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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: The best second place I ever had!

06 Sep 2015

It wasn’t quite the dream ending to his first home race for Ferrari, but it came pretty close. Sebastian Vettel was treated to a hero’s welcome by the tifosi as he took to the Monza podium on Sunday, having finished second in the Formula 1 Gran Premio d'Italia 2015. So just how did it feel?

Q: Sebastian, Monza has always been good to you, but today you got the real Monza treatment - even if it was ‘only’ P2…

Sebastian Vettel:
Yes, it was the best second place I have ever had! (laughs) We all know how fantastically crazy Monza can be. It was an incredible weekend. It is just unbelievable how much support Ferrari gets here. It makes you feel like you have some kind of ‘super powers’ - at least that is how the fans treat you. It’s almost like being able to walk on water. It is unbelievable when you stand on the podium and you know that they mean you - the man in red! This ocean of fans that suddenly comes out of nowhere and gather under the podium… The emotions you get up there are simply awesome.

Q: For your team mate Kimi (Raikkonen) it was a rather dreadful day right from the start. At first you seemed to be able to keep up with the pace of Mercedes, but then the gap broadened significantly…

In the beginning I thought that we would have a chance, but Lewis (Hamilton) was keeping his speed and on my car the back tyres started to degrade. So yes, Mercedes was definitely the faster team today - but for us it was nevertheless a very special day.

Q: Had Lewis been disqualified you would have even won the race…

Ah, firstly it is not in the hands of drivers to influence such decisions, and the podium happened in the afternoon in the order that we passed the chequered flag - so I take P2!

Q: The thousands of fans with their huge Ferrari flags - it almost seems like religious ceremony. Is it for days like these that you joined Ferrari?

Yes, of course. But when I said that it was the best second place that I have ever had, don’t get me wrong, it is still second place - and of course we aim for more. Second is the first man who is beaten. It did not feel that way today, but in terms of points it definitely is. Obviously Lewis had a flawless race, and me - with Felipe (Massa) behind and pushing, we were struggling a bit more with dropping lap times. From the racing Lewis was in a league of his own today. The good news was that we’ve been able to at least beat one of them [the Mercedes] fair and square - even if Nico (Rosberg) hadn’t had the engine issues that forced him to retire. As I said before, it was an incredible day for us.

Q: There has been speculation that Monza could drop off the calendar…

SV: That would be very sad. In fact I have to say it in these hard words: it would be stupid to drop Monza off the calendar. Because what you get here is pure Formula One: fans, emotions, great track, great races and an iconic history. Yes, Ferrari plays a special role here, but the fans embrace all the drivers and appreciate what they do. If you lose this track for some sh***y money reasons, that would definitely be the wrong way to go and a short-term investment.

Q: How is it, celebrating a Ferrari podium in Monza?

It is a very special thing, of course. We will get out the champagne this evening!