Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 23 May 2012
To win the Monaco Grand Prix is something special - even for someone as used to winning as Sebastian Vettel. After his Monte-Carlo triumph last year, Vettel is looking for more of the same this weekend. And even though he struggled in Barcelona, Red Bulls reigning world champion seems full of confidence and ready to make his RB8 dance around the narrow streets of the Principality
Q: Sebastian, winning in Monaco here last year must have been one of the finest moments of your Formula One career. How is it to return?
Sebastian Vettel: Of course this race holds sweet memories for us, but I think I speak for all the drivers when I say that it is something very special to race in these narrow streets - barriers and walls within arms length, and that at full speed. Any mistake is coming back with a vengeance and still you have to beat the car around the corners without mercy. This is no place for sissies and Sunday drivers. Cruising will not do here - you have to go to the limit every single lap. That is what makes Monaco so special in the car. The atmosphere and flair of the city is just an extra. (laughs)
Q: Can you describe what amount of concentration it takes to do 78 laps?
SV: First you have to separate that one, single, fast lap to the race. That one qualifying lap has to be perfect. Period. You put all your heart and soul into that single lap. In the race you subdivide your concentration by focusing on your car, your tyres, your mind and the strategy. You have to get all these points across the finish line. Nothing else will do. (laughs) Your concentration has to be exactly where your car is - hanging on to the last corner or focusing on the next one too soon is a sure way to botch your race.
Q: What is the part that separates the men from the boys?
SV: I would say the Casino. You arrive there at more than 250km/h in seventh gear and have to hang on to that in some sort of blind flying until you are over the camber and go into Turns Three and Four. It is there where you really have to go to the limit. What you dont see on television is how much it goes up and down there - that requires a strong stomach! (laughs) You dont have too much time to reflect - it is more gut reaction.
Q: The last race in Barcelona didnt go so well - so what makes you convinced that it will be better here?
SV: This is a completely different game. We are heading into this weekend very open minded. Tomorrow we will see how the car likes to be shaken - and not stirred. (laughs)
Q: What do you expect from the tyres?
SV: Ah, everybody is speaking about the tyre roulette and I admit the phrase has some validity here. But then we are all on the same ones, so its what you make out of it. I hope that we will not have to give too much thought to it.
Q: If you had to bet on any race result on Sunday, what would it be?
SV: That Timo Glock will finish in the top ten. So Timo, push yourself!
I know that he does at every race and I honestly wish for him that it will happen.
Q: We have heard talk that pole position has lost its importance. Does that also go for here?
SV: Pole position is always something special, though maybe nowadays more in terms of what it means than what it does. To have done the fastest, single lap - which translates into having done a flawless lap - is special for every driver. And even if the importance has lessened a bit, that does not go for here. Overtaking is a luxury almost unavailable here, so youd better start first - to eventually finish first. (laughs)
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