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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Ferrari have to learn from rivals' tactics

03 Jul 2015

Ferrari's form has followed a pattern in recent races: threatening on Friday, only to slip back when it matters most in qualifying and the race. While fuel is one possible factor, Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari's rivals are also able to turn their engines up for the occasion - an aggressive tactic he says the Scuderia must learn from this weekend...

Q: Sebastian, could Silverstone provide the second of Ferrari's target of three race wins in 2015? It seemed your car was working pretty well today – and it's also your birthday weekend...

Sebastian Vettel: Ha, the paddock is not a place where you can expect gifts! (laughs) Of course the best present would be a win on Sunday - but that would mean getting past the Mercedes. Of course I will try everything to make it happen – to make myself a present! What gives me hope is that the car is running pretty well, although we are not quite where we want to be. My gut feeling is that more is possible tomorrow. This track is all about finding the right rhythm. 

And regarding the three wins target: that was given at the beginning of the season. The primary goal was to close the gap and be Mercedes' number one challenger of Mercedes - and on top of that win a couple of races. We have succeeded in many of the objectives that we gave ourselves at the start of the season - and regarding any specific number of victories, you can always leave room for interpretation on how many exactly. We are here to win - that is what F1 is all about - but equally we know that it is difficult to challenge Mercedes given the form that they are in. What we need is to become quicker and stronger. We are working very hard, but unfortunately this doesn't happen overnight.

Q: Your team mate Kimi Raikkonen has had a bit of a negative period. Can you help him in that situation?

SV: What is a negative period? Crashes sometimes happen in F1 - and to call that a negative period is rather superficial. You sometimes do have two or three races where you do not get the result. I myself had a tough time last year when things didn't come together for various reasons. Was that a negative period? Probably for outsiders - for me there was something to learn, even in the toughest situation. Kimi is a champion and he knows what he is doing. He is putting his focus on this weekend. There is no need for me to give him any advice.

Q: Did you get any technical explanation for Kimi's crash in Austria? 

SV: As far as I understood there was nothing wrong with the car – he just lost the car. He didn't have enough grip and the tyres started to spin up. But what really happened, it's better to ask him. What I've learned is that he just lost the car. The footage was simply not good enough to judge whether there was contact with Fernando (Alonso) or not. 

Q: Given the fact that you get on so well with Kimi, would you want him to stay instead of having to cope with somebody new like Valtteri Bottas or Nico Hulkenberg – or even your former team mate Daniel Ricciardo?

SV: I am not responsible for picking drivers alongside me. I have a contract for next year. I also have many times said that I am very happy with Kimi. Since the first day that I've known him he is very straightforward. It is good for Formula One to have him and he is a good challenge for me. He has a different approach to some things so I can still learn from him. We have this season together – and it would also be nice to have him here for next year. If that is not the case it obviously will be somebody else – but as I just said it would be nice if he stays. 

Q: Have you learned anything in terms of the tyres coming from Austria? There things looked very promising in practice, but didn't work out in the race...

SV: Sure the tyre combination will be interesting. In general we know that from Friday to Saturday Mercedes – and also Williams - are able to turn the engine up. If you look at Williams on Friday and Saturday and then on Sunday it is a massive step forward. That is one of the lessons learned - that they get a bit more greedy on Sunday, which makes it more difficult to beat them in the race. But we have to focus on ourselves.

Q: Your team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said that with Ferrari's tradition of running with low fuel on Friday you might get a false picture of where you are. Is that so?

SV: One thing I can tell you: if we ran with low fuel for the long runs they wouldn't be long runs! (laughs) One thing is sure: we can be more aggressive for Saturday and Sunday. So probably that is what we are going to do tomorrow.