Sebastian Vettel Q&A: It was very close out there 29 Oct 2011
To be the first driver to win the Indian Grand Prix would be a dream come true for Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel. Starting from pole position should help matters, but with much still to learn about the Buddh International Circuit, Vettel is only cautiously optimistic he will emerge victorious on Sunday
Q: Can you talk us through your qualifying session?
Sebastian Vettel: It was a very interesting session I would say. It is always a big challenge to race on a new circuit and I am happy to be on the front row. At the moment we do not know whether it is an advantage to be on the left or the right-hand side of the track. Neither side is cleaner as we seem to run down in the middle. It was a good battle for the pole today, and after the first run it was very close and I knew that I had to do a little better. Then I was able to have a clean lap. It was very interesting to see different drivers and teams going in different directions, in terms of how many laps they did before they started their timed lap. We decided to take the first lap and one timed lap only, as the tyre is there but not as ready as it is in the second lap. Finally though it worked out. We will have to see what happens tomorrow. Already yesterday we had found the right balance and rhythm. This circuit is quite tricky, especially the second and third sectors which have tricky corners.
Q: What would it mean to you to win the first Indian Grand Prix?
SV: I do love racing, and what I love most is when we have a good Sunday with a great race. And that is the target for tomorrow. This is a new circuit and a new venue, so the motivation is pretty clear. It is the first Indian Grand Prix and everyone would love to win it. We are starting in the best possible position, but we are also aware that it will be a long race. Many things can happen. What is obvious is, that the soft tyre is quicker, but the question will be how long it will last, and who will be pitting at what stage of the race. The circuit is very dusty off-line, and you have to really keep the car on the track. Not because you lose time when you go off track, but because it takes a few corners to get your tyres back on the level that you had before. Overtaking should be possible here, as there are quite a few good places where people have the chance to overtake. In an ideal world we should not worry about that. But to answer the question precisely, it would be an honour to win here.
Q: Felipe Massa damaged his Ferrari on a kerb - are you concerned you could do something similar?
SV: In qualifying you always try to push harder and be a little faster. Also you try to go to the limit with the kerbs, and if you ride them too much there is a big impact on the car. In his case the car was obviously damaged. I would say the only solution is to stick to what we do, and try to stay away from the area behind that kerb.
Q: Your team mate Mark Webber is next to you on the grid
SV: In general both of us are trying to concentrate on our own race, and everyone who is on the grid tomorrow is trying to win this race. It also depends very much on how long your tyres last and when everyone pits. And from there on you will see how the race unfolds.
Q: Did you take time to look around India before this weekend?
SV: Yes, I had some time to travel around up until Wednesday. It is very interesting, and I could probably talk to you for hours about it. It is totally different to Europe.
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