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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: No frustration at starting second 12 Oct 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 12 October 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 12 October 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 11 October 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 12 October 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 11 October 2013

Having taken pole position on each of Formula One racing’s last four visits to Japan, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel could rightly have expected to claim yet another P1 grid slot at Suzuka on Saturday. However, the German had to settle for second place behind team mate Mark Webber after suffering an intermittent KERS problem during qualifying. Afterwards he told reporters why he wasn't frustrated with P2…

Q: Sebastian, in your case P2 on the grid almost seems like a failure. How much was it due to your car’s malfunctioning KERS?
Sebastian Vettel:
Speculations in hindsight are never my thing. Let’s see it as a positive: I was pretty satisfied with my lap - and that is all that matters. It was fun out there as the car felt fantastic in the first sector. Sure the KERS failure cost us a bit, but it’s a long race tomorrow and things can change very quickly.

Q: In Korea it was the right-front tyre that was the weakest link in the race. Will it be the left front tyre tomorrow?
SV:
I don’t think that the front tyres will be the issue unless you do something stupid when braking and lock them. Other than that, the rear tyres are the ones that will suffer more.

Q: Mark (Webber) will probably give you a hard time tomorrow. Do you expect Lewis (Hamilton) to give you some problems too?
SV:
They definitely will try it, but that is something that goes both ways! (laughs) I think Mark and I will try to get the most out of the race for ourselves - and we’ll see with the rest.

Q: When did you realise that you had a problem with KERS?
SV:
We already had an issue with it in FP3 - that’s what caused us to abort FP3 prematurely and change all the batteries. Unfortunately the same problem surfaced in qualifying, which means that we obviously haven’t changed the part causing the trouble. Now we will sit down and try to analyse what caused the malfunction - and hopefully we will debunk the ‘culprit’.

Q: Can you explain what different it makes here to have KERS and to not have KERS?
SV:
Firstly, you don’t have that six seconds of extra power - but that goes for any track. What makes more of difference is that you don’t have the car that you are used to - especially when braking. Having said that I still was satisfied with my lap, and indeed this is not the worst track not to have KERS on - there are others where you pay more dearly when KERS is out of order.

Q: What does all that mean for the race?
SV:
Well, we have to find the issue and solve it. That’s plan A. If that doesn’t work we have to race without KERS.

Q: What will it take tomorrow for you to end up on the top spot of the podium?
SV:
That I pass Mark. First we will focus on the start, but it is a long race and tyres can be a decisive force so it’s better to watch out for them. Of course I would love to start one position ahead, but starting from P2 is nothing that causes frustration. Mark has been strong all weekend so congratulations to him. He did his pole time with KERS, yes. Could we have beaten him? I don’t know. As I said before I was pretty satisfied with my lap.

Q: A win tomorrow could decide the championship. How much is that on your mind?
SV:
To speak now about a result - and what it could mean - is not my thing. I want to do a good race on one of my favourite tracks and give the fans a good show. Everything else, we will see.

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