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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Past results don't give us an advantage 04 Feb 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 20 September 2012 (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with the new Red Bull Racing RB9. Red Bull Racing RB9 Launch, Red Bull Racing Factory, Milton Keynes, England, 3 February 2013. (L to R): Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company, Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer, Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing. Red Bull Racing RB9 Launch, Red Bull Racing Factory, Milton Keynes, England, 3 February 2013. (L to R): Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer, Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with the new Red Bull Racing RB9. Red Bull Racing RB9 Launch, Red Bull Racing Factory, Milton Keynes, England, 3 February 2013. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 crosses the finish line to the delight of his team as he takes his third F1 World Championship.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012 World Champion Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates with the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull may have won the last three drivers’ and constructors’ titles, but the 25-year-old German is bracing himself for another incredibly tight season in 2013. Speaking at Red Bull’s factory in Milton Keynes, UK, after the covers had come off the team’s new car - the Renault-powered RB9 - Vettel discussed how he's preparing for the upcoming campaign...

Q: Sebastian, the launch of a new car is always a very special moment. Can you explain how much you’ve been involved in the development of the car and how it felt to see the covers come off?
Sebastian Vettel:
It is quite something to see the car as a whole for the first time. Sure, over the winter I’ve seen parts of it, but this here - all shiny and new and in the spotlight - this is quite something. It is mouth watering to think that next week you’re going to take it out of the garage and do your first laps of the year. To be honest, over the winter I took a step back because I know that we have experts who don’t rely on my input. Primarily it is a car that is backed up by last year’s experience. It is not that they call from the factory before Christmas and ask ‘hey Seb, how was this or that?’ Believe me, we worked out every detail during the (2012) season so it was clear in what direction the journey would go - and the new car is the result.

Q: What targets have you set yourself with the RB9?
SV:
The only thing that I know right here, right now is that it will be a long and demanding year where consistency will again play a vital role. Of course we hope that the car is fast right away - from the very first metre - and then it is up to us to add consistency. My prediction is that it will be very tight again as the regulations have not changed significantly. That means that quite a number of teams will be able to be up there so every race can make a difference - you have to approach every race as if it is the one that tips the tide.

Q: Have you continued your tradition of giving your car a name?
SV:
No I haven’t and it will take some time. To give a nickname you have to familiarize first - isn’t that so? And as I have only seen the RB9 very briefly and never had my hands on it, how can I know what name fits its character? The usual procedure is that it will happen around one week before Australia - after three tests I should know what fits. But it’s not something that I do in the still of the night - this is teamwork! The boys and me, we sit down and put suggestions on the table and then a heated discussion starts. I would say we have always come up with the perfect name for every car that I have driven for Red Bull Racing. Once something has a name you interact differently. Then it is not a ‘thingamabob’ but a such-and-such. (laughs)

Q: What has the three-time world champion done over the winter? How has he prepared himself for the fight to begin again?
SV:
It was a pretty quiet winter. Luckily I stayed at home a lot and slept in my own bed. That sounds banal but I regard it as a huge luxury. Of course I started training weeks ago, but you always do something to keep your level up.

Q: When looking at your career, you are 25-years-old, have 26 race victories and three world championships under your belt. How far can you go?
SV:
I am not someone who is looking back too much. Of course it is fantastic what has been achieved, but as the new season is knocking at my door I actually think that we all start from zero again. All the results that we had in the past will not give us a head start or advantage now. Sure there are the expectations that people have, but more than that we expect ourselves to do well again. So yes, there is a lot of pressure, but most of all I am looking forward to getting in the car, getting out again on the track, and finding out myself where we are.

Q: Is there a voice in the back of your head that says ‘you’ve done it three times, why not make it four?’
SV:
No, not really. Everything that you achieve - every single point - is hard fought. Sure everybody will go out wanting to beat me and I will do the same - wanting to beat everybody else. But there are no guarantees and all you can do is the best job that you can. The last three years have been good to us as our best job turned out to be the benchmark. That is what I want to repeat once I have my helmet on.

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