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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Our aim is to be ‘big in Japan’! 08 Oct 2010

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Preparations, Suzuka, Japan, Thursday, 7 October 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing personalises an 'I love David Coulthard Tshirt.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Preparations, Suzuka, Japan, Thursday, 7 October 2010

Friday was a good day for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, after he took the top honours in both practice sessions at Suzuka. Even with unsettled weather conditions predicted for qualifying, Vettel is brimming with confidence and gunning for a second successive Japanese victory on Sunday…

Q: Sebastian, what is your goal for this weekend?
Sebastian Vettel:
To win. With our car it must be the aim - and this track supports that aim. Last year we were very strong here so it’s natural that we want to repeat that. The conditions will be crucial, but right now it is difficult to predict what those conditions will be. It seems a low-pressure front is coming towards us but it is still hard to say when it will hit the region.

Q: Many fear that this track seems designed to suit the Red Bull…
SV:
If that were true I would eliminate the straights and add some more corners to it! Then that would be true. But yes, we are pretty confident that we will enjoy a good result here.

Q: You won last year’s race, so you must be feeling pretty confident…
SV:
I like this circuit. I walked the track because you see its special characteristic more and you instinctively ask yourself why it cannot be like this anywhere else. The right combination of corners is just great - that’s what makes a great circuit.

Q: You clocked the best time in both practice sessions. Was that a better result than you expected?
SV:
It’s always difficult to say what you expect on a Friday, but yes, it worked out very well for us. We had no problems whatsoever with the car so could fully concentrate on running our programme and that truly helps. I don’t think everybody has been as fortunate today as we have been. Others had some issues with their cars. If you have the chance to run a whole day smoothly, then that helps a lot.

Q: How much time do you need to catch up in the corners? Your rivals are stronger on the straights...
SV:
A lot. It is no secret that we are not the fastest on the straights - but we can make that good in the corners - and we do.

Q: Have you been surprised by the advantage you have over your rivals here? Do you think the Ferrari or McLaren drivers will be your strongest challengers?
SV:
Let’s put it that way - we hope we can be big in Japan! I think that McLaren had a hard day today. That was already visible in the first session, especially at Turn Eight. If you go a bit too far on the outside you lose the car and Lewis (Hamilton) lost quite a lot of time because of that.

Q: Does it help to have the fastest car in the dry when qualifying could be wet?
SV:
Well, it is usually the case that if a car is good in the dry it also should be good in the wet. It seems to be a fact that it will be wet tomorrow. The question now is when it will rain and how much will fall. In any case I think that all conditions should work for us.

Q: Are the reports that suggest your strategy will be more aggressive, while your team mate Mark Webber’s will be more conservative, true?
SV:
I haven’t read those things, but I can tell you that nothing has changed in our strategy since the start of the season. Of course, so close to the end of the season, rumours are afloat but for us the only real issue is to score as many points as possible, if you can’t win. But I would not call that a huge secret. I think that all five drivers still eligible for the title will see it that way.

Q: With just four races left, the pressure must be increasing…
SV:
Ah, it’s getting more interesting for all of us. I think there are five drivers in a situation all the other drivers are dreaming to be in. So you have to savour it.

Q: What about your own hopes?
SV:
Well, there are five drivers lying within the same amount of points you can win with one victory, so it is definitely still a five-horse race and anybody can still pull it off. Throughout the season we have seen several times how fast the tide can turn, if you have two good races or two not so fantastic race. The aim is always to get the maximum out of yourself and your car, and get the best result possible. If that in the end equals the title win - fantastic. If it doesn’t, then you know that you have given it all and tried everything, every possible way.

Q: Is it logical for a team to back just one driver?
SV:
There are still some races left and if there’s something this season has shown us so far it’s that so many unpredictable things can happen. We will have to see over the next two races. I am not sure if there will be a crunch point. We will have to see. If both drivers are still in a good position to win, both deserve a fair chance to have a go at the title.

Q: How afraid are you that the Korean race might not happen? One race less could slim down your chances…
SV:
That is not in my hands so there is no need to worry about things that you cannot influence. For sure one race more could be of some help.

Q: In Singapore you told your crew over the team radio that next time it would be your time to win. Is this the ‘next time’?
SV:
I think I said ‘we will get there’, which is slightly different. There are still four races to go and 100 points to be allocated so anything can happen. You have to stay focused and enjoy the situation. This of course will not be an easy weekend, but I think as a team we are at the top.

Q: How are you feeling at the moment? Miserable? Under pressure?
SV:
Have I ever been miserable? I don’t remember. I like this track, I feel good here, so there is no reason to be miserable!

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