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Post-race press conference - Italian GP - Pt.2

Italian GP Post-race FIA press conference with Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).

Questions from the floor

Q: (Joris Fioriti – Agence France Presse).
Sebastian, you are 112 points in advance. You have got eight wins in the championship. No driver winning eight races in the championship ever lost the championship. When will you allow yourself to say that you are in a great position to win the title?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think I allow myself to say we are in a great position. I think if you ask Fernando or Lewis or Jenson or anybody, Mark, I think they would like to change, swap positions so no doubt about that. But it's over when it's over, not before. I think look at last year as the best proof. You don't know until the last lap of the last race. Obviously, this year it might be a bit different, but there are still a lot of races to go. We go into every race trying to optimise our result as we did here. We knew it might not be the easiest race for us especially after the last two years. This year we can back very competitive so it was great for us. We were in a great position and we optimised our result today I would say so couldn't have done much better. Great race. Great pit-stop. The start was not so good so we need to look into that for the next race. Then we go from there.

Q: (Vincent Marre - SportZeitung).
Sebastian, at what stage did you think you had the race won today?

Sebastian Vettel:
Really only when I came out of the Parabolica on the last lap because you never know here. Obviously I knew I would be in a very good position, with the laps going. Some 15 laps from the end I saw that I was 15 seconds in the lead, so in theory, if I'm just under a second slower per lap I would still be ahead going into the last lap but you never know, it's a long lap here and there are a lot of kerbs. You have to be careful not to do something silly: always get the braking right, for the cars it's a tough race. You're often above 300 kph and then you have to stop the car again. I knew that if nothing unforeseen happens, we should be in a great position, but you never know. We've had races where we had something happening at the end, so you always hope that nothing breaks and the car survives. At the end, it was about nursing the car to the chequered flag.

Q: (Matthias Brunner – Speedweek).
Seb, you told us in Belgium about the problems at the start. Are we talking about a similar problem here?

Sebastian Vettel:
I would say it's difficult. In Spa I think many people were surprised at the grip level being very high and then they suffered. Mark had a bad start in Spa, he went into the anti-stall, but I think other people as well had a bad start except maybe Nico. Here it was different. I think the grip level was much lower and I had a bit too much wheelspin off the line and lost a bit too much in the beginning, whereas I think Fernando had a great start and was just able to get the traction at the beginning of the start and we were side-by-side so yeah, he had the best start, as far as I could judge.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Sebastian, you said your team made a great step forward from last year to this year. What about the car, how can you explain exactly such a good performance today in comparison to last year?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think last year we had a great car, very competitive. This year, obviously, the rules have changed again and it's a different approach. I think the real strength this year is maybe not the raw speed that we have because at some races maybe we shouldn't have won and it was very tight at others. So I think this year – in comparison to last year – we've made big progress. Just that everyone is very disciplined and we allow very few mistakes to happen, so even if we have a problem or the car is not a hundred percent, we're still able to get a very, very good performance out of it. Nobody starts shaking in the garage as I said. In the end, it's full of individuals, the driver, the mechanics, the engineers but we act as a team and as I said, even if the boat starts shaking, I think we all remain calm and we know what to do. I think that's it, if there is a secret to this year.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Fernando, is it true what Jenson said, that you lost second position because of the problem with the medium tyre temperatures? Also can you describe, yourself, your fantastic start, please?

Fernando Alonso:
With the medium… I think we cannot make a big thing about the medium tyre or our performance with different types of tyres. It's just something that we need to improve and we need to be competitive with all types of tyres in all conditions. That's not a particular problem but we were less competitive than Red Bull and McLaren. If we made a good start and found ourselves first, leading the race, that was not our real position, so sooner or later, with one tyre, with another tyre, on lap 15 or lap 45, they should overtake us, as they did and that's the reality. It's not a problem with one tyre or one pit stop or whatever.

If I had to describe the start, it was as usual a big moment in the race, as we know the start and the first couple of laps can change your race because you can be in traffic as we saw today with Michael and Hamilton. So if we concentrate on the start, the car was moving quite OK with no wheelspin and then you have to chose left or right to overtake Hamilton. I was thinking of the left but I saw Sebastian moving a little bit towards Hamilton as well so I thought maybe they were too close, so I went into the pit lane exit and Hamilton saw me and tried to move to the right. At the end, I think I had two wheels on the grass, two wheels on the asphalt for a moment, but I gave full throttle. Braking for turn one, which is always difficult because we arrived three or four cars [abreast] and there is only one that can go through turn one and two and we had the inside part so we were lucky there. It was a fantastic start, very, very similar or a replica of what we did in Barcelona, exactly the same. I started fourth.

Q: (Fabrizio Corgnati – 422race.com).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.09.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
10.09.2011- Saturday Practice, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
10.09.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position
08.09.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7

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