Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Im disappointed but confident 24 Jun 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 dont 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 its 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 weve 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 lets 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: Lets stay calm and not try to read the future. Weve 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 didnt 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. Its 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 years secret to the title will be to finish in the points at every race and this was our first technical drop out. Lets hope that was it for the season!
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