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Exclusive Vettel Q&A: Pole a surprise, but not down to luck 13 Mar 2010

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing  celebrates his pole position in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Post qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari, second; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010

After taking the opening pole position of the year, Sebastian Vettel’s 2010 season couldn’t have started better. And with Vettel convinced it’s an indication of the RB6’s very real performance advantage, rather than good fortune, the young German could be a world champion in the making…

Q: Sebastian, after a mixed Friday you have clocked the first pole position of 2010. How does it feel?
Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, it was really cool. Everybody was running as light as possible and to be the fastest under such conditions really means that you’re the fastest. So this evening I will go to bed light as a feather, with a load off my mind about any strategies that have not worked out in qualifying.

Q: How much of a surprise was it for you?
SV:
I was surprised, as it really didn’t run so smoothly for us on Friday even though we had the impression that much more would have been possible and that the car would go faster. The task after yesterday was to find the areas where gains were possible - and I think we managed that. It had nothing to do with luck.

Q: When did you know that you could challenge for pole?
SV:
I already had the impression in Practice Three that we were really competitive, even though it wasn’t clear how much fuel everybody was running. Then in Q1 it became obvious that the front row would be within reach.

Q: Adrian Sutil was the only one in the top ten to run on the harder tyres in Q3. How long did the super-softs last?
SV:
If I only knew that! I think that is the question everybody is looking to find an answer for. In the end it’s hard to tell what will happen tomorrow in the race. One thing is for sure - there is nobody in a better situation than we are.

Q: During testing the Ferrari was always impressive over long distances…
SV:
Well, the Ferrari is strong with a lot of fuel and when it is running very low. We have seen that today with two Ferraris amongst the top three and only me in front as the pacemaker. It promises to be an exciting race, although I think that we also have to consider some teams have not been so lucky in qualifying but who are still potential podium candidates and can bounce back over a long race.

Q: You always look so relaxed…
SV:
Achieving a satisfying result probably has that effect, although if you go into Q3, you are anything but relaxed.

Q: Michael Schumacher ended in seventh. Are you surprised?
SV:
No. But from what I have seen in the last few days it doesn’t make so much difference whether you start the race from P1 or from P6 or P7. A lot can happen in the race and the tyres will play a crucial part.

Q: But are you satisfied to have outperformed all four world champions?
SV:
No, not really. Our goal was to keep the pack behind us. That was achieved. How many champions are behind me will probably matter in the race tomorrow, but for now it is irrelevant.