Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 30 Oct 2009
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will decide the championship runner-up to Jenson Button. Sebastian Vettel is not making a big fuss about it, but losing it to Rubens Barrichello at the last race would be hard to swallow for the ambitious young German. We caught up with him after the opening day of practice at the Yas Marina Circuit
Q: Sebastian, on a scale of like, okay, or dislike, where would you place this track?
Sebastian Vettel: Clearly a like! Its fun to drive here even though it has the normal feature of a new track - a lack of grip. But in the evening it was really improving, so you could fly around the corners, which enhanced the fun factor substantially.
Q: How challenging or easy is it to drive?
SV: You could see that we all were very close together (on lap time), which means that it is easy to lose time but difficult to make it up.
Q: How about the grip level overall?
SV: Well, on the racing line it was improving over the afternoon/evening, but outside that line remained very slippery - and sandy. Your tyres pick up the sand and it takes you some corners to dispose of it. That also goes for the kerbs. Its a bit tricky, as when I walked the track I didnt realize it.
Q: Where do you see yourself compared to the Brawns when looking at todays result? And how likely are you to secure second in the championship?
SV: To keep that position clearly is the goal - and it looks pretty good. There havent been any problems. It was the last Friday of the season and the engine held so there is nothing to fear anymore. Ive done many laps today as there was no need for saving the engine and that was a good feeling. Lets wait and see how it works in qualifying, but I am pretty confident that we will be competitive and keep our position.
Q: What about the tunnel when leaving the pits - there has been much talk about it today?
SV: Thats the most difficult part of the track. It is slippery and slow, and to risk something here can backfire terribly.
Q: How about the setting sun? Has it been difficult for you to adjust?
SV: No, not really, as the sun sets very fast - in 20 minutes everything is done and its not the most difficult corners where you have to cope with eventual visibility problems.