London: Sebastian Vettel rejected claims that his podium finish in Sunday`s British Grand Prix was a Christmas gift, the former four-time champion insisting that he and Ferrari had earned third place on merit.
"It was not a Christmas gift, Santa wasn`t there waving me into the pits, he didn`t tell me which lap (to pit)," said the German driver.
"It was our own decision, but not a lot of people got it right. That is our choice -- and that is what we achieved today.
"Yes, without the rain, we would not be on the podium, so I think we kept our heads down and we were patient enough to wait until the rain poured down properly at the end.
"And that is England for you! It helped us today. We came in on the perfect lap."
Vettel`s success consolidated his hold on third place in the drivers` championship despite Ferrari failing to match the pace of the victorious Mercedes team and rivals Williams.
In qualifying, Ferrari were fifth and sixth through Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel respectively, but they made the most of changing conditions to secure an unexpected result.
"It wasn`t a very good weekend for us. We expected to be stronger and we were surprised by the pace of Williams on Saturday and Sunday, but we made the right calls."