Sebastian Vettel said that the only real concern he had in winning his seventh grand prix victory of the season was starting the race on blistered tires.
The German ace, who pulled off an accomplished victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, was forced to pit on lap four for new tires and admitted afterwards that starting on the soft tires he'd used to qualify on pole had been a risk.
"We had a lot of concerns going into the race after the damage to the tires in qualifying and we took quite a lot of risk," said Vettel. "We had reason to feel confident we should be fine, but if no one in the paddock is giving you guarantees... We didn't feel comfortable, so we both stopped early in the race. The main target was to see how tires feel after a couple of laps, and go from there."
Vettel paid tribute to the Red Bull, which he said had vastly superior pace at Spa to previous years, which allowed him to re-establish himself at the front after his stop and then manage the race through the safety car period when Lewis Hamilton crashed.
"The pace was very good in the race, I was feeling comfortable and without too much effort I was able to keep up with the guys [in front], after the safety car it was crucial to jump Fernando [Alonso] and get past him, then build a gap," he said. "That made it more comfortable.
"After that the race needed more management than usual. I have to say the car worked brilliantly and compared to previous years we were very competitive, I am very happy with the result and happy with the race - how we managed the race and the tires. We need to learn from that and head down for the next race."
Vettel added that he thoroughly enjoyed winning at Spa and that it was in stark contrast to last year, when he crashed out of the race after colliding with Jenson Button.
"It's good to finish the race and not crash this year!" he said. "When I got close to him I thought overtake him on straight rather than chicane. The car was fantastic, the pace was there and that is why we are sitting up here now.
"[Winning here means] a lot. It is a nice circuit, I enjoyed every lap today. The car was fantastic to drive, the car does what you want it to do, it is nice to have these fast corners and if you feel confident in the car it is even more fun. Every lap was enjoyable and a pretty enjoyable race to come in early, there were a lot of passes that I had to make. But I don't want to complain, it worked fantastically well, the pace was great so good for both of us to finish like that."