Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Well just keep on pushing 14 Oct 2012
Three race wins in a row for Sebastian Vettel. Is it the prelude to three drivers titles in a row? Things certainly look a lot brighter for the defending champion than they did a few rounds back when the paddock left Europe. After such a tight first half to the season, some might argue that the cream his finally risen to the top, with Vettel and Fernando Alonso now set for an epic showdown for the 2012 crown. But how does the man himself see it after his latest victory in Korea?
Q: Sebastian, when looking at your race it seems your biggest enemy today was your right-front tyre
Sebastian Vettel: Ha, funny way to look at it. But indeed in such a situation you never know how much life there still is in your tyre. And I think that everybody could follow the story on the team radio. (laughs) There was always the hint that I should go a bit slower in the last stint, but I was able to control the pace - and have a good look at the right front tyre.
Q: How did you do that?
SV: That will remain my secret. Others might hear about it and then my secret would be all over! (laughs) But really there is no secret to it - you just develop sensitivity over the course of the race to sometimes go below the limit to keep it alive. But when I reflect on the race I have to admit that the second stint - it was when I tried to get away - was much harder. What made these final laps such a nail-biter is that you never know when it is game-over for your problem tyre. It can hit you at any moment. The good news for me in the car was that it didnt feel as if catastrophe was just around the next corner. It still felt like winning.
Q: This win means that you are leading the drivers standings for the first time this season - how good does that feel?
SV: For sure better than if I were still behind. But what I think is important is that we have to keep things simple. That means that we have to concentrate on ourselves - because we cannot influence what others are doing and starting mind games now about what others will do in the next races is a waste of energy. Lately we had some pretty good races and, of course, I hope that we will be able to continue in that way. But it is also obvious this season that things can change quite fast, so there is no guarantee that luck will stay on our side. So keep on pushing should be our motto for the last four races.
Q: How good is that lead for you psychologically?
SV: There are still 100 points to grab, so we have to do our best to stay where we are.
Q: But the situation must be much more comfortable now than it was when the Formula One paddock headed eastwards for the flyaway races. Is the championship now yours to lose?
SV: As I just said, there are still 100 points up for grabs and I have a lead of six. We have to focus on ourselves and then lets see where it has taken us after the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Q: This win today was probably a result of your start
SV: it was in my point of view my most important move of the whole race. I was surprised that I had such a good start and saw the gap into the first corner. But I knew that it wouldnt be over with this move, as two long straights follow and I was in exactly the same position as Mark (Webber) was after that first corner - and thank God I was able to stay ahead. My impression was that all five cars were very close in that third corner, with the major advantage being that my exit of Turn Three was the best. From then on I was clearly ahead of Mark and able to build a gap between him and me.
Q: When you got out of the car you ran to your crew to hug them
SV: as they did a fantastic job! What they did is incredible. They are sleeping probably three hours a night and still deliver world-class work. If I had to do that Im guessing I wouldnt be able to walk straight, so hats off and thank you guys.
Q: Its the third win in a row. Whats the secret behind it, especially now, at the end of the season?
SV: You have all seen us this year - for many months it was something of a real roller-coaster ride, but we finally found our strength again and since Singapore it works. Today the team did everything right, and I didnt do anything stupid - we sure want to keep it that way! (laughs)
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