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Q&A with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel 18 Feb 2011

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain,  Friday, 18 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Jerez, Spain,  Sunday, 13 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain,  Friday, 18 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain,  Friday, 18 February 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain,  Friday, 18 February 2011

Clocking the fastest time by the best part of a second and then being dissatisfied with how the day went? Sounds like a nice problem to have, especially when the man second on the timesheet is Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who’s given everything to impress the partisan Barcelona crowd. But knowing how a perfect car feels probably means world champion Sebastian Vettel sometimes forgets that others are not as fortunate. Then again, that perfection is the fruit of many people’s hard labour, harder you might argue than their rivals. Vettel reflects on Friday’s testing in Spain…

Q: Sebastian, despite clocking the fastest time today you don’t seem to be as satisfied as you probably should be, given the time that you did?
Sebastian Vettel:
I couldn’t do as much running as I wished to. We had a long break - longer than expected. It was nothing broken or no big issue, but in testing if you think that something is not one hundred percent right you rather stop and have a thorough look at the problem to make sure it is not haunting us later on in the season. Thanks to the boys who have worked flat out we still made some good runs at the end of the day - and there is another day tomorrow.

Q: It’s the third test and usually by now the dust has settled and you see more clearly the potential of the cars. Is the RB7 an improvement over last year’s car?
SV:
If there is anybody in the pit lane who has a better car than last year, then show me. If you look at the cars - with the different diffuser - you cannot compare them to last year, but then if you look at the lap times we are slower - but then again not terribly slower. The car feels good and the inside feels similar to last year.

Q: At the moment there are doubts over where this season starts. What is you opinion on whether the season should start in Bahrain under the current difficult conditions?
SV:
All the years it was peaceful and friendly there - that was always my perception. What is going on there right now I only know from what the media report, so it is second-hand knowledge. I am sure if we go there it is safe because otherwise we wouldn’t go. I trust that the persons deciding that will judge very carefully. Let’s wait until next week - first for the planned test sessions - and then for the race.

Q: But you as the reigning world champion, would you welcome it to race there given the information that we have from there?
SV:
If we decide to race there we all take the decision together: the teams, which includes the drivers, the FIA and Formula One in general. If we decide to race there then there should be reason to think that it is no problem - and if we don’t then it is exactly the opposite.

Q: Coming back to racing, has the number one on your car had any impact on how you will start the season?
SV:
No, why should it? It is nice to have it on your car and every time you look at it it gives you a bit of shiver, but in the end it does not change anything. You start from zero every new season, so it’s a new start into a new game. Whether you have number one or number seven doesn’t make that big a difference, as it neither makes me faster nor slower.

Q: Fernando Alonso said that even with KERS and the moveable rear wing overtaking will be as difficult as ever. What is your opinion?
SV:
We have to wait and see. We cannot know before the first race where you really have competitive overtaking. But yes, it might still be a bit difficult.

Q: You are the champion, but do you see yourself as the leading driver in the team?
SV:
Well, I have number one on the car and Mark (Webber) has number two - that is a fact and an outcome of the championship - and that is it so far for the numbers we have on the car. Everything else the season will tell.

Q: So far there’s been little chance to use the new Pirelli wet tyres. Is this something you worry about, starting the season knowing that some tyres are still a mystery for you?
SV:
Should we go to Bahrain, I don’t think that the first thing that we will run into is rain, so I take that situation rather calmly. This morning we had a damp track and we used the intermediates, but in general, yes, it would help to have some info about the wets before we run into the situation, probably in Australia or China. Right now I don’t know if we should be scared or frightened or whatever because we have never tested the wets - I just wait until the situation arises and then try to make the best out of it.

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