Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Race victory remains the plan 24 Nov 2012
For somebody who has so much to lose, Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel was unbelievably calm after qualifying fourth at Interlagos on Saturday. Sure, he has been in this situation twice before, but this time there is a landmark record at stake - that of becoming the youngest triple champion in F1 history. Whatever happens on Sunday in Sao Paulo, though, Vettel knows he has played a key role in one of most exciting seasons ever witnessed
Q: Sebastian, looking at the situation in the championship how satisfied are you with P4 on the grid? Normally this position would rather annoy you
Sebastian Vettel: It does annoy me - or lets put it better: it doesnt make you happy. I sometimes wonder what people do expect. Everybody should know by now that putting a car constantly on the front row is no bed of roses. I think it is always a question of what your expectations are - and we didnt expect too much because we knew that it would be very tight today. In Q1 the track was still a bit damp; in Q2 it went pretty well; and in Q3 in the first run it was my mistake going a bit off track, so we knew that the second run could bring us a bit further - and it did. But probably I was a bit too timid and didnt extract the maximum. But overall I would say that P4 is something that we can live with. There are many examples that show that you can win the race starting from there, and that is exactly our plan for tomorrow.
Q: What is prevailing then: the discontent about P4 or the satisfaction to be clearly ahead of Fernando Alonso?
SV: As I just said before, to be anything close to annoyed, discontent or unhappy you would have had to have had the idea of doing much better. We have seen that both McLarens were very strong all weekend, so far so they did play a certain role in our considerations. The good thing is that we are not much off.
Q: When you went out in Q3, Jenson Button was released from his garage only a heartbeat before you. Was that of any distraction to you?
SV: No, not at all.
Q: How often do you check weather updates?
SV: No more often than at any other race. Sure, I know that this race is always full of surprises and that anything can happen, so the advice that I would give myself is to be wide awake to be able to react to any condition changes.
Q: Are you nervous in any shape or form?
SV: Yes, and yes I am always nervous. As I speak now, no, but tomorrow around noon it will start and I think you need that certain amount of tension because when you are too relaxed you might get overrun by the ongoing.
Q: One of the key people tomorrow will again be Felipe Massa - firstly because he is starting in your immediate vicinity and secondly because we have learned that his gearbox can fail overnight and thus has to be changed. Is that something that you consider again?
SV: That is not one of our decisions now, just as it was not one a week ago in Austin, so there is no need to lose a thought on it. For us, only we are the subjects of our considerations - that is what I have said so many times before. We have to focus on ourselves - period. So what I will do is to look at the data to find out where I have lost time, as Mark [Webber] has been a bit faster, and the rest will show tomorrow. Lately weve done good starts so your motto must be look ahead not behind! Yes, we do have mirrors on the car, but I hope I will not have to use them often. (laughs)
Q: How much more cautious do you have to be at the start when it rains?
SV: First of all we have to see if it is raining at all. And one thing has to be very clear: we didnt come here to be second. We always aim for the win whether we start from the first row or from P4 or from P10. There will always be somebody next to you - I cannot remember starting a race all alone on the grid, so I am pretty used to other cars around me! (laughs)
Q: What happens this evening - on the eve of such an important race?
SV: Not much. As usual I will go to bed early.
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