Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 08 May 2011
It was another imperious victory for Super Seb Vettel in Turkey on Sunday. The world champion is not keen on such nicknames, but even he had to admit that super was a pretty apt description of his race. The German insists he is not thinking about the title yet, instead following his fathers advice to take it one step at a time - advice that served him very well last season
Q: Sebastian, having seen your race the question today must be did anything not work perfectly?
Sebastian Vettel: There was very little today that did not work. But I would not say that it was an easy race - especially at the beginning where you drive a bit into the blue not knowing what to expect in terms of the tyres. So the first stint is usually the most difficult, as before the race you mull over what will work and what wont - and then the first stint teaches you the reality. But weve been very close today to reality with our plans. After the first stint we had the chance to work a bit on the adjustment of the front wing and from then on it was a smooth cruise and I felt perfect in the car. It naturally helped to put a gap between me and the pack behind. It could hardly have gone any better considering the Friday shunt and the lack of practice that resulted from that.
Q: Lets come back to the Friday shunt. How much do you owe this victory to your excellent crew and their willingness to put in a double shift?
SV: A huge amount. And not only to my crew but also to all the teams mechanics because had only my mechanics worked on the car I probably would have not been able to run on Saturday either. The outside world seems to think that there is a competition between my crew and Marks crew, but thats definitely not so. If there is a need all hands work together. In such a situation you see that Formula One is a team sport - even if only one (driver) is on the podium. But today there were two, with Mark (Webber) finishing in P2, so it was one of those perfect days for the team.
Q: Today you and Mark were close on the podium, but last year you were close on the track - too close. Did Lap 40 from 2010 come into you mind during the race - a lap that almost ruined your championship?
SV: Well, for quite a while Fernando (Alonso) was behind me - and then suddenly it was Mark in my rear-view mirror in the distance. That was the moment when indeed I thought about last year. But thank God today there were nine seconds between us! (Laughs)
Q: Fernando Alonso, your big challenger for the 2010 championship, seems to be back after a poor start to the season. How welcome is that for you?
SV: It just shows that you should never count anybody out as a potential competitor - because doing so would be very careless. Friday and Saturday we were all a bit surprised by how fast Mercedes was and today it was Alonso. That shows how fast the tide can turn and that you have to be watchful all the time and keep up your development speed all year long. Sure, at the moment that might sound a bit odd coming from my mouth because the first four races went so very well for us, but what was going on behind us - one time the McLarens seem to be our fiercest challengers, then Mercedes and today Ferrari - shows that a lot is floating and you always have to be on alert to stay on top and not be taken by surprise by these three other teams.
Q: Having taken 93 out of 100 possible points, questions about you defending your title are almost inevitable. Is this something youre thinking about?
SV: It is a nice lead, of course, but we all cannot see into the future so we have to take it race by race and take the maximum out. Then we will see where it brings us in the end.
Q: We are heading next to Barcelona. Will we see another Vettel fest there?
SV: I will certainly do my best - always full throttle!
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