Sebastian Vettel Q&A: The car felt brilliant 07 Oct 2012
After taking pole position, fastest lap and victory, Sebastian Vettel leaves Suzuka with a smile on his face. Not only has his win in Japan brought Vettel within four points of the lead of the drivers championship but it means he now equals Juan Manuel Fangios tally of 24 race victories. The young German discusses Sundays Japanese round
Q: Sebastian, you are the first back-to-back race winner of the season. How does that feel?
Sebastian Vettel: Well its been a long time since Ive won races and to now win two in a row is a pretty cool thing! Today was a fantastic race and the car was brilliant. In qualifying the perfect balance was suddenly there and that made all the difference in the race. It is very rare that you race such a perfect car. I was able to push harder with every single lap, control the gap to the guys behind me and on a track like that its everything youve dreamed of.
Q: You were pushing very hard to do the fastest lap. You risked a lot for that...
SV: Ha, I know that my race engineer Rocky almost had a heart attack on the team radio, but believe me if I thought there was any risk I wouldnt have gone for it! But, as I just said before, if you have a car like that you also want to enjoy it - it was a joyous ride. In terms of the championship, Im not thinking that far ahead but am keeping it simple and taking things one step at a time.
Q: But youve closed the gap to Fernando Alonso to only four points. How does that feel?
SV: Much better than it felt yesterday! (laughs) But there are still five races to go and today was a very unlucky day for Fernando. Such an incident can happen to anybody - it could be us in the next race - so we have to keep our heads down and try to improve the car.
Q: Alonso has said that from now on it is a bit of a mini championship between you and him. Do you see it the same way?
SV: No, because I have seen how fast things can change so I would not count some of the other frontrunners out. There are definitely more in the hunt for the title than him and me. But sure Fernando is the prey! This season is a bit crazy and I dont see any signs that this has changed so we really have to stay focused. That in the end will decide the championship.
Q: You could take the lead in the championship next weekend?
SV: To take over the lead has become significantly easier with todays win but we haven't given up on taking both the titles again this year. We have always believed that we could do it. The car seems to work now on any kind of track which is comforting. But we wont forget to fight at any of the next races.
Q: Do you know what you and Juan Manuel Fangio now have in common?
SV: I know now as I was asked it on the podium and I didnt know the answer. It is very special and you are almost afraid to speak it out loud so I have to leave it to others to muse about it.
Q: You have now won 24 races, just like Fangio. How do you feel?
SV: As a boy, when you dream of being a Formula One driver one day a goal like that seems to be light years away. Then when you are in Formula One it is so difficult to explain how it feels to race here. Nobody else can understand what it means to drive these cars and to win. To drive is a privilege and to win can mean the world!
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