Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Williams a serious threat 23 Jun 2012
Finally Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing seem to be back on track in their defence of their titles - at least if todays qualifying is anything to go by. With overtaking so difficult in Valencia, the reigning world champion is now determined to also maintain his advantage at the start - and end - of Sundays race. But Vettel knows that more than one rival team could get in his way
Q: You stayed a pretty long time in the pits at the start of Q3 - was that planned or just tactical?
Sebastian Vettel: Unfortunately it was planned. The tyres were almost used up in Q2. We had only one set left so we decided to wait as long as possible because we didnt feel that it would make a lot of sense to go out on used tyres - and wow, weve been able to get the maximum out of that one fast lap. It was all but easy because we didnt feel that comfortable at the start of qualifying. But with every lap out there we got more and better speed. And it worked - against some odds. (laughs)
Q: If you really have only one try at it, how much adrenalin is rushing through your veins?
SV: A lot, believe me. But in the end that is what its all about. On one side you hate such a situation, but realistically that is what you are here for: to race as hard as you can, no matter if its one lap or one hundred; to face a challenge, look if there is a chance in it for you, and then grab it with both hands.
Q: If you look at the list of all-time pole setters there are only two names who have clocked more in their careers: Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. How does that make you feel?
SV: At first glance that sounds fantastic, but to really be on par with them there is still a long way to go. (laughs) True, it is a nice side effect, but there is nothing as crucial as the race and that is all I am focusing right now. Maybe on Monday I will come back to this statistic.
Q: Lewis Hamilton will make up the front row with you and right behind you is Pastor Maldonado. Is the Williams as big a threat as it was in Barcelona?
SV: Well, it has been a fact that if the Williams have been good in qualifying they are also there in the race. So to answer your question, yes, I do see them as serious challengers. The Friday long run of Pastor was quite an indication that they will be there. Of course it is no secret that the grid position is very important here - so we are in a good situation - but it will be a long and hot race and weve seen lately that many things can happen in the last ten laps, so the focus must be to get going and create a gap right away. At least that is the plan.
Q: There is speculation is that Adrian Newey has dreamt up something exceptional again for the floor. Is that so?
SV: No, but we do have some new parts on the car and they definitely mean a step forward. I also believe that there is still more development possible for the next races, but it is also evident this season that all teams find it hard to really understand in which direction the development should head. It is the mystery season! (laughs)
Q: You were heard saying over the team radio that you did the right thing. What did you mean by that?
SV: Well, you are not allowed to change the car in qualifying, but you can for example adjust the front wing a little bit - to adapt to the conditions. And the wind had picked up a bit in Q3, so weve made the right call.
Q: In a season that had been deemed a tyre lottery, how happy are you to finally get some consistency in your performances?
SV: Lets hope that weve really found consistency now, because it is still very tight and that is not the easiest of situations - even if I know that the fans very much appreciate it, I would rather go for clear dominance. (laughs) But today is only Saturday and no points will come your way, so lets bake the cake first before we cut it!
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