Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Engine map change not a problem 26 Jul 2012
After the frustration of his post-race penalty in Germany (for an off-track pass on Jenson Button), Sebastian Vettels mood has definitely improved. The Hockenheim stewards decision may have been one Vettel and Red Bull disagreed with, but thats all water under the bridge. The focus now is on beating Ferrari and winning in Hungary this weekend. And thats regardless of any engine map changes required after the FIA clarified the rules - rules it thought the Milton Keynes team were bending just a little too much
Q: Looking back at the last Grand Prix, how do you feel about the post-race penalty, having had a few days to reflect?
Sebastian Vettel: I think it hurt me more on that Sunday than it does now, looking back. Of course we are looking forward, although it did hit us in that we have lost precious points in the championship. At the end of the day we have to accept this fine as it stands now. My opinion still stands. Its the same as right after the race in Hockenheim, when I did not anticipate any penalty for this manoeuvre. All in all, I do not believe that these kinds of fines hit us more often than others. Of course from a certain standpoint you could interpret anything into everything, but at the end of the year I believe it will all level out by itself. There have been races where we have been lucky and others where we have been unlucky. In Valencia, for example, it did hit us badly, as we had a good position and the car was working well. But it wasnt meant to be a win for us. This is also happening to other teams.
Q: After the chequered flag you were heard saying on the team radio that youd been fighting like a lion. Do you think that the win was there?
SV: I would love to say yes, but I think the chance wasnt there. I never got close enough in the first two stints to try and overtake Fernando [Alonso] and later on we lost the position to Jenson. Okay, we did get it back in the end, but obviously we got the penalty for that. All in all, the car was on the limit all the time. I pushed as hard as I could because I wanted to win, but it was not meant to happen.
Q: Fernando Alonso seems to be able to storm away at the front. How can you contain him?
SV: Very simple - reach the finish line first. Of course we are not satisfied with position two, three, four or five, as we want to be winning the races. At the moment he is the one to beat. Looking back at the first ten races, which have been very turbulent in terms of the results, we still see a lot of chances to win many more races over the course of this season. We have to focus on our work, and not necessarily look to what others do. Only at the end of the season we will calculate who will be the winner.
Q: There was that issue with the engine maps that in the end turned out to be nothing, as the team was not breaking the rules. But for some people it looked like you were breaking the rules - or at least the spirit of the rules. Is that of any concern for you?
SV: No. Every year there are talks about mapping and all that goes with it - I think we make less of an impression on the track then we do in the media! (laughs)
Q: So if you have to change your map, how will this affect you?
SV: I dont see any problem with it. There are so many things we try over the course of the season on a race weekend - including the mapping - that it is almost impossible to say whether this is a big step or not.
Q: Is it bad news for you to be 44 points behind Fernando?
SV: I am not thinking in this direction. We are focusing on having a good weekend and doing our best. Of course the target is always to win, but there is no point in being desperate or trying harder this weekend because that would mean that at the races before you havent tried hard enough. So we just do our thing and see where it takes us.
Q: When you compare the Ferrari and the Red Bull on track, where do you see the differences?
SV: Very simple - the Ferrari is red and the Red Bull is blue. (laughs) But to be serious, the cars are very different - and yet in terms of performance they are quite close. At the moment the Ferrari seems to be a very consistent car and a quick package in all kind of conditions, whereas for us we are sometimes more competitive and at other times not. The McLaren is sometimes a question mark, so I think at the moment the most consistent package is in the lead. They are the ones to beat at the moment.
Q: There is the big summer break for the Formula One teams after Hungary. How will you be looking back on the past ten races then? And will the Olympic Games be on your television screen?
SV: I will think about what I could have done better - and after that the four weeks will most likely be over anyway. (laughs). I am a total Olympics fan. I will be watching a lot of disciplines, including the ones that are not usually on the mainstream radar, like high diving and show jumping. So pretty much everything.
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