Sebastian Vettel Q&A: I will always go for it 10 Sep 2010
After crashing out of the last round in spectacular fashion (taking a title rival with him), you might expect a more circumspect approach from Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel in this weekends Italian Grand Prix - a race on which his championship hopes could hinge. True to form, however, Vettel is playing it cool, insisting nothing will change in his quest for victory
Q: Do you feel more pressure after the Belgian Grand Prix to push harder for the championship?
Sebastian Vettel: What has happened in Spa is already past. I have to fully concentrate now on this race, and we still have six races ahead of us. Of course Mark (Webber) and Lewis (Hamilton) are quite a bit in front, but it's also up to them to keep their gap in points alive, and it is up to the rest, like Fernando (Alonso), Jenson (Button) and myself to shrink this very gap and come back. Of course we do need points at every race now, but this championship so far had different leaders at different stages. In the end it is the same for anyone too.
Q: Fernando Alonso sees the next two races as crucial to his championship chances, saying that if he fails in closing the gap, his race for the title is over. How do you it for yourself?
SV: It definitely depends what the others are doing. For us, we have to focus on ourselves more than anything else. Sure we need to score points if we want to keep the championship alive. Also for Lewis, if he doesn't score points here and at the next race his chance of not winning this championship is fairly high. Still there is no reason to panic, as we have to go step by step. Thirty points sound much more than it actually is, as we have seen bigger gaps already during the season - for example Fernando and his gap before Hockenheim, where everyone had already written him off and he came back very quickly.
Q: What is your general feeling on this season so far, and what has happened on track?
SV: I would say that I can be happy with my performance, even though obviously as a team we could have scored more points on several occasions. There have been times where the car was not reliable enough, and definitely at the last two races I have made some mistakes. But generally I would say that this is normal, and it is for sure a quite long season, with many ups and downs. Everyone makes mistakes and in the end you have to make sure that you are the one having made the least amount of mistakes. As we saw in Spa, within a fraction of a second I lost the car and I couldn't catch it anymore, causing my race, but unfortunately also Jenson's, to be destroyed. And then you also see other people making mistakes, like Fernando, who threw away his car too - I would say that he could also have been in the points. Lewis nearly lost it in the lead and touched the barrier, but got away without any major loss.
Q: Throughout the last two to three years you have always been rated as the nice young newcomer. Do you feel that things have changed in regards to your image?
SV: Of course a lot of things have been said and written, but this is a process that one has to go through. Obviously three years back I did not know what I would go through, and this very stage is not one which I would rate as the easiest time. In the end I never really care what people say or think, as I always try to look after myself. I am very ambitious and I do have my target, so I do not need people telling or reminding me what I have to do. In my eyes it is quite normal that at the times when you are the focus, there are people that care about what you are doing - and you get good and bad comments on whatever you are doing.
Q: After a mistake like that in Spa, involving Button in an accident, do you go more cautiously into the next race?
SV: I take the risks that I can deal with. In Spa I tried overtaking Jenson and clearly this didn't work, full stop. So there is no reason for changing my driving for this race. We have a very good car and I have a very good chance to win this race, and this is what we have to focus on. Once you are in the car you are busy enough. For me the secret is not to think about too many different things, and just to focus on the moment. If I see a chance to win, and also to overtake, I will always go for it, even if it sometimes doesn't work out. You always have to see that you are able to get the maximum out of yourself, and what others do is not in your hands.
Q: What is your feeling on the set-up so far for this Friday?
SV: Today I would say that it was quite good, but the lap times might vary over the coming days for everyone, as you do not know the fuel loads. I am very confident that this year it looks much better than the year before. Obviously theres no KERS this year, which helps us. From last year we have learned our lesson, as we got hammered quite badly here. We made a huge step forward, but only from tomorrow on we will see the true pace. McLaren is very quick, but also their cars went off track quite often, so I don't know if they had a clean afternoon at all. Also Ferrari have been very quick in the afternoon session. It will be very tight, and the lap is quite short here, with many straights and many corners, so the gap between the cars will be very small.
Q: What is your opinion on the topic of team orders after the FIA resolution?
SV: There is not a lot to add, obviously the decision was made. The rule is pretty clear, and we all saw what happened in Hockenheim. I think there has been enough said. For myself and us as a team we have to focus on ourselves and the race. Hockenheim is long time ago, and Ferrari definitely had the quickest car there, so they deserved to win and we finished third. That's it.
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