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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: We have to get back on top of McLaren 31 Jul 2011

Race winner Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrates on the podium with second placed Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011

Hungary saw another thriller of a race, with brave overtaking moves, a car on fire, and conditions that were almost impossible to predict. It was arguably a bit too tumultuous for Sebastian Vettel, who was trying to return his Red Bull to winning ways and would probably have preferred less excitement. In the end he again finished second - a position he says he can live with, even though he admits nothing compares to winning…

Q: Sebastian, second place in a turbulent race. Under today’s circumstances does this second place feel like a win given that probably the ‘least dangerous’ of your title challengers has won?
Sebastian Vettel:
No, because nothing compares to a win. To be honest I am not really satisfied with today’s result, as I believe that the victory wasn’t out of reach. Probably we had some issues here and there and have not been the fastest on the track, but I still think that more would have been possible. But of course we will never know that. My guess is that had we always pitted earlier to avoid slower times on the old tyres we eventually would have been in a better position. Nevertheless, it was a very turbulent race and in some phases it didn’t look good at all, so I definitely can live with P2, even if I have to say - and that shouldn’t sound too snotty - that the aim clearly has to be to win.

Q: You just said that you can live with P2, but even looking at the start it appeared that the McLarens were in a league of their own…
SV:
Yes, it was very obvious at the start that Lewis (Hamilton) was able to drive faster on the intermediates when I had the feeling of moving on ice. But of course I tried to keep my position. In Turn Two I was going over the painted area outside the curve and had to open my position so as not to lose the car and I knew that I’d lost the lead. As I just said, we had some minor issues - one was with the brakes, the other one that I almost lost the car twice and had to go a bit wide - so it didn’t go all that smoothly, but overall it was a satisfying afternoon. We have to respect that the others did a good job, but overall I have to say that the whole weekend was good, as I again felt much more at home in the car than last week at Nurburgring. We’ve made a good step forward from the German Grand Prix in a very short period of time.

Q: How would you judge the McLaren threat?
SV:
If you take the last two races they’ve been faster than us so we have to see that we get on top of them again.

Q: Is having to play catch-up something that worries you?
SV:
I wouldn’t say that it makes me worried, but of course we also cannot accept it. We have to analyze what made them stronger and what cost us a bit of time. We clearly want to get back to where we were at the beginning of the season.

Q: At times this afternoon four world champions were fighting for a place on the podium. Do you feel that the right one has won today?
SV:
Well, I think that Jenson (Button) was a bit unlucky at the last two races and his win today was well deserved. He has demonstrated that under difficult conditions he’s bl**dy fast, so congratulations on a well-deserved win! We should have been a bit faster and then he wouldn’t have been able to drive home his victory safely, but in the end P2 was the maximum we’ve been able to haul out this afternoon.

Q: You ‘only’ ended up in P2 but your lead in the championship went up from 77 to 85 points…
SV:
…but it could have been more!

Q: Formula One is heading into the summer break - where are you heading?
SV:
The three July races at Silverstone, Nurburgring and now Budapest haven’t spoiled us with too much sun so I will definitely head south to get a fair share of summer. But, of course, I also will visit my hometown, Heppenheim.

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