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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Rain has created uncertainty - and opportunity

21 May 2015

The second practice session in Monaco proved to be a frustrating experience for drivers, teams and fans alike, as rain halted play on the streets of Monte Carlo. But Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel reckons the reduced running could also lead to some big surprises on Saturday as teams scramble to make up for lost time...

Q: Sebastian, Monaco is always something special. Can you describe what it is like for you?

Sebastian Vettel: Yes, it is something special on track and off. There is something for every taste here. I come for the race, but you also can come here for glamour. There is no other race with the same sort of glamour factor as there is here. As a track it is very challenging - it is no walk in the park, believe me! And it is the race where qualifying matters the most. It can really play a significant role for your Sunday result. 

Q: So how do you see your situation, given that Mercedes have a habit of locking out the front row?

SV: Of course we cannot be happy - not with the mostly occupied front row and not with the gap we have to Mercedes. As [Ferrari team principal] Maurizio [Arrivabene] said recently: it's not the podiums that make our day, but closing the gap. We are working very hard in doing that. We had new parts in Barcelona and hoped to get a bit closer, but did not really succeed. You could probably say that we've underperformed in Barcelona but the tide can turn here. We are working very hard to make it happen. Maybe the street circuit of Monaco will jump to our relief! (laughs)

Q: When you look at the championship, do you fear it is already decided?

SV: It never is - not until the last chequered flag, or at least mathematical implausibility. If you look at us, we have made a huge step forward from last year, so in this regard we can be very happy. The atmosphere as I understand has also changed significantly from 2014 so there are already plenty of positives. But for sure our aim is to become champion, and we are moving in that direction.

Q: You have always been an advocate of the saying that a driver can make a difference. Do you still believe that? 

SV: Yes, I do. Of course not always and not under all conditions - but I would say that it is valid here. There is not much room for error here so you better get a perfect lap, especially in qualifying.

Q: Statistically Monaco is not the perfect track for Ferrari - so what do you hope for this weekend?

SV: I have not looked up the Ferrari statistics for this circuit. But the past doesn't automatically mean that the same will go on forever. You have to give change a chance! 

Q: How much will it matter that there was very little running in the afternoon. Obviously the Mercedes are strong as always, but for somebody wanting to catch up does every lap count?

SV: Of course it is a pity, but then it was the same for everybody. To be honest the car felt really good, so let's see if we can carry that on for Saturday.

Q: You were 1.1 seconds behind the pace setter Lewis Hamilton in FP2: is that representative?

SV: We will only find that out on Sunday - until then it is just guessing. But if I look over today's situation I would say that we should be closer. Probably this is the nature of the track that in the race everybody is moving closer together. In reality you cannot take Monaco as a reference.

Q: What, if anything, have you learned from today's running?

SV: Not much to be honest. We wanted to try some new things in the second run - and then for the long runs - but nobody got to do that because of the rain. It's a bit of a shame not having been able to get an idea of the supersoft tyres, as it will be very likely sunny and warmer on Sunday. But we will see all that on Saturday. I believe it will be a very interesting qualifying: Monaco always is good for a big surprise!