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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: I couldn’t let up for even one second!

26 Jul 2015

Given the level of Mercedes' dominance in qualifying, few were betting against a Silver Arrows victory in Hungary. Sebastian Vettel hadn't read that script however, jumping ahead at the start and eventually securing a classy victory in an otherwise chaotic race. The German admits he was slightly taken aback by his triumph – but says even when out front, he was never in a position to relax...

Q: Sebastian, Jules Bianchi is in everyone's minds this weekend. You dedicated your win to his memory: what do you remember about him?

Sebastian Vettel: Well, I didn't get to know him that well, but one thing will always stay in my mind. In Japan I was running the track, and he was also running – and I was impressed about how strong he was, how fit he was, and how big his ability to suffer was. You could see from that run – and anyone who knows Suzuka knows that it goes up and down – that he was fighting and pushing very hard. That was pretty impressive to see.

Q: This race weekend marks the halfway point of the season. Can you sum up your first few months with Ferrari?

SV: One word: phenomenal! The start was already phenomenal being on the podium in my first race with Ferrari. That was awesome. Then come the second race and we won - how could it be better? After that we've been very consistent with a lot of podium finishes. And now our second win - before the summer break! Now everybody can be more relaxed on vacation, as this win will linger in our memories. When we started the season we knew that there was one team that is very difficult to beat and we've managed it in Malaysia and here. And knowing what is shaping up in the background, it is all very promising. The project is ongoing so the future looks pretty bright!

Q: But before this race: wasn't Ferrari in a slight crisis?

SV: What crisis?

Q: That before this weekend it was going in the wrong direction?

SV: Who says that? You have to be there when luck favours you. In the past there have been years where championships were won on sheer luck. And now if you think back, you only think of the champion - not the luck! I believe that everything happens for a reason. Somebody else could have made the same decision as we did - for example in Silverstone - but it was us. So as I just said: you have to be ready and be able to seize the chance. Yes, if you look at the raw performance we maybe haven't been as good as others - but results wipe away any doubts. I think Ferrari has made the biggest steps of all the teams so far this season, so why is it so hard for others to appreciate that. I was not with the team last year but Kimi says that this year's car is so much better. And if you look at the power unit, I think here again Ferrari has done the biggest step - so all lights are on green!

Q: Can you reflect on how the weekend played out?

SV: Well, Friday was far from optimal for us. There were two or three things that were slowing us down - Kimi had problems with the front wing and I had some issues - but we knew that we had the ability to do well in qualifying and the race, and we did. P3 on the grid was not bad after that dreadful Friday - and then when I saw that our permanent competitors had such a poor start and I suddenly was in the lead I thought: why not here? Having the same cars in front of you over and over again the thought popped up: aren't we ready for a change?

Q: Even in your most successful years, you've never won here - until now, and against the odds! How satisfying is it to tick the box for Hungary? And did you bank on mistakes from Mercedes at the start, given they also struggled at Silverstone?

SV: Let's answer the question in parts: yes, it feels good to tick the ‘Hungary box' – especially as it comes a bit as a surprise. I've seen that people had me in for P3 as a result - now it's P1!(laughs) And banking on mistakes of others? You never can do that, especially if you're dealing with Mercedes. That is an equation that never works! The best scenario is to cross the line before everyone else. It's as simple as that - even though not so simple to do. Believe me, it wasn't easy - not one single second, especially not towards the end!