27 June 2011
Post-race press conference - European GP - Pt.1
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Mark Webber (Red Bull)
Sebastian, another win. You described it on the team radio as better than anything you could imagine. Why do you rate this win so highly?
Yeah, I mean maybe from the outside I don't know how much there was happening in the grand prix. But maybe from the outside. At least for myself it looked like a boring race but I tell you I enjoy it so much when it is between you and the car every single lap. Of course, I had some pressure from behind at various times as the strategy was a little bit different from Mark and Fernando. Sometimes they were pitting earlier, sometimes later. Even though I had a gap before the stop I came out of the garage and still they were quite close again. Pushing hard but judging the tyres, trying to imagine what the end of the stint could be like, trying to foresee the strategy. For some reason I enjoy this track. Last year I had a very smooth weekend and again this year from the beginning to the end. Fantastic. The team has done a phenomenal job preparing the car. Even though we come here every year and we say this might be tricky as this track is maybe not made for us 100 per cent, with no real fast corners, but we manage to put everything together and faultless this weekend. I am very happy with the result.
Fernando, for some laps it was just you and your Ferrari. Though for many laps it was you, your car and Mark very close on the track. It was a great battle with Mark
that you had.
Yeah, it was I think an interesting race for the fans, for the people on TV to see the fight with Webber all the race through. At the beginning of the race I was behind him, trying to be not too far and trying to have the benefit in the pit-stop and have the opportunity to overtake him. The opportunity came later on in the middle of the race but on the track not in the pits so I overtook him on the braking for turn 12. On the pit they did a good job again and overtook us and then in the last pit-stop I think the team did a very good strategy, keeping the car out with the soft tyres for a couple of laps longer than the Red Bull, and the car performed very well and we overtook him finally on the stops. We changed positions between Mark and me and in the end second place is the maximum we can have this day so being here between the Red Bull cars is a great achievement from the team. Monaco was a very good performance all weekend. We finished second. Canada was a very good performance. We didn't score any points there and here again very good weekend in terms of performance Felipe [Massa] and me and now both cars in the top five is a great team result so definitely moving in the right direction. We need to keep working and be even closer to these guys in the next grand prix.
Mark, Fernando mentioned the change of positions at the pit-stops. You received an apology on the team radio. Is that because the team believes you really should
have finished second to Sebastian today?
I think we should have but in the end we didn't. It was a good race with Fernando. I think it was probably my best race of the year to be honest up until the last pit-stop. It
was quite close with all three of us. We are trying to go as fast as possible while managing the tyres at the same time. It is always the same these days. I was very, very happy with how the race was going until the last stop. It was my fault basically not the team's. I was worried about Fernando coming underneath me around the stops and it was not really known how the medium tyre would perform on the out lap. For sure, it is not as good as the soft but is it better than an old soft? That was the risk I decided to take. I lost out. Fernando stayed out for a few more laps and also I came out behind a little bit of traffic so my fault we missed second today and Fernando drove a good race. All three of us were nip and tuck all the way to the end. At the end the gearbox was playing up. We had to back right off but we had a massive gap to McLaren, they were one sector behind at least if not two, so we could cruise to the end and look after the gearbox.
Sebastian, it seems the one man who is not taking risks at the moment is yourself. You are 77 points clear at the top of the championship. Could you start to take things a little easier now as we approach the half-way stage?
Not really. I don't look at the gap. It is a long season. We have had a phenomenal start to the season and to continue that way is our target. But we have to go step-by-step and take every single race as it comes. Surely we don't have to win by taking too much risks but the target is to win races. It feels wonderful as I say today and we try always to achieve our optimum. If we have a chance to win then we have to take it. If the day comes and we might struggle and not be competitive enough and the car is only maybe good enough for third then we have to finish third and not seventh. It is still a long way. At the moment we all enjoy. It is incredible the achievement and the step the team has made in the last two-and-a-half years, every single department has got so much more professional, the reaction to mistakes. The amount of things we learn and the step we make forward is incredible. We have to keep doing what we do and stay hungry, wanting to win races and wanting to become better and better every time.
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