Sebastian Vettel Q&A: It would be special to win here 26 May 2011
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel looked pretty satisfied with his Thursday running in Monaco - fastest in the morning and fifth fastest in the afternoon, when Red Bull were focused on systems checks rather than speed. Yet to win in Monte Carlo, and with four victories from the first five races, the young German is eager to lift the trophy on Sunday. But he admits the Principality is a different challenge altogether and that anything could happen
Q: Sebastian, how much do you want to win here in Monaco?
Sebastian Vettel: (laughs) I wouldnt mind. Lets wait and see - its a long weekend and we know that anything can happen here. I really like to drive here, as this track is so different to anything that we normally race on. But I also know that winning here means that every jigsaw piece falls into the right place. The car, so far, has delivered exceptionally well, but Monaco follows a different set of rules.
Q: Why do you want to win here?
SV: Because it is something special. This track is unique and the tradition is awesome. These narrow streets with a view of the Mediterranean are unbeatable, and it must be very special to add your name to all the winners of the past - the heroes of Formula One. But before that honour comes some very hard work.
Q: This track is arguably the least forgiving on the calendar
SV: but thats the challenge. Thats why we all love to race here! To find your perfect line on these streets, avoid even the smallest mistake, as mistakes get punished here immediately, to keep up the concentration for 78 laps and to manoeuvre the car at the limit is the art this circuit requires. It is fun, but you better not make any mistakes.
Q: What was your impression of your KERS system? Mark (Webber) seemed to have some problems with it
SV: Actually everything was working for me today. I have no idea what issues Mark was facing. Our aim, of course, is to use KERS in qualifying and the race - and use one that it is working properly. But in the end that is not so easy because we are not only talking about a switch that you can turn on, but a very complex system. People might think that it is not so crucial here as at other race tracks because this circuit is basically made out of corners, but the straights that are here definitely ask for a working KERS. Other than that it is like it always is - full attack.
Q: Have you already kissed the barriers today?
SV: Actually I did - it was one of the first things I did in the morning session. Obviously you have to do it once to understand how narrow everything is here - and how quickly your game can be over.
Q: Whats the difference between the soft and super-soft tyres?
SV: There is definitely a difference. I think the super soft is definitely the faster one, even though we did not focus on running a fast lap in the afternoon session. My guess is that in the end both type of tyres work well here. There were no hiccups the whole day.
Q: Could Ferrari be a potential challenger here?
SV: Absolutely. I dont know what happened to Felipe (Massa) but Fernando (Alonso) was obviously doing very well on the long runs. But Nico Rosberg also seems to be in very good shape and so do the McLarens. In other words, its the usual suspects.
Q: What makes Monaco glamorous for you?
SV: To be honest I dont really want to know anything about the glamour here. My interest is solely focused on the track. But yes, it is a pleasure coming here every year and testing out what youve learned from the previous year in balancing the car through the narrow streets, even if this is all a bit crazy - I think you have to be a little crazy to be really fast here! (laughs)
Q: McLarens Lewis Hamilton said that he took quite a lot of pleasure out of chasing you on track in Barcelona. He seems to think he would be faster in the Red Bull. What is your opinion?
SV: I guess Lewis said it all. If that is what he thinks, thats fine with me.
Q: But how fast do you think he is?
SV: I think he is one of the best drivers. I definitely count him among the handful of drivers to set the tone in Formula One. He is one of our foremost challengers. I think that is all there can be said about this matter. In the end there can only be one winner - and we will always do everything we can so that it will be us.
Q: There were discussions ahead of this weekends race about whether to use DRS here, because some of the drivers deemed it too dangerous. What is your opinion on that?
SV: Yes, I know that some drivers expressed their opinion in that direction and at the moment we have the situation that use (of DRS) is forbidden on parts of the track. But all we are talking about here is premature, as weve never had any incident with it so far. The question for me seems to be if we have to go that far on a track that is so narrow and thus more dangerous than other tracks because there are no run-off areas. I guess that was the reason behind all these considerations.
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