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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Ferrari's progress greater than other teams

12 Nov 2015

For the second year running, Sebastian Vettel's title hopes have been firmly dashed by Mercedes. Even so, there are a lot of reasons for the four-time world champion to be positive - not only because of his three victories, but also because of his conviction that Ferrari have closed significantly on the Silver Arrows - a feat that bodes extremely well for the future...

Q: Sebastian, two races to go and both titles gone - what's the plan now for this weekend?

Sebastian Vettel: Full attack! True, it is a bit difficult to have a clear idea of what we're aiming for in terms of position, as my guess is that Mercedes will very likely dictate the tune for the others. But clearly we will do our best to insert a bit of dissonance into their melody. (laughs) The good thing is nothing can surprise us here anymore - I remember I had races here that were just unbelievable!

Q: What difference would it make to finish in P3 in the standings instead of P2?

SV: Very simple: as long as there is a chance to finish second you always will aim for that. P3 is the third best thing so if you can have the second best thing you will go for it. What difference it really makes is probably marginal and psychological - but a difference is a difference! And in the end it would mean that we have at least beaten one of the drivers of the team that has been so dominant this season, and that is not to be sneezed at. So yes, if it works, super. If not, then at least we know where we want to be in the future.

Q: You said your Mexico mistakes and crash were your fault. Did you apologise to the team?

SV: Yes, I did. But in the end we are a team and we win together and we lose together. Sometimes we make mistakes - sometimes I make mistakes - and that is only human, so I don't understand the big fuss about it. If I make a mistake, I call it my mistake and try not to find 'windy' excuses. Of course I was not happy - but as a team you know that you have to move on.

Q: The race here in Brazil often offers something special, and not just because the fans are so enthusiastic. Somehow something always happens here, as you admitted earlier. One race springs to mind - the dramatic 2012 decider, when you won your third championship - but what else do you remember?

SV: Clearly 2008 - my first full Formula One season, and I finished fourth here. That position was in the end the decisive factor for the drivers' championship between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa. Somehow I could not understand why all the people jumped off their seats when I crossed the finish line. Only one thing was clear: it was not for me. At that time my maths was even worse than today, so I didn't have it immediately on my radar what my fourth place meant. (laughs) So yes, this race is prone to dramatic situations.

Q: With your special relationship with this track - and taking into account the qualities of your car - would you say that a win on Sunday could be possible?

SV: First of all, let's keep the feet on the ground. Yes, of course you want to win, but you also have to stay realistic. We have brought the gap to the Mercedes down significantly in the course of the year, from one and a half seconds to half a second and that is quite an achievement. I have not seen anybody else being able to do this so we are going in the right direction. As we have a car that works well on all tracks there is no reason why it should not work here, so there is every reason to be confident - but for sure we are not the favourites for the win on Sunday.

Q: When speaking about F1 racing in Brazil one name, of course, always comes up: Ayrton Senna...

SV: Of course it does. He is definitely one of the brightest stars F1 had - and in the way he was racing he still influences young drivers today. Probably it is fair to say that he created a modern driving style and therefore will always be an inspiration.