Vettel praises organisers of Indian Grand Prix

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2011, 20:16 PM IST

Greater Noida: Double world champion and winner of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was full of praise for the newly-built Buddh International Circuit and lauded the organisers for coming up with the spanking track in such a short time.

"It`s great to see what the people did here with the arena in such a short amount of time. There were little bit (hiccups) here and there but it is common in a first race. I am sure next year everything will be perfect," the German said.

"The circuit is quite challenging. It is easy to commit mistake here. I enjoyed the circuit. (It has) some great high speed corners."

He also said that he enjoyed India`s hospitality during his stay in the country.

"India is a fantastic country. In our life we measure happiness by what we have achieved but it is not the case here. People are always happy, very friendly and co-operative," Vettel observed.

"It was great to be here and I`m looking forward to coming back here next year."

Vettel also said that even though Red Bull has already claimed the drivers` as well as contructor`s championship with two races to go in the season, they did not lack motivation going into the race.

"The car is fantastic, the team is doing well. The guys are always pushing very hard in the garage all the time. We have achieved a lot this season but we are hungry for more," he said.

Along with Vettel, the other two podium finishers -- McLaren Mercedes` Jenson Button and Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso -- used the opportunity to pay tributes to MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli and IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon -- both died recently in two horrific crashes.

"This is a fantastic win. I am proud to be the first winner (of Indian GP) but it comes with mixed emotions. Looking back at the last weekend, we lost two very good friends. The last couple of days have been hard time for the fans of motorsports," Vettel said at the post-race press conference after claiming his 11th title of the season out of 17 races.

"On one hand I`m happy but on the other hand, it is an opportunity to pay respect to them (Wheldon and Simoncelli). Our condolences are with their families," an emotional Vettel added.

Button, who came second after starting on the fourth position, was satisfied with his result but just like Vettel, dedicated his podium finish to the departed racers.

"The team did a perfect job today. We have made up for our disastrous qualifying session yesterday. We should dedicate this first Indian GP to Dan and Marco. The last week has been very sad for motorsports," the British driver said.

Third-placed Alonso also remembered Wheldon and Simoncelli after his podium finish.

"I`m happy to be on the podium in the first race in India, but as Sebastian (Vettel) and Jenson (Button) said it was mixed feeling today. We lost two great racers and we all should pray for them today. We will always remember those fantastic drivers," the Spaniard said.

While Wheldon was killed in a 15-car pile-up in an IndyCar race in Las Vegas on October 17, Simoncelli died due to injuries sustained in a crash in the Malaysian MotoGP six days later.

Like Vettel, Button also gave thumbs-up to the circuit and termed it as a "very special" one.

Button was satisfied with the second position finish and said McLaren`s car isn`t fast enough to compete with Red Bull.

"In the last race I struggled but got a good start today and then it was basically trying to hang on there. We did good this weekend. Yesterday, I struggled because of rhythm but today`s race was different.”

"The team did a good job but we didn`t have the pace of Red Bull and Sebastian. It is very difficult to challenge Red Bull and Sebastian. Hopefully, we can improve the car and challenge Sebastian in the last two races," he said.

Alonso, however, was not happy with his start.

"The start was not perfect. I lost too much ground. I tried to recover but it was too late," he said.

He also joined the chorus in showering praise at the newly-built circuit, saying "it has little bit of everything" for drivers.

"It is a fantastic circuit. It was very nice to drive. It had lot of dust and grip but it is normal for a new circuit. It will improve next year," Alonso signed off.

PTI