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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: There’s still room for improvement 06 Sep 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 5 September 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013

If there’s one track that could normally be described as ‘weak’ for Red Bull, it’s Monza. There was no sign of that, however, on Friday afternoon, as Sebastian Vettel led the way, more than half a second clear of his nearest rivals. And more worryingly for those rivals, Vettel says he and the team haven’t yet optimised the RB9 for the high-speed Italian circuit…

Q: Sebastian, how do you judge your situation right now? Are you uncatchable? Surely you are the 2013 title winner - especially from what we’ve seen again today?
Sebastian Vettel:
I think you are uncatchable if mathematically nobody can score more points. Right now we are not in that situation. It is true that we are sailing on a wave of success, but we have also seen in the past how short-lived success can be. And to keep the wave rolling we know how much effort and work we all have to put in for the next couple of months so that we’ve really been uncatchable after Brazil. (laughs)

Q: How many drivers would you say are still in the title fight?
SV:
How should I know that? I am not sneaking into the meetings of other teams. (laughs) What I do is focus on us - like everybody in the team does - and take it from there, step-by-step. I think it would be wrong to focus on only one competitor and probably lose sight of the real threat. So all possible challengers are in our field of view, but with us in the centre.

Q: The talk of the paddock is your young team mate for 2014, Daniel Ricciardo. How do you see the situation?
SV:
I think his benefit is that he is still very young. He has been given an incredible chance and I judge him smart enough to seize it with both hands. It is difficult to imagine how it will be in 2014, as it will be a new situation for all of us. So probably this is his chance to come in as nobody has a real advantage from previous years. He is able to race and handle the proceedings of a race weekend - that he has shown. My guess is that he will be an asset for the team - and also that he will try everything to make my life difficult!

Q: What makes the myth of Monza for you? Aside from the fact that you had your first great F1 moment here?
SV:
Monza is something special. Sure my win here in 2008 tints the view even more rose. It is a quite demanding track. Even if the saying goes that you almost always go straight, to do this you use very little wing and that means that you have less grip. So it is something of a balancing act to keep the car on the track - even in the dry.

Q: How critical will the first chicane be?
SV:
That depends on where you are. Ideally you start from pole position and keep that place through the first chicane - then you are on the safe side. Starting from midfield means that you are in the danger zone - but we don’t want that.

Q: Predictions point to a wet race on Sunday. Would that suit you?
SV:
True, even our team weather expert thinks that it could be wet. What does that mean? That we very likely will have a hot and dry qualifying and a wet race. But we have had that before, so no big deal. Probably what we will do is a compromise on the car. But that is a decision that we will take tomorrow. Today was a good day, but we have to keep our feet on the ground as it will be very tight in qualifying. I predict that we will see several cars separated only by a few hundredths. When you look at today’s affairs I would say that the first session was more conclusive than the second. For us we will sit down tonight and try to solve two or three things that we want to change.

Q: How can there be two or three things that you want to change when it went so well in the afternoon? Six-tenths ahead of the rest? That is quite a chunk of time…
SV:
Ha, yes, it is. I don’t know how that happened. Maybe I took a short cut somewhere. (laughs) But let’s be serious: there are always two or three things that you want to optimize. Whether a car is perfect, you only find out in the race - until then you are always looking for a better twist. Today there have been two or three corners where I was sliding a bit more than I would have liked to - nothing dramatic, but if you can change it for the better you go for it.

Q: So what are you expectations for tomorrow and for the race? Are you straight on track for another 25 points?
SV:
Today is Friday, so nobody should get overexcited. It was a pretty good day, so let’s take it from there.

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