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Q&A with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel 02 Sep 2012

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 leads Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012

After a miserable qualifying session on Saturday, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel bounced back with an excellent podium finish in Belgium on Sunday. He reviews his Spa race and looks ahead to next weekend’s Italian round…

Q: Sebastian, how much better do you feel now compared to after qualifying?
Sebastian Vettel:
I would be lying if I said that there isn’t a difference. Though it is still almost impossible to say why it didn’t work in qualifying and why it worked in the race. What I can say is that on Saturday I simply didn’t have the grip to go for the full speed. When I looked at the data on Saturday to see where I lost the most time and compare myself to Mark’s (Webber) lap it was clear that I didn’t have any chance but then in the race it suddenly clicked again. I have to say that I went into the race quite confident as the car worked pretty well on Saturday morning, so the hope was that there was a small glitch in qualifying but that that glitch would be eliminated during the course of the race. When I look at the start I have to confess that it was pretty bad. The clutch didn’t react at all so I lost a number of places - but I was able to regain them again into the first corner and into the first chicane. I would say that what made my race was the strategy. The team has done a terrific job! This really got me back into the race again and finally onto the podium.

Q: can you talk us through your encounter with Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher?
SV:
He, we were both pretty much on the limit and he is a wily fox and doesn’t give you a lot of space. But that is the fun in fighting with him. I don’t have any problem with that. I believe that the whole situation stemmed from a misunderstanding. He wanted to pit and I didn’t. So the message is that nobody is to blame. And thank god we both got away with it.

Q: Scoring 18 points whilst championship leader Fernando Alonso scored nothing has closed the gap in the drivers standing significantly. How are you feeling about next week?
SV:
Of course it is welcome that the gap has narrowed but in the end it is not that crucial right now. Sure to defend both titles is our big goal but this year is all about living from race to race. Even today it was obvious how fast things can change. Last year we had a super weekend in Monza and this is exactly what we want next Sunday.

Q: If somebody told you before the race that you would have finished second from tenth, would you have believed them?
SV:
Yes.

Q: Why?
SV:
Because any other thought would somehow mean that you were questioning your skills. That is a weakness that we will never tolerate. We have been through much bigger ‘crises’! Of course a qualifying like yesterday is a bit hard to swallow. But it is not in our DNA to retreat.

Q: So you are going to win the title again?
SV:
That is the aim!

Q: But let’s go back to the start of the race. It was pretty dramatic…
SV:
Ha, on Friday it was raining here and today it was raining parts! (laughs) I was pretty surprised by how many cars were involved. Of course I gained from it but it was also kind of like walking on eggshells to get through all that unharmed. Sure you want to gain places immediately but on the other hand it doesn’t help if your ride ends after the next 20 metres. Mark and I were very lucky to get through that debris field without a puncture.

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