Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 06 Nov 2010
The downside of qualifying for Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel was that he couldnt clinch pole position. The upside was that he managed to outperform all his title rivals to take the second-best slot on grid. Vettel discusses pole sitter Nico Hulkenbergs success at Interlagos on Saturday and weighs up his own chances for the race
Q: Looking at the bigger picture of the title fight, is that a result you can live with?
Sebastian Vettel: Well, I can live with todays result as it was quite a tricky afternoon and it could have ended worse than it actually did. So the answer is yes. What I find somewhat hard to swallow is being one second off the pole sitter! So congratulations to Nico! Its funny because we drove karts together and I remember one important race where he was on pole and I was on P2. That was a pretty long time ago - something like 12 years - and today it was kind of like deja vu.
Q: The forecast predicts dry conditions for the race so the Red Bull should have the upper hand, but how much support will there be for you amongst your German compatriots?
SV: I definitely will not bank on such a possibility, as Nico will very much focus on his own race, as obviously there is also much at stake for him. I will start from P2, and as the car worked perfectly on Friday in the dry, it should work for us.
Q: Who will be your biggest threat in the race?
SV: Mark is right behind Nico so he should be right there, but if you look at the Friday times all the other aspirants will most definitely also be there. My feeling is that we had a slight advantage in the dry - but how much and under what circumstances we will be able to use that advantage - only the race will tell. It is hard to judge Nico. Its his first pole in Formula One so he definitely will defend his position by hook or by crook - and my goal must be to pass him. I hope I can manage that at the start.
Q: So could Hulkenberg become a sort of buffer separating you from the other three?
SV: That would be the best that could happen, but as I just said he will do his own thing, as it is a big chance for him.
Q: Does your P2 feel a little like pole position as you are leading the title contenders?
SV: Qualifying is one thing and the race is another. We have learnt this painfully at numerous occasions this season. But sure it is better to be in front of all those who are ahead of me in the standings. But one thing is for sure - there are no points for qualifying.
Q: There arent points but it must have boosted your confidence?
SV: Yes, it might have. It was a difficult qualifying. Running on slicks and getting into the wet - that could have meant goodbye to the front row. Being on P2 and having a one second gap to the pole time is also something very unusual this year, where times have always been extremely close. Sometimes 10 cars have been within one second.
Q: You start in front of Webber. Does that mean the whole team order discussions have become obsolete?
SV: It will be a long race and many things can happen. We will take it as it comes and the only real important thing is that the car feels good. Everything else will unfold in the race.
Q: How much will you be thinking about the title during the race?
SV: The race will be on my mind. This race has always held surprises and always had a huge entertainment factor, so the focus must be to be prepared for every scenario. Hopefully. And to be honest it would be wrong to worry about the guys behind me. I have my eyes on the front side of my head and I am looking ahead! I am ahead of them and the goal is to finish ahead of them. Its that simple. I am sure that it will be a very enthralling race. The fans will love it.
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