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Q&A with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel 12 Feb 2011

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain,  Saturday, 12 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 is followed by Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 out of the pits.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain,  Saturday, 12 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain,  Saturday, 12 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain,  Saturday, 12 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain,  Saturday, 12 February 2011

He was not at the top of the Saturday timesheets at Jerez, but that didn’t bother Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel too much. Vettel was going through a normal test procedure and clocking fast times was not on his agenda. Finding out how to read the Pirelli tyres was obviously his biggest task, and from the expression on his face after the session it seemed he had learned plenty…

Q: Sebastian, with satisfied are you wrapping up your first day at Jerez?
Sebastian Vettel:
It is a test - nothing more. We’ve been able to do our laps. Now let’s wait and see what the data says. I didn’t have any problems whatsoever, so the satisfaction level is pretty high.

Q: So what have you been up to?
SV:
Well, the tyres are quite hard for everybody to read so you try your best to get your car set up in a mode that supports them - especially in the longer runs. Some drivers have been able to do some fast laps, others concentrated more on the mileage and I have clearly belonged to the second category. I did normal test work - trying to bring the car my way and the tyres to that of the car. No miracles, nothing sensational, just hard work.

Q: Have you also tried the super softs today? Obviously they did the trick with Michael Schumacher…
SV:
No I didn’t try them - only the softs.

Q: How are they behaving?
SV:
At one point - sooner or later - they degrade and then it starts to get very slippery. Then you have reached the critical point. That’s why you try to work on the car to make them last longer. My guess is that everybody is working in that direction.

Q: The next new things are KERS and the moveable rear wing. Are you already accustomed to those?
SV:
It’s rather easy to get used to them, but of course this year you are busier than in the previous years and you have to evaluate where and when you use them. With degrading tyres the car’s behaviour changes, so you have to understand when it’s best to use the wing because it doesn’t make sense to use it automatically always at the same spot.

Q: Is it possible to speak of realistic optimism?
SV:
It is almost impossible to know where we stand. Especially during the day it is almost impossible to learn what programme and what tyres everybody is on so we definitely focus on ourselves. In the evening, when the running is over, for sure you look for information from the other teams, but hardly at all during the time when the session is on.

Q: One man who did consistently good times today was Nick Heidfeld in the Renault. Have you watched what he was doing?
SV:
Sure you risk a look - and what I saw looked pretty good, so I assume he did a good job. That the Renault seems pretty competitive we’ve already seen in Valencia - and his life as a pensioner obviously can wait!

Q: From what he showed in Valencia, Robert Kubica looked like a real challenger - then he had that massive accident. What’s your opinion on F1 drivers and rather dangerous hobbies?
SV:
Anything can always happen around the next corner so this has nothing to do with his rallying activity, and it was not his first rally. The spot of his accident was very unfortunate and I think I speak in the name of all when I say that he is recovering fast and that he will be able to get back into his beloved F1 cockpit very soon.

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