace of the Red Bull RB9.
“In Malaysia we were surprised again to be at the top and racing at the top and the whole race we worked excellently well with the tyres. I think that’s what people forgot and I think what stuck to their heads was the way the race ended.”
Vettel, who claimed Red Bull’s maiden victory in China in 2009, reckons that tyres will play a large part in determining this weekend’s result.
“I think we’re still in the learning process,” he said. “Obviously the first two races helped a lot and I think it was very obvious to see that working with the tyres and trying to make the tyres last is crucial. It determines your strategy and therefore determines your race and the result.”
“I think we’ve still got a lot to learn but we made some improvements and we tweaked the car a little bit to help that. But on the other hand we’ll still have to come here, come to China, set the car up on Friday, see where we are, see how long the tyres last and go from there.”