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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Low downforce tough for Red Bull

05 Jun 2014

Reigning world champions Red Bull are already struggling to stay in touch with runaway 2014 leaders Mercedes and it’s no secret that the high-speed, low-downforce requirements of Montreal will do them no favours this weekend. On Thursday Sebastian Vettel spoke to the media about his expectations for Canada…

Q: How would you describe the Canadian Grand Prix, now that you have been coming here for a few years?

Sebastian Vettel: It is always a very special atmosphere coming to Montreal, as we feel that the entire city is living Formula One. It gives us an extra boost seeing that all the grandstands are full and that our fans are enjoying themselves. Also the track itself is quite unique, although quite slippery, though this is part of it and makes it even more exciting. The asphalt is very smooth and it is difficult to produce a lot of grip. Also we have a lot of hard braking and quick chicanes, which is also quite a good entertainment from the driver’s point of view during the lap. So overall this all fits together and makes us want to come back here every year.

Q: What changes and upgrades do your team bring to Canada?

SV: I hope that we brought some improvements to Canada. Probably like all others we will have less downforce, just to be a bit faster on the long straight, and that’s exactly where it will be fairly hard for us. I think it will be more of a surprise for us at this stage. Looking back we had some not-so-good years here in terms of the result, but also some very good ones.

Q: Looking at the overall standings, you will have to close a gap that is getting bigger and bigger. What is the strategy for the upcoming races?

SV: For sure, to attack. Looking back at the last four years, which obviously treated us very well, our standards have been set quite high and this is where we want to be. We know that the gap is fairly big, but we are working hard to close it. For sure we are not here to be only second best, but as we all know there can be only one winner. Having said that, I do believe there is always the chance to win a race from any position that you start from. You don’t know what is going to happen during the race, and of course it will be easier if you have a strong and reliable car.

Q: What is it that you personally could do to give the team extra motivation?

SV: For sure the last few years have welded the team together, and the mood is exactly right. For sure everyone knows that there is a lot of work still to be done, and on top of this we have to deal with our own problems. All of us want to perform as we are used to, so there is no need from my side to motivate anyone more than they are already.

Q: Will it be more difficult for you to avoid the ‘Wall of Champions’ with a car that is perhaps lacking some grip?

SV: It is always a challenge to not touch the wall, and I guess this is exactly my task. Also we have the soft tyre compounds here in Canada, so this should give us more grip. Certainly there is always a big risk at this track, but this is also exactly what makes it so exciting.

Q: Did you see any of the improvements with the Renault engine that you were seeking?

SV: Of course Renault is working very hard to get more power out of the engine, and we are working very closely together with them to find ways to improve. For sure it is very difficult with the frozen regulations to make any changes. We have to work with what we have and try to optimize this.

Q: What is your opinion on the internal Mercedes fight between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton?

SV: Basically I don’t really care. For sure it would be good for us and everyone else on the grid if they would take each other out during the race, but I do not think that this will ever happen, as both of them are too clever to put this at risk.