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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Losing title provides motivation for 2016

25 Oct 2015

For a while it looked like a bold strategy decision had put Sebastian Vettel on course for a surprise victory in Austin, but in the end the Ferrari star had to settle for third place behind compatriot Nico Rosberg and chief title rival Lewis Hamilton. After the race, his hope of a fifth world crown now over for another year, Vettel spoke to reporters…

Q: Congratulations on your podium finish. Did you try to mix things up at the Mercedes festival here in Austin?

Sebastian Vettel: For sure I tried to spoil their party, and maybe I should have taken a bigger risk with Nico (Rosberg), but then in the end it was not there. It was a little bit of a shame, as you tend to believe yourself more than any numbers and statistics coming from the radio. We should not forget where we started at the beginning of this season, so we are over the moon again with another great race and a great recovery. The car was fantastic today! What more can you ask when you start from P13! I had a very good first lap, which helped a lot obviously, and then we had the pace, especially when going onto the dry tyres in the mixed conditions. We seemed to be flying then for two to three laps and were quicker than anyone else. After that we saw that it would get difficult, but without the last safety car we could have even maybe won the race. In the end it was a very difficult race where we did very well.

Q: Lewis Hamilton has won his third drivers’ title, but how would you describe your progress throughout the 2015 season?

SV: In the beginning we were very far behind, but then we made a lot of progress. And in this regard I can only submit a huge thank you to all the people in the factory in Maranello. Everyone has been working very, very hard, and on days like today everyone is feeling similar to me in being very happy. Equally on the other side it is not a good feeling knowing that you are out of the fight for the championship, so days like this give us a boost for next year and the years to come. We are trying to make progress and look after ourselves, and for sure for next year we will give them a much harder challenge.

Q: The fight is still on for second position in the championship. What is your strategy for this?

SV: We managed to keep my position in front of Nico (Rosberg) and for sure it will always help to finish in front of him, and for today it was very close I’d say. There are a lot of things that we have learned from today’s race, in regards to our car in mixed conditions, which we will take on board - not just for the next race and the next events but even more so for next year. There is always something that you can take back home from a race so it is important not to drift off and forget about the current season. In the upcoming races there are still many things that we can take into next season, as there won’t be a lot of testing in the winter to prepare for next year. Every single lap that we are doing is extremely useful.

Q: Lewis Hamilton has said that he wishes for a great battle with you for the championship next season. Wouldn’t that be exactly what you’d wish for as well?

SV: If the result would then be the other way around I would be even happier (laughs). For sure this would be great, not only for us, but for the fans and the sport itself if two drivers from two different teams can fight for the championship.