Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Red Bull simply not fast enough 24 Jul 2011
Despite huge home support, the Nurburgring once again proved problematic for Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel. Not only did he qualify third, but problems with his brakes meant fourth was the best he could muster in Germany. He reviews his race
Q: Sebastian, how was that last pit stop for you?
Sebastian Vettel: Well, first of all you shouldnt miss the entry! (laughs) I probably would have had a chance to try something into the first corner, but in the end I was a bit too far behind - and I had to be very careful with my brakes. They were an issue for the whole race so I didnt want to test my luck and ruin them on the final lap. In the end I was able to take P4 thanks to my crew which did everything right. And remember, last year it was a fourth place that decided the championship.
Q: But was it stressful?
SV: Of course I tried to squeeze out everything possible up until the pit-lane speed limit and when I reached my crew it was so close. Finally when I was released I saw that the guys at Ferrari were still busy and that is when I knew P4 was mine. My guys won the pit-stop duel. I guess Ferrari had a problem with the rear-left tyre.
Q: Did the problem with your brakes prevent you from finishing on the podium?
SV: Basically weve not been fast enough today. At the start of the race I was quite confident even if the first few laps were quite slippery and it took a bit to bring the tyres to temperature. I would say that my start was good, even though it was difficult being caught between the two Ferraris. So I let the position go but was able to regain it as Fernando (Alonso) made a mistake. Unfortunately Fernando was faster so I had to let him pass again. I could see that while I was keeping my pace the others got faster with less and less fuel - and I simply had nothing to counter it with. On top of that I lost the car in Turn Ten and from then on we knew that P4 would be the maximum - and thats what we then focused on.
Q: How much did the cold temperature affect you?
SV: Well, in the past we always did quite well under such conditions, but this weekend was a bit strange - I never felt one hundred percent well in the car. There have been moments when I thought that everything would be back to normal, but in the end it wasnt and issues surfaced. Now we have to sit down and analyse the reasons for all these hiccups. I am sure that in Hungary it will not be that freezing cold so we should be better again there. But one thing became very clear this weekend - the others have caught up so we also have to keep up with our development.
Q: Is Lewis Hamilton now a true rival for the title?
SV: Well, weve seen how fast things can change and it is still a long way to go to the final chequered flag. What this weekend has taught me is how fast your race can get spoiled. I definitely hope that the next race will be business as usual.
Q: Are you leaving the Nurburgring feeling disappointed?
SV: Well not really disappointed, but of course I would have wanted to please my home crowd. I have seen so many fans in Red Bull colours, so of course I would have wanted to win here to see them cheer for me.
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