Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Tune in - its going to be a sizzling race! 08 Oct 2011
The 0.009s which separated polesitter Sebastian Vettel from the second-placed McLaren of Jenson Button translates into just 58cm, and with cars this fast and on a 5.807-kilometre track it constitutes little more than a blink of an eye. But this blink was enough to secure Vettel his 12th pole position of the season and take him a step closer to his second title. The German reviews his Saturday...
Q: Sebastian, so not only does Red Bull give you wings it also flies wings in for you. How much did that new front wing help secure pole position today?
Sebastian Vettel: Thats hard to judge. The fact is that on Friday afternoon the car was not easy to set-up with the old wing, which behaves completely different. We immediately knew that falling back to that old wing would be tough and costly and clearly would interrupt our programme significantly. But as we knew that this would happen it didnt concern us much. So once the new wing was delivered we have been able to rise to our usual standard of strength and snatch P1 from McLaren.
Q: We all know by now that you need just one point to claim the title. How many points do you want to snatch tomorrow?
SV: To be on the safe side I would say 25! (laughs) But thats all a mind game right now. Im starting from pole so it cant get any better and as I want to win this race again you can be sure that I will do my best to achieve that. If that means 25 points more that would be very welcome. Getting only one point would mean I finish in P10 and that wouldnt satisfy me. Clearly winning is the goal.
Q: So you want to win the race at all costs to win the championship in style?
SV: In Formula One there is no such thing as at all costs! In this sport you cannot force victories. What you can do is to do your best together with your team and then see if it is enough. True, our doing the best together proved to be the ultimate teamwork of the season, so we definitely will not change that tomorrow.
Q: Its your twelfth pole position of 2011. Was it one of the more difficult ones?
SV: Yep, it was. It was very tight - and it was very welcome. When you are behind at all three practice sessions - due to my mishap on Friday morning when I shunted my front wing - then you dont take it for granted that you will qualify in pole so yes, its a relief. To tell you secret, we didnt really think that we could do it as the odds looked pretty much against us. And indeed when qualifying started it didnt look so promising, but the team and are strong together and the dice fell our way. It was marginal but we did it - again! It was again perfect timing.
Q: Were you surprised by McLarens Pace?
SV: No, not at all. Theyve been very competitive the whole weekend so far, from the very first lap theyve been out, so there was so surprise from our side. We knew that they are the ones to beat. And thankfully we did it.
Q: It looked like you were listening to music before you got into the car for qualifying
SV: Yes, I always listen to music when the going gets tough!
Q: What did you listen to?
SV: Ah, Im not telling. I listen to tunes that I have listened to for a long time, since I was much younger. It gets me in the right mood - and then I go out and qualify.
Q: Can you talk us through that last lap?
SV: When I went out I knew that I could do better. The first sector was not optimal as I probably wanted too much and thus lost a bit. But I knew that sector two would come my way and was able to squeeze more time out than I thought was possible. And from there it went smoothly into the last chicane
Q: Could you tell that youd done it?
SV: You dont feel that 0.009 second. But in Q3 the car felt excellent and I felt excellent so the gut feeling signalled a good time. It is difficult to say in hindsight but I am pretty sure that without the new wing the qualifying result would look differently.
Q: What do you expect from the race?
SV: I think that the fans can expect a sizzling race tomorrow. With the DRS we will see a lot of overtaking, and for those who like pit stops, be prepared to see three or four! My advice to all European fans is to set your alarm so you dont miss anything!
Q: You seem to be a favourite of the fans here in Japan
SV: It is fantastic. It is different to any other race venue. The fans here are so enthusiastic about Formula One - you have the feeling that for this one weekend Japan is in a Formula One fever. And if you add in this incredible track on top of all that then you have one of the best weekends of the season.
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