Q: Sebastian, two more races in the blue overalls and then a fantastically successful partnership has to come to an end. What is the prevailing feeling - melancholy or remaining happy?
Sebastian Vettel: Neither. Even if there are only two more races to go neither of the two options are my style. It is like it’s always been - we are not all running around with tears in our eyes. We have always taken it one race at a time, getting the most out of every single one - that’s the mood at the moment.
Q: It’s been a month since Red Bull announced your departure, but there’s still been no announcement on where you’re heading. When will that happen?
SV: Be patient. And one thing is for sure: I will not be spending my time at the beach next year. I am fairly relaxed about that.
Q: But do you know who will be your team mate?
SV: Let me put it this way: I have a fairly good understanding of what’s happening in the future. I am not worried at all.
Q: There is pretty good chance that this could be a potentially chaotic Grand Prix again. What springs to mind when you think about racing here?
SV: Thank God only good memories! I think it was in 2009 when I got kicked out pretty rudely in qualifying when in the fight for the championship, but then had a good race. And think about 2012 - that was quite a season finale! You could not ask for more happening in one single race. So yes, this place certainly seems to attract crazy races. And if all the predictions come true we are in for yet another sizzling Sunday. And should it really be that wet, that could be quite positive for us.
Q: Wherever you are heading next season - and the rumours have you in red - you will have to face Mercedes. Do you think they will still have the measure of things?
SV: It would be a surprise if they were not able to carry their advantage into next year as well, given the gap that they have. Realistically speaking they would really have to mess it up massively to get it wrong next year. But there is always a chance!
Q: After four consecutive titles you are set to hand the crown to one of the Mercedes drivers. Looking at their achievements right now, Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg 10 race wins to four. Would he be the more worthy champion in your eyes?
SV: Both have had a strong year. On the wins side obviously Lewis has more, but points wise they are fairly close. So let’s see what the results show after Abu Dhabi. For me, who is succeeding me is not something I really worry about. I have plenty of stuff on my hands so will focus on myself. I just want to see a tight battle until the end. That’s what the fans want.
Q: Let’s come back to today’s track action? How did it go?
SV: Well, in the morning we had a brake issue - some leak in the brake pipe that had cost some time to fix. The afternoon, aside from the multiple red flags, went pretty smoothly. Of course we would have liked to run more after missing out on some running in the morning, but what can you do?
Q: How do you like the new pit entry?
SV: To be honest, I liked the old one. I have no idea why they used the colour so generously, painting some corners on the tarmac when in the end it still is almost a straight. I think there was some kind of a would-be artist at work.
Q: How was the new tarmac? You could see cars throwing up sparks…
SV: It is better. On the start-finish straight it’s still pretty bumpy, but that was also the bumpiest part in the past. The grip was fairly high, so overall the track modifications seem alright.
Q: What do you hope for tomorrow after a day in the midfield?
SV: I don’t know. Right now I don’t feel so comfortable in the car when thinking of the one-lap pace. Speed is still lacking. But that all will be irrelevant should it get wet. In the wet things should go a bit more our way, but as the laps are very short here my prediction is that it will all be very close. And then much will depend on luck - and a good strategy.