Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Red Bull performing well on both tyres 21 Sep 2012
After dominating both practice sessions on Friday, Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel seems to have bounced back from his recent woes to fight at the front again. Vettel reviews his early running at Singapore, looks ahead to the rest of the weekend and reflects on his title chances
Q: Sebastian, you won the race here last year and were within a whisker of clinching the championship. Its a lot different this year
Sebastian Vettel: Hopefully its not too different. I hope that we can score the same amount of points this year and the others will do us the favour of not finishing (laughs) I think it is a great race and every year we are happy to be here. It is one of the most challenging races of the season. It is the only night race, the track is very long and bumpy and it is hot. There is absolutely no room for mistakes so you better not make any.
Q: It went smoothly for you today. Are all the issues from Monza now solved?
SV: It was a good second session. We had no problems and we ran through our programme smoothly. The temperature is very pleasant for both the car and for the driver. Today I am pretty happy with the performance on both tyres so keep your fingers crossed that it stays that way tomorrow and on Sunday. That would be incredible.
Q: Have the new kerbs changed the track?
SV: Yes, it has changed and I think it is an improvement. I think the organisers have found a much better solution. The track is still bumpy but it wouldnt be Singapore if it wasnt bumpy!
Q: Are your recent technical issues in the back of your mind ahead of qualifying?
SV: First and foremost, I cant control these issues. I wish I could but these things happen. If I win, it is not me winning but the team winning as well. We didnt finish the last race but we are trying to make it better at this race.
Q: How many discussions about alternators have been held since Monza?
SV: Not many. It is nothing that involves me directly. Sure I was kept in the loop about the findings, why it was I ultimately had to stop and what solutions there are. It would be difficult to say that everything is fine as we retired at the last race. But it is looking promising and we have some great people on the case.
Q: But reportedly even Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz was involved in the discussions. Have you spoken to him about the matter?
SV: Yes, sure you talk about it and take many options into consideration. Our first task is to get the problem sorted out. It is anything but easy to change the supplier overnight and we would only walk down the road to that option as a last resort.
Q: You are 39 points adrift of standings leader Fernando Alonso. Does that give you hope or make you feel frustrated?
SV: Hope is always there. But to be honest I dont stare at the standings so it doesnt trigger anything. We are racing because we love to and the aim is the championship. This years is still wide open if you consider how fast things change nowadays. The last race didnt really help us but on Sunday night things may look completely different again.
Q: If you stand back and look at the 2012 season so far it seems to have been rather tough for you. Why is that?
SV: I dont think that you can single out one culprit and point at it. Sure it doesnt help if you retire from a race in a good position but I think that goes for all of us and if you look at the constructors standing we have clinched a fair share of points. That it is not such a glorious year as it was in 2011 is pretty obvious. The fact that people measure us on these successes is understandable as we do it ourselves. We want to get back there even if it is clear that in all aspects we are not where we were at the end of 2011. It is not a single issue that has to be solved but a number of issues. But it is not as bad as it might sound.
Q: Why do you think you can win the championship over Ferraris Fernando Alonso or McLarens Lewis Hamilton?
SV: We have a strong car. Maybe sometimes it hasnt been good enough to win the race but it has been good enough to score points. But it would have been great to sometimes bag more points than we did and drink more champagne!
Q: Do you think qualifying has suffered this year?
SV: I think it is much more difficult this year to be as fast as in previous years. The window where you have a perfect synergy between car and tyres has narrowed significantly. There have been situations where we have had no clue why we didnt produce a better time on Saturday and one day later in the race it worked well again. Such irritations are not really helpful when looking for answers. But you only win points in the race and I will do my best to make that happen on Sunday.
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