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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Ferrari have Mercedes worried

11 Apr 2015

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg might have earned Mercedes a front-row lockout in Shanghai, but both men said they had a wary eye on Ferrari - and Sebastian Vettel is only too happy to be considered a threat. After all, he says, it is about time the Silver Arrows came under some serious pressure...

Q: Sebastian, Lewis said that Mercedes have to have a firm eye on Ferrari tomorrow. Is he right?

Sebastian Vettel: I hope so. He must know best what his pace is in the race. And if he fears that then I am sure there is truth in it. 

Q: Today showed that Ferrari are working the tyres well even in cooler temperatures. Is there hope that you can outsmart the Mercedes again with good tyre management?

SV: That is difficult to say. One thing is clear: this year the tyres work better for everyone in the paddock. Normally the Shanghai track is a real tyre killer, but this weekend we all seem to have a break from that even if the temperatures are not so toasty. We will probably be a bit closer in the race – let's wait and see. My guess is that Mercedes still can squeeze out performance in qualifying - not only the works team but also Williams and Lotus - so it was important for us today to be as close as possible to the frontrunners and ahead of the others. 

Q: Tyres are one thing, but the start is another. Do you think we will see any surprises?

SV: Normally Ferrari have always made good starts. I probably let them down a bit in the last two races because I still have to get used to certain procedures, but here I think we should do better. It works better for us if there is more grip. I was probably too aggressive at the two previous races.

Q: Can you talk us through your qualifying?

SV: Things worked pretty smooth for us today; we had no issues. The pace was good in Q1 and Q2. In Q3 the last part of the lap didn't feel as good as all the laps before. But I think we can be super happy about our grid position. Hopefully we are a bit closer in the race - and in the fight for a podium finish. 

Q: Do you feel you're getting closer to Mercedes?

SV: The ‘silver power' will remain the benchmark for quite some time - but we are trying to jog that supremacy. [We are] closer to their times, but still being one second behind them in qualifying was not the best of news.

Q: How do you explain that one-second deficit?

SV: One explanation is that they were really switched on in Q3 while all the rest had a siesta! Mercedes are still the benchmark as I just said. It is good to know that we are right behind them. 

Q: Nico Rosberg said he had issues in qualifying, including traffic on his outlap. Is there an opportunity for you to raise the pressure and force them into mistakes?

SV: I don't think that it would have helped him to come out a bit earlier as there was a train of cars ahead. In the end having a perfect fast lap is illusive. Everybody wants to be on the track when it is at its best condition…

Q: But isn't that your chance to raise the pressure on them?

SV: Of course it is. For quite some time they had no pressure so it's about time. Last race it worked! I don't want to get carried away. If we can come closer tomorrow that could make our day.