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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: It was a comfortable job for us 21 Apr 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 crosses the line.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 leads the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates with the trophy on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013

After taking the lead early in the race, Sebastian Vettel made winning the 2013 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix look relatively easy. Having extended his championship lead over Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen to 10 points, the Red Bull driver spoke to reporters about his dominant day in Sakhir

Q: Sebastian, you seemed to cruise comfortably to the checkered flag and bag an easy win. Was it all that easy?
Sebastian Vettel:
True, I was in a very comfortable situation towards the end of the race and we definitely didn’t think that it would be that ‘easy’ - easy always in quotation marks as winning a Formula One race is never easy. I have to say that at the beginning the many wheel-to-wheel fights were great fun and then it went smoother and smoother with every lap gone by. Why isn’t every day like that?! (laughs)

Q: Before the race, did you think you would win?
SV:
Well, nowadays you never know what to expect when you start a race. Even when you do a great qualifying it doesn’t automatically mean that you will be quick in the race. The most important thing was to get ahead of everybody very early on because I’ve seen at the last races that when you are stuck behind somebody it has an impact on tyre wear and today it was important that we made good use of the hard tyres we saved from qualifying. On top of all our considerations I love to drive in ‘free air’ so I was pushing hard to get into the lead. With the speed that we had in mid-race it was a comfortable job for all of us.

Q: You pitted early for the first time - what made you so sure that this strategy would work?
SV:
I think we read the numbers from Friday correctly and translated that into our Saturday performance and the race today. The car felt fantastic. We’ve changed the front wing a bit here and there and every small piece fell into place.

Q: What went through your head when you heard that Fernando Alonso had a problem?
SV:
I didn’t hear anything like that. All I knew was that he had a problem with the rear tyres, but I didn’t know that he had some technical issues on his car. But had I known it wouldn’t have made any difference because there were enough others to watch out for. Both Lotus’s moved smoothly to the front - based on their strategy and their race speed - and thank god we were ahead enough not to let them get too close.

Q: In the last few days there has been much talk about Ferrari having the best package. How much does the win today mean, also psychologically?
SV:
A win is a win. And we do not talk so much about the others - we focus on ourselves. I think what helped a lot today was the fact that we were able to qualify on the first row. It didn’t work out for pole position, but in exchange we bagged the points today. And guess what is more important? (laughs) Obviously Ferrari had some issues today - obviously with both cars - but everybody knows that it would never be wise to write them off. Certainly we don’t.

Q: Why is it that Kimi Raikkonen seems to need one pit stop less than most?
SV:
I think you have to deal differently with the tyres. Probably you cannot attack as much with your tyres - move more subtly - and we have seen at the previous races that the Lotus works very well with the tyres. That gives you the option to save the twenty-something seconds for the pit stop and accept a bit of a lesser speed. In the end we’ve been ahead so our strategy still works better.

Q: If you were to sort your biggest challenger for the championship from these names, how would you order them: Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamilton?
SV:
I don’t sort anything! I leave that to others! (laughs) I had a fantastic race today and I am looking very much forward to the start of the European campaign in Barcelona.

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