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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Ease of Spa win a surprise 25 Aug 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing kisses the trophy on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 25 August 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 leaves after a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 25 August 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrate in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 25 August 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 overtakes Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 to lead at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 25 August 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 25 August 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 crosses the line to win the Belgian Grand Prix.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 25 August 2013

He didn’t expect to dominate it as he did, his early pass on Lewis Hamilton was key, and, of course, he is still not thinking about the title. That was the message from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel as he chatted to the media following his imperious win in Belgium on Sunday afternoon…

Q: Sebastian, it’s your fifth race win of the season. Did you think that you would dominate it the way you did?
Sebastian Vettel:
Definitely not. To be honest it surprised all of us, so it is a fantastic feeling. We knew that race pace-wise we would have a bit in hand compared to Mercedes, but we didn’t know where the others were. Ferrari and Lotus looked very quick in dry conditions - and as it was far from clear that it would stay dry today, we pushed throughout the whole race and in the end we were able to control it. The last couple of laps weren’t too stressful. (laughs)

Q: We all know that you don’t like to talk about the title, but you are nearing a point where it almost becomes inevitable that you will win…
SV:
Everybody should know by now that I am a step-by-step kind of guy, so my next focus is the next race. What I can say is that I feel very comfortable in the car and feel that we are moving in the right direction. About today, I can say that I enjoyed my afternoon very much - but even in the race I didn’t think primarily about the result. It is a fantastic track and to drive a car that follows you in any move that you make: that can make a race driver’s day. I knew at one point that Fernando (Alonso) was behind me, but only because my crew told me and I then saw it on the pit-board and not because I felt challenged by him.

Q: It seems the race was won on the first lap when you passed Lewis Hamilton with unbelievable speed. Was that ‘advanced’ overtaking?
SV:
Ha, I don’t know if it was ‘advanced’ overtaking, but I realized at the start that I would not be able to pass Lewis right away so I calculated that if I used the slipstream through Eau Rouge - and saved KERS - I could pass him. And I did. I was surprised myself that it all went so easily.

Q: So you were surprised by your own speed?
SV:
I was still able to look where I was going - it was not rocket speed! (laughs) But yes, the car felt fantastic and we were even been able gain time with our pit stops. I stayed on full throttle because it was not clear if it would start to rain, so we wanted to keep our race flexible and be able to immediately react to changing conditions. It was one of those races that you don’t have very often in your career - not on a track like Spa - where every little piece falls into place.

Q: So your move against Lewis was key to winning the race…
SV:
If I had stayed behind him I would not have finished first - does that make sense? So yes, it was key.

Q: How much fun and how much hard work was the race today?
SV:
Well, racing is my job so it was work, but today it was definitely more fun than it was hard work. With me it’s like with anybody else - if you enjoy what you are doing you don’t see it as work.

Q: After qualifying everybody guessed that Hamilton would be your fiercest opponent today, but in fact it was Alonso who worked his way from P9 on the grid to a P2 result. Did that surprise you?
SV:
No, because I know that Fernando is always somebody you have to have on your short list in the race. Indeed Ferrari has shown improvements over the weekend - especially in the dry - so no, it was not surprising. But we had no clear idea where we should ‘file’ them. We knew that in race trim we would be faster than Mercedes, but we had no idea about Ferrari. Indeed, they’ve been fast - but we’ve been faster, and we’re not sad about it. (laughs)

Q: Nico Rosberg said that you drove a hell of a race today. How is it to hear something like that from a competitor?
SV:
It is very welcome. Of course, everybody is focusing on himself first, but if one of your competitors is good enough to acknowledge that you’ve done a good race, that’s much appreciated.

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