Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Im satisfied but it will be a long race 26 Mar 2011
After taking the opening pole position of the year in such dominant style, Sebastian Vettels 2011 season couldnt have started better. But with Red Bulls less than stellar record at the Australian Grand Prix, Vettel isnt counting any chickens just yet
Q: Sebastian, you are starting the season where you left it last year - on pole position. It seems you didnt even run KERS on your fastest lap
Sebastian Vettel: Yes, thats right. We didnt use it today and the reason for that will stay a secret! It was a very good day today and so far a very good weekend, and hopefully this will lead to our best Melbourne result ever. I felt very comfortable in the car, much more so than yesterday. I wouldnt say that I had problems on Friday but I was not totally happy with the balance and the set-up. It was possible to move forward from there so today was a good day. I am satisfied for now but I know that there is a long race ahead tomorrow and Melbourne is always very tricky. I started from pole here last year and left empty handed so its not my intention to repeat that. The race will be a bit of a journey into unknown territory, as we have no idea yet where it will take us in terms of tyres and overall strategy. So lets wait and see. I am as curious as everybody out there.
Q: So far, all indications point to Red Bulls superiority. Will you run KERS in the race?
SV: Lets be very cautious when speaking about superiority. It has probably surprised us as much as it did everybody else. All winter long it was impossible to tell who was where and for what reasons. We had the gut feeling that we would be among the top teams but how much so was unclear. I think we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep our heads cool. We have always seen that this track creates unusual winners. Maybe one or two favourites had a bad car or had bad tyres day today, but that doesnt mean that he will not be a tough competitor in the races to come.
Q: Whoever starts from pole position naturally has the most to lose. Are you worried the soft tyres could degrade too quickly?
SV: No, not really. I think all the others are also starting on the softs, so if they do degrade, they will degrade for all - hopefully! I think in terms of degradation weve done pretty well over the weekend so far, but in comparison to the tests I guess that was the case for all of us.
Q: You were eight tenths of a second quicker than second-placed Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren. Would anything but a win be a disappointment for you?
SV: First of all, the gap is almost irrelevant. It could be one thousandth or one second. You only have those eight metres between you and the guy on P2 - nothing more, nothing less. And in a long race eight metres may mean very little. Last season we saw it is sometimes more important to see the chequered flag, but yes of course I want to finish in the same position I will start. Theres no question about that.
Q: Were you surprised by how far ahead you were?
SV: Yes, the gaps have been a surprise. But we are going into our first race and the season ahead is so long, so todays qualifying has to be put into that perspective.
Q: After today, would you tell Ferrari to go home?
SV: It sure was a bit of a surprise not to see Ferrari up there, but this circuit can hold so many surprises. Judging from their pace at the winter tests, theyve appeared very strong. Judging from their pace over long runs, I expect them to be very competitive. I still think that the Ferrari is one of the quickest cars, even though the gap was a bit more significant.
Q: What are your thoughts on the moveable rear wings? Will they deliver?
SV: Lets hope that it has the effect it was obviously developed for. I still think it will be difficult to pass another car - so lets wait and see. The more interesting question will be how many stints we will see tomorrow and what effect that will have on overtaking.
Q: Everybody seems to agree that the tyres will be unknown territory on Sunday. Is it possible to reduce the unknown aspect?
SV: You cant. But everybody is in the same situation. It will be very interesting to see what happens when the whole grid starts to move! I feel that we are very well prepared but I also believe that tomorrow could be a tough lesson for all of us. But, for sure, it is fantastic to start the season from pole position.
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