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Red Bull threat genuine - Sebastian Vettel Q&A

26 May 2016

Red Bull sprang a surprise by beating Ferrari to victory last time out in Spain - but if the Scuderia were hoping Red Bull's pace was a one-off, the opening day in Monaco proved otherwise. Sebastian Vettel admits the pressure is on, even if Ferrari's pace was somewhat masked on Thursday in the Principality...

Q: Sebastian, Ferrari haven't won here since 2001. You were hoping to end the drought, but looking at the timesheets today that appears to be a difficult ambition...

Sebastian Vettel: It's Thursday – the final chapter has not been written. It wasn't a good day for us though - I didn't manage to do a clean lap and banged [the wall] here and there, so of course I am not satisfied.

Q: Were those brushes with the wall the only reason for the unsatisfying lap times?

SV: No - we tried some things, and found some answers. We should be significantly stronger on Saturday. I just have to put today behind me and see what we can achieve in qualifying.

Q: We don't often see you hitting the walls. Are you struggling with the balance of the car - or indeed to find your rhythm here?

SV: As I said we tried some things – and I tried some things – and some of them simply didn't work. But this is a track where you tend to try everything - and when you do, sometimes you try too much...

WATCH: Vettel tags the walls twice on the opening day in Monaco

Q: So nothing that makes you worry for the race?

SV: No.

Q: What about the pace of the Red Bulls? Was that a surprise to see?

SV: Not really - and my guess is that they will also be strong in qualifying. Here, a good qualifying is almost half the race win! Having said that we will focus on our own performance – and in an ideal world we will be right on front row.

Q: But looking at the timesheets suggests that Ferrari is only the third fastest car on the grid...

SV: Everybody should know by now that the Friday times – or Thursday times here – don't mean a lot. And to conclude from today's times to the overall pecking order is a bit like reading tea leaves. Yes we didn't have a good day today, but for sure we do not belong where we finished today's sessions. I am one hundred per cent convinced that we will do much better on Saturday.

Q: How satisfied are you with the ultrasoft tyres?

SV: The tyre works. It's the fastest in our repertoire, and that's what we guessed would be the case. From what we have experienced today I don't think that we will have to face unpleasant surprises on Saturday and in the race.

Q: So no lingering worries from Barcelona, where you had some tyre issues?

SV: Here you have a completely different situation, a completely different track and different tyres - so the Barcelona issues shouldn't haunt us here.

Q: Speaking about Barcelona: have you swallowed your frustration at not winning there, considering you believed victory was within reach?

SV: We had the chance to win yes, but that is all past me. And I have to say is that I still find it an amazing achievement that somebody jumps into a car for the first time and wins. It sure was a fantastic moment for him – and well deserved. 

Q: As a team, are Ferrari coming under more and more pressure?

SV: No, not really! We always have the desire to do well, which of course you could call pressure, but we are here to succeed. We are not here to fight for P8 or something in that range. We want to win.