Q: Sebastian, your first pole position for Ferrari – and also your first for quite a while. How does it feel?
Sebastian Vettel: Incredible! I know that it is only qualifying, and that you don't get any points for pole position, but it's been a long time since I had so much adrenalin on a Saturday! I am super happy with how my lap went - everything just came perfectly together. The car felt great. It was a perfect day in the office and my guess is that this could be the foundation for a wonderful Sunday. (laughs)
Q: How much comfort can you take from the fact overtaking is very difficult here?
SV: It of course helps a lot – but even if overtaking is no walk in the park here we do not underestimate our competitors. We have seen that competition is strong here, even if not so much from the usual suspects. It is a long race so it is best to keep your feet on the ground and concentrate on all the steps we need to do before we take up position on the grid.
Q: When analysing Q3 it was pretty obvious that you would be able to pull it off…
SV: …yes, but I was surprised how much I was already down during my first lap. I told myself 'go for it'. I was already happy with my first lap and was even more surprised on my second lap that more time was coming. The circuit improved a lot in those last 10 minutes, but I think I also did things dead right on that very last lap as I felt that I had a wobble before.
Q: You have already had a lot of success here, winning three times. How does this rank – and is a fourth victory waiting in the wings?
SV: Definitely this was an evening that I will always remember because here it is not easy to get everything together. I don't know what they gave me for lunch today – I have to investigate, as it must have been something very special. A secret formula! (laughs)
Q: It's also been quite a while since Ferrari had a pole position. What does that mean?
SV: It means that we are on the right track. The spirit is very high in the team. And pole position always means that you have the pace, which is good news. Of course as I said before it does help on a street circuit, where passing another car is a tricky matter, to start ahead of anybody else. Somehow it feels incredibly good to say 'we are the quickest'.
Q: Were you surprised by the size of your gap?
SV: Yes, that was surprising. Over five tenths to Daniel (Ricciardo) in P2 and almost 1.5 seconds to the best Mercedes – that is quite a call! Why was that possible? Because the car felt fantastic to drive today.
Q: What can you take from today's performance for the race? How satisfied were you with your long runs on Friday?
SV: The pace is there. We have improved the car massively from Friday to Saturday so that should translate for a good Sunday. But the race is long and you also have to make the right calls during it. We know from the past that there can be a safety car at any point so pace and the right calls – that will determine tomorrow's winner.