Sebastian Vettel Q&A: You never get used to winning 26 Jun 2011
Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel has developed into a serial winner. Weve seen times of dominance by one driver before, but six wins from eight races is still pretty special. On top of that, even though the defending champion is proving hard to beat, it hasnt made for stale racing. The likes of DRS, Pirelli tyres and the sheer competitiveness throughout the field has made sure of that
Q: Sebastian, eight races and six times a winner in 2011: will it go on like this for the rest of the season?
Sebastian Vettel: It is wonderful to win, of course. On the other hand we are aware that Formula One is very fast moving so what delivers the top spot on the podium today might be outdated some races down the road, so you never must rest on your laurels and permanently look for ways to improve. Of course, a day like today is fantastic - and you are proud that you and your team took a race almost to perfection - so you celebrate that moment. The next thing is that you stick your heads together again to do another perfect race the next time.
Q: Are you kind of getting used to winning?
SV: Believe me you never get used to winning - each and every time is something very special. If you were to ask if winning becomes addictive, then I would say yes, it does.
Q: Almost a perfect race: did you expect to win?
SV: You never expect that. These 57 laps are very demanding - and at the start our strategy was not fully decided so it was not what you would call a walk in the park.
Q: It almost looked like you had the cruise control on, cruising easily to the podium
SV: Well, yes, it was always a quite healthy gap, which allowed us to observe what others were doing and then make our own plans in terms of pitting. Probably we lost a bit here and there staying out one more lap on the old tyres, but when we came out with the new set it immediately bounced back, even though it was never possible to really pull away. It was that one-tenth, two-tenths a lap gain, so you always had to watch your mirrors very carefully, especially when you were running into traffic, which might easily cost you half a second - a bit frustrating when it had taken you five laps to build up that half second! The communication to the pit wall and back to me was working flawlessly today which helped a lot, as I always knew where I was, what was ahead of me and what was brewing behind me. Probably it was a bit boring to watch, but believe me when you have to challenge yourself and your car every single lap, it was anything but boring for me. You know what I loved about this race? That if worked out as I had hoped it would - in Formula One this is somewhat of a rare occasion! (laughs)
Q: Everybody was wondering how you were able to go so fast and still look after your tyres. What was your secret?
SV: Ha, if I told you it wouldnt be a secret anymore! Joking apart, if you look at the pure race pace you will see that it is slower than last year so Formula One has changed. We all start heavy and get lighter as the race goes on, so you have to find the rhythm to use the tyres to their optimum in a situation where you get lighter with every lap. Optimizing this rhythm buys you options for your stops, so its no secret - just the clever use of circumstances and avoiding giving your tyres a hard time.
Q: This season all the rule changes focus on making it easier to overtake, thus making it more exciting for the fans. But if you start from pole position overtaking doesnt seem to be a huge issue, as you dictate the race
SV: It is an issue, because you are in a position where you probably have to defend and how you do that depends on the circuits and on the DRS zones that you have. Fact is that we have seen many more position changes in a single race than probably saw some years back in half a season. The feedback that we get shows that fans very much appreciate these position changes - at the top, but also further down the grid - and Montreal has shown that a position change can happen in the very last few hundred metres.
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