Red Bull's motorsport adviser Helmut Marko has heaped praise on the efforts of Sebastian Vettel in the Bahrain Grand Prix – despite seeing the German miss out on victory.
Vettel started from pole position and led most of the race before a spark plug problem hit his Renault engine – slowing him as he slipped down the order to finish fourth. But despite the disappointment of his efforts not having been transformed into the win, Marko said that Vettel's driving was hugely impressive.
"The performance of Sebastian was incredible," said Marko in Bahrain. "He was faultless throughout this difficult race. He controlled everything from the start.
"By lap three we advised him to conserve fuel because we realized he can keep the advantage over the Ferrari. After the problem occurred, Sebastian could hold off two fully operational Mercedes cars which was another sensation. We had not believed he could do this. His cornering speeds were astonishing as well as setting fastest sector times at the end of the race."
Marko also expressed relief that Vettel had managed to take a decent haul of points despite hitting trouble.
"We followed the strategy dictated by the new points system," he said. "If you cannot win, score as many points as possible."