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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: We’re all a bit jealous of Hulkenberg

18 Jun 2015

Ferrari showed some impressive race pace at the last round in Canada, allowing Sebastian Vettel to climb from the back of the grid to an eventual fifth place. Now the former champion is hoping to build on that in Austria. Ahead of the Spielberg weekend, Vettel talked to the media about his prospects - and about his respect for compatriot Nico Hulkenberg’s recent Le Mans triumph…

Q: Sebastian, looking back at your race in Canada, did you at any point ask yourself what might have been the result without that technical issue in qualifying?

Sebastian Vettel: It really looked like we had a good pace, and especially in the second part of the race where I did not face a lot of traffic. It would be interesting to know what would have happened, but we will never find out. Anyway, we will look forward and will try to repeat this in terms of pace, and for sure try to do things a little better and start the race further up the grid.

Q: Looking at the upcoming race here in Austria, the track characteristics are not dissimilar to those from Canada. Do you think you can keep up the fight with Mercedes?

SV: We surely hope so, and there is no doubt that they are the favourites going into the race. The gap still exists between them and any other team - including us. We are obviously trying to shrink that gap week by week, so hopefully we can be a bit closer if things go well.

Q: So you found the reliability issue that caused the problems back in Canada?

SV: We found a very simple failure that had cost us many positions in qualifying. It was very easy to fix in the factory, but it was not easy to fix within a couple of minutes on a Saturday. For the race on Sunday it was fixed, and of course here in Austria this will not be an issue at all any more.

Q: Do you feel that there might be a real chance to win the Austrian Grand Prix?

SV: To be fair, I think in Canada we were fighting for the podium - at least Kimi [Raikkonen] was, until he had that spin that basically made him lose third position. For me it was a different story, as I was coming from further back and did not necessarily get into the situation of fighting for a podium position. But then again you never know how much pace Mercedes would have had in hand to react to anyone attacking them. For sure we will try to put more pressure on them, and hopefully we will start that fight right from the beginning of the race.

Q: What do you think of Nico Hulkenberg’s achievement of winning Le Mans?

SV: That is so great and I think all of us are a little bit jealous. He made it look easy, and this is possibly good for us as he made us F1 drivers look very good. Massive respect to him, as for sure his main focus is on Formula One and with Force India, preparing day-to-day business on this side. On the other side, being capable of doing anything on the side, and doing it so well and even winning the 24 hours of Le Mans is an extraordinary achievement.

Q: We know that you prefer to spend your time in countryside like this rather than in big cities. How much of a ‘nature-boy’ do you consider yourself?

SV: Well, ‘nature-boy’ may be a little bit too much, but this scenery perhaps suits me better than that from the last two races. And for sure being German one always likes to come to Austria, because it is so beautifully green here and the food is just amazing.

For sure we have to work a little bit on the weather, as it looks pretty much the same as in Germany at the moment - and that reads cool and rainy. Overall it is very beautiful here, and also the race track is embedded into this wonderful countryside of Styria.