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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Second title feels ‘unbelievable’ 09 Oct 2011

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates his World Championship with the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 October 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 celebrates his third position and World Championship at the end of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 October 2011 World Champion Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 October 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates his third position and second World Championship in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 October 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates his third position and second World Championship on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 October 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates his third position and second World Championship on the podium with race winner Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 Octo Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates third position and the World Championship in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 9 October 2011

The inevitable became reality at Suzuka on Sunday: Sebastian Vettel became Formula One’s youngest double world champion. He would probably have preferred to keep pushing to the flag for the win, but for once the pit wall obviously overruled him and in the end it was P3 and a slightly smaller trophy - surely a small price to pay, however, for then seeing your name engraved on the drivers’ championship trophy for a second time…

Q: Sebastian, the ‘play it again Seb’ project finally reached a happy ending. How proud are you being the youngest-ever double world champion?
Sebastian Vettel:
I am very proud. But it is really difficult to put into words what I feel right now, because it’s not just one key race, or some key races. It’s the whole season so far: all the preliminary preparations, the tests, the time in the factory. And then getting rewarded for all that by achieving the goal that you’ve set yourself: that is amazing. And that it happens four races before the end of the season: that is even more special - the early fulfilment of your dreams. Can it get any better? Probably the feeling is not so different to last year - the same feeling of confusion! (laughs) Probably I should go and ask Michael (Schumacher) if that confusion lessens and winning titles becomes a certain routine, but right here right now I feel unbelievable!

Q: P3 is not your favourite position on the podium. Does winning the championship make up for that?
SV:
I started the race with a hard-won pole position and to be honest the race didn’t go the way that we had wished it would. But qualifying already suggested that there would be tough competition. In the end it was not more then four or five seconds that lay between P1 and P3 and towards the end I had hoped to be able to attack again, but there was not really the chance to do so, and I got convinced that I shouldn’t go on a make-or-break spree because in the end there was the priority to finish the race. It was a bit difficult to accept, but when I crossed the finish line, realizing what that P3 meant, it took me a bit to internalize that I’d done it. Tonight a couple of drinks will probably help me realize it better and to appreciate that the season was a dream come true for us.

Q: At the start there was a kind of adrenalin rush - at least it looked that way…
SV:
It was tight, but not too tight. I think it was a good start, but obviously Jenson’s (Button’s) was better. I wanted to defend my position and when I looked in the rear mirror I didn’t see him, so I moved to the right until suddenly I saw him and realized that I hadn’t given him too much space. It was enough space, I would say, and he decided to decrease his speed as the track narrowed. I know that he had two wheels on the grass, but I was told that Formula One cars can do that! (laughs) For me it was important to stay ahead into the first corner and I managed over the first couple of laps to create a gap of four or five seconds. But towards the end of the stint - especially on the soft tyres - we were too slow.

Q: Dr Helmut Marko said that they’d convinced you to ‘concentrate more on the overall picture’ than on that one single race. How difficult was it for you to think more about bagging points than winning the race and attacking every inch of the way?
SV:
Ha, I attacked on every single lap as my goal was to pass Fernando (Alonso), but I lost touch when lapping another car which cost me two to three seconds. That was the end of it. To tell the truth during the race I hadn’t thought for one single moment that after the chequered flag the title win was waiting for me. Probably this was the best thing that could have happened, because when you are racing with such a heavy burden the chances are very high that ‘the hand brake is on’ and the speed is gone. As it was generally difficult today to keep up with the others’ speed, it was good that there was no hand brake. (laughs)

Q: Tonight there will definitely be no brakes on when celebrating your title…
SV:
It is then that it will come into focus again… I think it will take some time to let the second title win sink in. When papers landed on my desk for me to sign as double world champion, these papers went straight into the trash bin. (laughs) First things first - and first thing today was to deliver a good race and not pretend to be the double champ prematurely.

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