Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 27 May 2012
With Mark Webber winning the race and team mate Sebastian Vettel finishing in fourth, the Monaco Grand Prix proved very fruitful for Red Bull. Although Vettel was disappointed to miss out on a podium finish, after starting from P9 hes still pleased to have added to his points tally. He reflects on his Monte Carlo race
Q: You had a great strategy
Sebastian Vettel: When I saw the size of the gap I knew that every lap was super important and we were able to gain a lot of ground. We managed to gain four to five seconds on the cars behind us, by using the same tyres, but then the tyres had probably lost some performance after 30 laps. We would have needed to extend our advantage by another four seconds in the first stint but that was just not possible with the condition of the tyres at that time. We could have stayed out another one or two laps, before the first pit stop, but then we could have easily lost everything as well. So when I rejoined after pitting I was right in the middle of the leading pack, as I managed to get out right before Lewis (Hamilton).
Q: Can you talk us through your pit stop in a bit more in detail?
SV: A pit stop here in Monaco takes between 20 to 21 seconds. So I knew that Mark was 17 seconds ahead of me and the leading group was very compacted. That meant that the only question was who I would be able to catch when I came out again. So when I exited the pit lane, Lewis was pretty much at the same point of the track. But since I was on the inside I had a shorter line and I was able to stay ahead of him. With a set of new tyres I could push more, although it was very, very tight. Luckily it was just enough to get in front of him. Sure it is a pity to be so far in front and to still miss out on a podium.
Q: The world championship is still wide open but there has been some controversy about the RB8s floor
SV: I am quite relaxed about this situation. At the end of the day this is not in my hands. But I think we have a car that is designed according to the regulations. Otherwise we would not compete. Of course it is totally normal amongst all the teams to point out possible advantages or disadvantages to upgrade your own position.
Q: You seem to be able to collect points whenever they are possible these days. Do you agree?
SV: Yes, that is very true. It feels pretty good to at least bring home P4, considering that I started from P9! This translates into ten more points. When you look at qualifying it is not easy to say whether youll be able to be in the front or only at the back of the leading pack. Small details can make a huge difference this year. This season is still in its infancy - so a focus on the smaller details can definitely do the trick.
Q: The start seemed to be something of a lottery for cars behind the spinning Lotus of Romain Grosjean. How did the situation affect you?
SV: I had to take a shortcut, as suddenly there was the Lotus on the left-hand side, facing in my direction! So this shortcut was basically my only chance to stay in the race. Apart from that I had a very good start and instantly gained one position. During the short period I was leading I was flat out at the limit - and that was a lot of fun. At the end of the race it was not possible to push any more, as there was just too much traffic and I knew that I had to settle for P4 and not risk losing everything. So lets look forward to Montreal and that things work out for us from the beginning.
For tickets and travel to 2012 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.