Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 28 Mar 2009
Saturdays qualifying results were partly expected - and partly completely unforeseeable. That the Brawns would be strong was already accepted as fact. But that Sebastian Vettel would be able to put his RB5 - without a trick diffuser and without KERS - third on the grid was something nobody had in the script - probably not even Vettel. But now its happened the German youngster is ready to go for more in the race - or at least for lots of points
Q: The first qualifying of 2009 saw a very strong team performance: both cars made it into Q3 with you ending up third and team mate Mark Webber 10th on the grid. Did you expect something like this?
Sebastian Vettel: You can never expect something like that - you only can hope - especially in the first race where the pecking order still has to be defined. Adrian Newey and his team has built a good car, the tests were overall satisfying, but it takes more than one swallow to make a summer so we have to see how the season develops. Before I came to Melbourne my guess was that six teams will fight it out: Ferrari, Renault, Toyota, Williams, BMW Sauber and us - and I think that is still true.
Q: You stayed with the Red Bull Family but moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing. What is the biggest difference, now that you no longer test but race for your new team?
SV: The biggest differences are the language and the eating habits, but the working morale is pretty much the same - both teams are working on a very high professional level.
Q: Is what we have seen today the current balance of power in Formula One?
SV: I think today on this track all had to come clean and what we have seen as a result is in fact the balance of power - for the moment. But fact is also that this track is more specific than most other tracks as it is a street course, so the relevancy of the result will have to be proved in the next couple of races, in Malaysia, China and Bahrain.
Q: Qualifying P3 must give you a taste for more. Could you almost feel pole position?
SV: No, there are still two ahead of me and they are really fast. But indeed my position has surprised me a bit, as the last two days until qualifying was not the easiest time for me, and the whole team, so I am super satisfied how it turned out.
Q: Are the Brawn GP cars beatable?
SV: I believe that car is really fast. This was already visible at the two tests they ran - they impressed everybody although at that time it was not clear on what (fuel load) they were running. But today, under race conditions they demonstrated that their test performance was for real. You definitely have to reckon them this season. Whether they are beatable has to be seen - for sure we will try to do everything possible. That means for tomorrow that we want to see the chequered flag - probably finishing in the position that we started from - and for sure drive full throttle.
Q: Some fear that we will see many flying front wings in the race. Is that a fear that you share?
SV: Thank god we are far in the front. There the risk to get involved in a front wing accident is rather slim, as the danger zone starts some rows behind. And if I have a good start I should be on the safe side.
Q: Are there any surprises for you when looking at the qualifying result?
SV: Well, over the winter it already became apparent that the teams are all pretty close together, so what happened today was not a huge surprise. Probably it was a surprise that some of the usual suspects for the front rows let down a bit in performance - and that Brawn really delivered what they indicated at the tests.
Q: What will it take to keep you in the same good mood after the race?
SV: Many points!