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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: I shouldn't have passed Mark 24 Mar 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in the post race Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013

It was a thrilling battle to watch, but one that should never have happened had Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had his way. With tyres proving marginal at Sepang on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel was expected to hold station behind race leader Mark Webber. He didn't, but it was a move he seemed to regret almost as soon as the helmets came off after the race...

Q: Sebastian, it was a tough race - you've won, but now you have to apologise for the victory in front of the eyes of the world. How do you feel right now?
Sebastian Vettel:
Not really fantastic. If I were given the chance to do it again (differently) I would. I can only repeat myself: I've made a mistake and I have to apologise to Mark. What I did was not correct, but had I been aware of it in that very moment I wouldn't have attacked the way I did and wouldn't have taken so much risk. After all that I would say that it was an excellent result for the team and we can be proud of that. Today we've been able to handle the tyres better than anybody else and that got us into the position to fight over the win.

Q: Wasn't there a call that you should stay in P2?
SV:
That is correct, but I didn't mean to ignore the call - otherwise why would I take so much risk to pass him?

Q: Then why did you?
SV:
Because I messed up? I guess also the team wasn't too happy with what I did today and I will try to explain it later. I did get the message, but no action followed because I misunderstood. In the past in such a situation we tended to fight, but these days with the tyre situation - not knowing how long they would last - it was an extremely big risk that could have resulted in both of us being out of the race and not finishing 1-2. Fights like that are huge risks for the tyres these days - we both could have ruined them within two to three laps. I put myself above this decision today, but I didn't mean too

Q: Michael Schumacher probably would have done exactly the same and he is a seven-time world champion. Maybe this is part of your personal development...
SV:
Ah, not so sure. The main lesson for me today was that I should have acted differently. We talk about such things, sure, but I wasn't really aware of it in the race as otherwise I wouldn't have taken on so much risk. When I took off my helmet and saw that Mark didn't look too happy I talked to him and he came straight to the point. That was when it struck me like lightning. I cannot say that I am proud right now.

Q: But to win the championship you have got to win races. Was today the most difficult win?
SV:
You can find many words for such a situation and as I said before, if I could undo it I would and settle for P2. It will not be easy to fall asleep tonight.

Q: What about Alonso running into the back of you on the opening lap? How did you see that?
SV:
In that moment I didn't really know what was going on. I felt a hit, looked in my mirror and saw that Fernando was pretty close. I looked again to check that I hadn't got a puncture, which I hadn't. That was it for me. I think he had an issue with his front wing - that was pretty much all I realised and all I saw of him.

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