Q&A with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel 16 Apr 2010
After taking P4 for Toro Rosso in 2007 and clinching Red Bulls maiden victory here last year, Sebastian Vettel is clearly relishing his return to China this weekend. Vettel reviews his Friday in Shanghai, reflects on his first win of the season at the Malaysian event earlier this month, and looks ahead to Saturdays qualifying session
Q: Sebastian, looking at Fridays times it seems its a fight between you and the Mercedes-powered cars
Sebastian Vettel: You must not forget the Ferraris. Theyve been running quite heavily, whereas all the others were running on much lower fuel. But it is true that the silver faction is pretty strong at this track. It has a long straight and by now we all know that the Mercedes engine is pretty strong.
Q: Will McLaren's F-duct system benefit the British team at this track?
SV: It helps, not only here but everywhere. Of course with such a long straight it is even more magic. This morning I had a good opportunity to see it at work myself, when I was running behind Jenson. Normally on a long straight you would stay patient and calm, and at the end of the straight, try to pass him. But in the middle of the straight he just left me, as if I was standing still.
Q: Is graining a problem here?
SV: Look around! Everybody is still wearing warm jackets. That means it is still pretty cold, which makes it difficult to bring the tyres up to temperature, so graining is an issue. We have to see what the conditions will be on Sunday, but one is obvious - tyres have a hard life at this track.
Q: Are bumps an issue?
SV: Yes, especially in Turn One, where there is a substantial bump that slightly gets in your way. It doesnt matter if you are on high or low fuel.
Q: How satisfied are you with your Friday running?
SV: Well, it was quite a good day today. We enjoyed good running with no issues or problems with the car. So, yes, I would call it a positive day.
Q: Is sitting in the Red Bull almost a guarantee that youll win the race?
SV: I am only 22 but I have already learnt that there are no guarantees in life, so we still have to work hard. Yes, we do have one of the best cars and that is something that we can be proud of. Today it looked very close. Apart from McLaren nobody is running the F-duct - yet. At least none that work as well as the McLaren one. Hopefully we will have something similar soon.
Q: How relieved were you to win in Malaysia?
SV: Well, it is always nice to come to the next race with a win under your belt. Its that extra bit of self confidence that can enable you to do even better. We could say that it gives you wings, like it says on our team gear.
Q: Last year you won this race, you must have fond memories
SV: I have indeed very good memories, not only from last years victory but also my P4 in 2007 in a Toro Rosso. Its obviously a track that has suited me, so lets see on Sunday if it is still valid!