Champion has mixed feelings

Champion has mixed feelings

Deaths of Wheldon, Simoncelli temper celebratory mood

Participants pay respects to Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, who died in separate crashes in the last fortnight

“To be honest with you, it is a mixed emotion,” said Vettel, the first winner of the Indian Grand Prix.

“On the one hand, I'm very, very happy. It is the first Grand Prix in India and I am proud to be the first winner. On the other hand, looking back to last weekend, we lost two of our mates. I didn't know Dan Wheldon but he was a big name in the sport. This year I got to know Marco Simoncelli, and our thoughts are with them.”

IndyCar driver Wheldon and Moto GP rider Simoncelli suffered tragic on-track deaths in the space of two weeks in the United States and in Malaysia. These incidents have forced the motor sport fraternity to look into the safety aspect of the sport, even though a lot has already been done.

“Yes, we are ready to take certain risks and jump into the car but we obviously pray every time that nothing happens. Sometimes, you get reminded of the risks you are taking and that's the last thing we want to see,” said the 24-year-old. Vettel was off the mark in brilliant fashion from pole position and led right through to the chequered flag, in the process overtaking Nigel Mansell for the most number of laps led in a season.

“I don't mind if the season ends right now. I think we can continue to do well. The team is enjoying itself and we have been on a run basically the beginning of the season, and it is great. The great thing is, you walk up to the garage every morning and you see the guys working flat out. They are pushing really hard and there is no sign of getting lazy and not paying attention to detail. We are still hungry,” said Vettel.

Asked if this was one of his more memorable races, the two-time world champion replied, “It is great to be here and this is a great circuit. I was surprised that the race went by so quickly.

“It's a good sign because you enjoy the circuit, and there are some great corners, high speed corners and we enjoy them a lot. Having had debuts in different places in the last couple of years, this will be one of the races that settles in very quickly and we will all be happy to come back. I'm looking forward to next year.”

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