Sebastian Vettel Q&A: We thought McLaren would be stronger 17 Apr 2010
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel has taken three pole positions so far this season, but it was only at the last event in Malaysia that he was able to convert his P1 grid slot into a race win. In China on Sunday Vettels hoping to clinch victory again. The odds look good, but with rain forecast at the Shanghai circuit, the young German knows anything could happen
Q: Sebastian, it took guts to wait until the last moment to go out in Q3
Sebastian Vettel: It does not have much to do with guts, and in the end only the result counts - and being on pole. So far how I do it has worked pretty well. It is especially important to be on pole here because the forecast doesnt look good for the race and it is really good to have visibility at the start.
Q: How are the team feeling after the win in Malaysia?
SV: Excellent. It was great already before Malaysia, but a win always adds something to your self confidence. Our car is great and the team is on a high.
Q: So how was qualifying?
SV: At the beginning it didnt look great. We had carried out many changes to the car between Friday Practice Three and qualifying so I had to adjust to these changes. I didnt feel comfortable at the beginning - in Q1 and Q2 - and there were at least one or two corners where I had to look for extra lap time. But, hey, in the end it worked!
Q: It seemed Red Bull didnt think theyd be able to get on pole. What changed?
SV: Well, you always go into qualifying hoping to be on the front row. But we had anticipated that the McLarens would be stronger after the free practice sessions. I dont know why theyve lost out in Q3, but the important thing is that we did it.
Q: You just said it may be a wet race on Sunday. Would you welcome rain?
SV: The good thing is that we are on the front row. In such eventualities it is never good to start trapped somewhere in the middle of the grid, as the visibility gets worse the further back you go due to the spray. Lets wait and see. It is not clear if it will be rainy at the start of the race, it may set in later, so there are still many question marks.
Q: At the first two races you suffered with technical issues on your car. Have all the weaknesses now been eliminated?
SV: I think in terms of reliability we have definitely made a great leap forward, and the two lapses in Bahrain and Melbourne should not happen again. Nevertheless, the cars are built on the limit and theres always the potential for a failure, as you saw in Malaysia when Fernandos (Alonso) engine gave way.
Q: What could stop you winning the race?
SV: Its a long race with many uncertainties. And if rain sets in then anything can happen. A little carelessness can mean a spin or even retirement. The others dont stop for you and let you return to your position. In a race charity begins at home.