Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 22 Jul 2011
To be in a position to potentially win your home Grand Prix is truly something special - and not something every world champion achieves. So naturally hopes are high in Germany that Sebastian Vettel can add his name to the list of Nurburgring victors this weekend. Not everything was to Vettels liking in practice on Friday, but as Red Bull have proved so many times this season, qualifying will be where it counts
Q: Sebastian, its been pretty cold today so how did it work for you?
Sebastian Vettel: To be honest I am not completely satisfied. The conditions were pretty unpleasant and I had difficulties getting a good time. So this evening we have to put our heads together and find the reasons, but its only Friday so overall there is nothing to worry about. There havent been any problems with the car so it is just the fine-tuning that has to improve - and that will happen tomorrow in FP3.
Q: What exactly is on your wish list for your engineers to change to make you happy?
SV: Its nothing in particular - nothing you can point your finger at. Its a bit how the car feels, but we also have to take into account that there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow. So we have to see how the car is behaving then in the wet and probably its then that I am happy.
Q: How emotional is this race for you? Driving past the grandstands with thousands of fans in Red Bull colours
SV: Today I was a bit busier in the car - more than I would have liked - so my whole concentration went into every single lap. But of course your home race is always something special and I definitely noticed the many fans in Red Bull outfits. Thats something that can make you proud, to see how many people identify with you and your team.
Q: How do you like the track? Its not the highly emotional Nordschleife, but the characteristics of the area that made the old Nurburgring so famous are still there
SV: I really do like this track and its sad that we come here only every two years. I am really looking forward to the race.
Q: There are fans here with old, red Michael Schumacher Ferrari t-shirts, but they are also wearing blue Red Bull caps. An unmistakable sign of change
SV: Sure, there still must be an enormous amount of Schumacher merchandise still in circulation, given the fact that a few years ago some parts of the track here were literally red. But its also true that there are fewer red caps these days and its nice to see that blue is picking up.
Q: Your team mate Mark Webber must have had wings today - and hes the one that won the last race here two years ago. Will he be the strongest challenge this weekend?
SV: Yes, Mark was doing very well in the afternoon. Obviously he had less work in his car than I had. Now we have the chance to see what was not ideal on my car and change that. Of course we have to gear up tomorrow. At the moment we are a bit too slow, still.
Q: It would appear that Ferrari are still sailing on their Silverstone momentum - and that McLaren have lost it a bit
SV: Sure, from what we have seen today Ferrari is right there, and in terms of McLaren you always have to be careful about writing them off because I am sure that they will bounce back tomorrow. We dont know what programme theyve been running today, but from what we assume they are back with exhaust blowing etc, so we have to wait and see. But when it comes to qualifying and racing I am sure that they will be right there again.
Q: Is it on your mind that you might be able to take your first home Grand Prix win on Sunday?
SV: Lets wait and see. It is still only Friday, the weekend is long and there is a lot of work ahead. First we have to work on the car, then we will see in qualifying if it was enough, and then we take it from there.
Q: You are the champion, you are the leader in the standings and you might win your home Grand Prix this weekend. All this sounds so overwhelming that its easy to forget you are only 24 years old. How do you cope with all that?
SV: Well, all drivers now on the grid started very young - you have to start young these days. And then I took it one step at a time - that is what my dad always told me to do. And of course I was in the right place at the right time. And sometimes I have to pinch myself to know that it is all true (laughs)
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