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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Next team mate not my call 28 Jun 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing runs through the paddock.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 27 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing walks the track with Tim Malyon (GBR) Red Bull Racing Performance Engineer and Guillaume Rocquelin (FRA) Red Bull Racing Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silversto Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 27 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013

Sebastian Vettel had a slow start to his Silverstone race weekend, not even setting a time in the wet first practice session on Friday. In the afternoon session, the Red Bull driver ended up third quickest, just behind his much-talked about team mate, Mark Webber...

Q: Sebastian, as many suspected, your team mate Mark Webber will retire from Formula One at the end of the season. Have there been discussions about who will be your new team mate? How much influence will you have on that process?
Sebastian Vettel:
I have no idea right now – and I do not really expect that the team will involve me in the search. It would be nice, of course, to get asked if you have a good relationship, but bear in mind that we only found out yesterday morning that Mark has decided to stop racing in Formula One, so the situation is rather new for all of us and no route has been defined.
 
Q: Wouldn’t it be logical now to turn to one of the guys from Toro Rosso as both Jean-Eric (Vergne) and Daniel (Ricciardo) have shown a significant rise in performance? And what about Kimi Raikkonen?
SV:
Of course it makes sense to look at the junior team if you have one, but I don’t know if that is mandatory - in any case it is not my call. So yes, it would make sense - but it also makes sense to look around and get the best possible choice for the team. Let’s put it this way: one driver will stay, one has decided to leave, and over the next couple of weeks there will be a decision made to fill up this void! (laughs)
 
Q: There is a little over half the season to go. Do you expect a change now that Mark has made his decision?
SV:
No, why? We will fight for results as we have always done. It will not be easier from now on - nor more difficult. We are professionals and have been the most successful driver pairing over the last few years - and that is what we will try to be for the rest of the season.
 
Q: If you can imagine ten years on from now - would you have made Mark’s decision if you were in a similar situation?
SV:
Ha, how can I even remotely imagine ten years from now? One thing is for sure: we drivers all love racing, but then there will come a point where you will move on, either because you've have enough of F1 or because other challenges come your way.
 
Q: Kimi Raikkonen again expressed that he is getting along very well with you - is the feeling still mutual?
SV:
Yes.
 
Q: Is that a vote of confidence for him being your new team mate?
SV:
As I said: it is not my call to make a decision! We get along very well, we have never had an issue on the track, and should there one day be an issue we will sit down and talk. That is all that can be said right now. But in the end it is not so important who your team mate is: you want to beat them everyone - including your team mate.
 
Q: Will you miss Mark?
SV:
Well, we've all known about his decision for one day so this fact still has to sink in. For several years the team has stayed unchanged so when we've moved on to a new season you knew what to expect and didn’t think about it. But now it will be different - and I wouldn’t use the word ‘afraid’ but ‘unknown’. So let's wait and see what that ‘unknown’ will be.  

Q: Then let's ask the question another way: your relationship with Mark has not been the easiest lately, is there a certain amount of relief to see him leave?
SV:
No, I don’t think that way. I have enormous respect for him as a driver - and off track I would say that many things have been hyped more than they should have. If you look at other team parings there are worse ‘couples’ than us. (laughs) There was probably a generation gap, but it was never a situation where you wanted a change at all costs.
 
Q: Did the Malaysia incident (where Vettel appeared to ignore team orders to overtake Webber) have anything to do with Mark’s decision do you think? What’s your guess?
SV:
I don’t think so. If you remember back to Turkey 2010 we also had a different opinion on how things should go, but we had very successful years after that.
 
Q: Lets go back to this weekend’s racing at Silverstone. What are your expectations for yourself - and what about Ferrari?
SV:
Well, I think we have shown that we can be successful on pretty much all tracks. Sure we could have been better in China and Barcelona, but that’s how it went and I think we should be competitive here. Of course Ferrari will, again, be a factor. In the past they’ve always been good here, so why should that change?
 
Q: Rumour has it that Adrian Newey has designed a new rear suspension that you have on the car - is that so?
SV:
We never comment on any specific parts that are new on the car, but yes, we are bringing updates to every race so we also have new bits and pieces here. It is nothing that you see at first glance, but that is how it is this season - everything is more in the detail and less obvious. From what we’ve experienced it was a pretty good day today. At least I felt really comfortable.
 
Q: How would you judge today’s times?
SV:
It’s Friday and the conditions have been far from ideal - what more do I have to say? What counts is that I feel comfortable in the car and that I feel that we still can squeeze more out tomorrow. For the race it will - as always - be important to have good tyre management as this track is rather hard on the tyres.
 
Q: So what do you expect from the race? It’s been quite a while - since Monza 2011 - that you’ve won a race in Europe...
SV:
I don’t think that this statistic is of real relevance for Sunday. We came here to deliver a great race - hopefully one that we win. Silverstone is a track that I like and if the car supports that than it is even better. From what I have experienced today I would say it looks pretty good!

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