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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: I’m disappointed but confident 24 Jun 2012

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 June 2012 The car of race retiree Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, is interviewed by Kai Ebel (GER) RTL Presenter.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 leads at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 June 2012

Many in the paddock were convinced that we would see our first repeat winner of the season this weekend in Valencia, rather than an eighth victorious driver. Most imagined pole sitter Sebastian Vettel would do the honours. But in the end, with Vettel (and some other rivals) ruled out, it was left to Fernando Alonso to take his second win of the year. Vettel discusses his Valencian race…

Q: Sebastian, to be in the lead and have to stop the car must be one of the most annoying things that can happen to a driver. What was the reason for your retirement?
Sebastian Vettel:
We don’t know that yet. I would assume that it was a combination of being behind the safety car and some of the issues that Mark (Webber) was already facing on Friday. But we will have to analyse that in the next few days. Whatever it was, it was a good race until that moment. We were really fast up until then and could easily have cruised to the chequered flag I believe.

Q: After you stopped, the race developed rather unexpectedly and eventually Fernando Alonso won. He is now leading the championship…
SV:
Whether it’s good news or not is of no importance. The important thing this weekend was that we saw that we can be really quick. We have also improved step-by-step over the weekend so I take confidence back home from this weekend rather than anger. Okay, the result is not what we expected but it was only the eighth race, so things can change every fortnight. That is probably the only constant that we’ve seen so far.

Q: The safety car reduced your lead to zero. Would you still have won had you stayed in the race?
SV:
I do believe so, yes. Sure you will never know, but it was obvious that I was the fastest today. But there is no way to turn back the time. I was out of the race and the others finished so just let’s move on. I think we are in a good way and that is what is important.

Q: Looking at the championship standings, do you think Alonso is now the hottest candidate?
SV:
Let’s stay calm and not try to read the future. We’ve seen that it is unpredictable this season. And whether Fernando won or anybody else is not what I am thinking about. We have to get our game together and then we should be in good shape.

Q: So back to the positives, how was your start and the race up until Lap 33?
SV:
My start was sensational. I didn’t have to use too much of my KERS and was able to save it for the rest of the lap. I think in that phase Lewis (Hamilton) was substantially slower, so until the first pit stop everything went perfectly. I was in control. Then the safety car came out and that was the beginning of the end! There was no imminent danger and there was already debris on the track before but there is nothing we could have done. The safety car broke us. It’s leaves a bit of a bitter taste in your mouth to be stranded on the track in that way.

Q: With a championship so tight, how annoying is it to leave Valencia with zero points?
SV:
This year’s secret to the title will be to finish in the points at every race and this was our first technical drop out. Let’s hope that was it for the season!

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