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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Rosberg is open to attack

17 Sep 2015

Fresh from an eighth podium of the season at Monza, Sebastian Vettel is in 'maximum attack' mode this weekend at Marina Bay - a circuit where no other driver can match his success rate. And his sights are set firmly on one man: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg. On the eve of the Grand Prix, Vettel opens up on his hopes for the weekend, why he believes Lewis Hamilton is at the top of his game, and also offers his take on the reported rift between Red Bull and Renault...

Q: Sebastian, do you have any predictions on how you might fare this weekend?

Sebastian Vettel: It is always hard to make any predictions, but over the past few years this place has always been very good to me and I have had very nice results. I love this track, probably because it is one of the most challenging events throughout the entire season.

I think that we have a strong package at the moment, so I hope we can continue our momentum here and keep up this good record.

Q: How do you see Lewis Hamilton's championship lead at the moment? Is the title perhaps beyond you - could second be your real goal?

SV: The goal for the championship is maximum attack. We have to go for everything and anything that we can get, period. For sure Nico (Rosberg) is closer to us than Lewis is, so he is our prime target - but as long as the chance is there we need to try and do everything possible to go for the 'big' thing! Realistically Lewis is in a very good position as he has a very strong package at the moment. I have had years where I was with a very strong team and very strong group of people, but for sure even then you need to be on top of your game to extract the results on any given weekend. I am sure he is working extremely hard when he is at the track, trying to do everything he can, and obviously he has a good run at the moment.

Q: How would you describe the interaction between the car and yourself right now? It seems to get more and more intense...

SV: In principle I get along very well with the car. Obviously we have had many different types of tracks so far, and I think we have been very competitive everywhere. There was no real down for us so far this year, except maybe Silverstone where we had a little bit of a dent and struggled - although we got to the podium in the end. I think we have always been strong enough to finish in the top five, and of course our target is always to fight for the podium.

Mercedes has the strongest overall package at the moment, and if nothing goes wrong for them they finish with their two cars on the podium, so there is not much space left. But we also have been pretty good in getting out the maximum that we could most of the time.

Q: Seven races to go, you are third in the championship and 21 points shy of Nico Rosberg. Looking back, would you say it was a necessary refreshment for you to leave Red Bull for Ferrari - especially given how both teams stand at the moment...

SV: As I have said already many times, it was a very difficult decision for me to make. I am very happy with where I am at now, because the team has been great and I received a lot of help to get started. So far we have had a fantastic year, which helps us a lot. Overall we are on the right track, although it obviously takes some time. All of us have to be patient, as this is a mid- to long-term project. I do not underestimate the word 'long-term'! 

Q: What is your opinion on reports that Red Bull and Renault could part ways in the future?

SV: For me this is sad to hear, as I was involved in this partnership for the majority of the time. Back then we had many successful years, which unfortunately gets forgotten very quickly. Renault has done a fantastic job supplying Red Bull Racing with a strong engine and the latest technology, which was required to be competitive. In the era of the blown exhaust Renault was probably the best and most advanced [engine supplier] in Formula One. All of these achievements get forgotten way too fast, and I truly hope that they will stay in the sport.