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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Floor changes won’t make big difference 07 Jun 2012

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 7 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Sunday, 27 May 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 7 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing walks the track.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 7 June 2012

Since Monaco, an FIA rule clarification has forced Red Bull to modify the much-talked-about holes in the RB8’s rear floor. Coming into the Canada weekend, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel seems unconcerned, insisting the issue has been little more than a distraction. His focus is on becoming 2012’s first repeat winner and regaining control of the drivers’ table…

Q: Sebastian, how is your state of mind? Sworn Vettel fans fear the worst. They see Mark Webber breathing down your neck…
Sebastian Vettel:
We are speaking about one race only. This is a different weekend and a new chance, so let’s see what develops over the next three days. We have to focus on getting stronger in qualifying - this was a shortcoming at the last two races. It was always something like we were good in the free practice sessions and then lose it substantially in qualifying. That was a very dissatisfying situation - but I can assure all fans that we’ve understood the issue and hope to translate that into good qualifying performance this weekend.

Q: What about you and the RB8? Is there still an understanding gap?
SV:
No, I don’t think so. I have to admit it is still not the easiest of cars to drive and it’s no secret that it is still not the car of my dreams. But on the other hand you have to come to terms with the situation, as nothing else is available so you better get your game together and make the best out of the situation. My belief is that if we manage to get the car further up the grid in qualifying then the race results should be better, as the race speed was always something that raised hopes for more. Let’s look back at the Monaco race: if you haven’t been good in qualifying then the race could be something of a washout as it is a zero-overtaking circuit. But here in Montreal it is different - here you can overtake, so it’s a whole new game. Sure, the ideal is to start from the front row - preferably from P1 - and then let’s see how the race develops… (laughs)

Q: How easy or difficult is it for you to understand that at one time the floor of the RB8 is legal and then another time it is not?
SV:
It’s a bit surprising, isn’t it? But in the end I don’t think that this issue can distract us and I honestly hope that this matter is settled soon once and for all. In reality I don’t think that it makes a huge difference on the track - it is just a bit distracting that first it is illegal, then legal, and then illegal again. So what I mean is that in the future people should make a final decision - and spare us this back and forth.

Q: For the fans, can you describe what we are talking about here? The perforations on the floor - are we talking about holes or mere pin pricks?
SV:
We are talking about tiny holes on both sides very close to the rear tyres. These holes were added to the car as a trial and error program and if they hadn’t done something we would have closed them immediately. But it was indeed a bit of an improvement, though as they were added to the car along with other changes it is hard to say what they are really doing performance-wise. It is an interplay of several new findings. It would be too simple to say: holes on the car - rocket performance; holes closed - lame duck. (laughs) So as I just said, it will not make a big difference - it’s just the discussion about it is a bit tiring.

Q: Do you have the feeling that the development speed is good enough at Red Bull right now? Is Milton Keynes delivering enough promising parts?
SV:
The output is good. Probably it was sometimes true that parts didn’t live-up to what they’d promised to deliver. This is probably the biggest difference to last season - that parts arrive, but don’t do what they are expected to do. When we can break this cycle my guess is that we will be able to deliver the way we did in 2011.

Q: So what do you expect for this weekend?
SV:
First I want to say that it is one of the best races of the season. The city is great and the fans are really enthusiastic. This race always holds a surprise. Take last year - I have never seen so much rain. It was an all-out interesting afternoon and just unfortunate that with half a lap to go I had my only mishap of the whole race - and there the victory went out of the window. That’s racing, but my belief is that the fans enjoyed every single moment, so let’s all try to put on another sizzling show this weekend.

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