Indian GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.2
29 October 2011
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Mark Webber (Red Bull).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe).
Sebastian, this is your 28th pole position, just like Fangio. What does it mean for you and is beating records the way you stay motivated for the end of the season?
I didn't know (about the Fangio statistic). Yeah, it's definitely special. I think the difference… I think the time when Fangio achieved that was different compared to today. He didn't do that many races, especially as they had less races per season. I obviously know a lot of the names in Formula One from the past, former drivers and roughly what they achieved. I'm not an expert but it's definitely great, it's special to be part of a sport that has so much history because it always allows you to compare yourself in many ways, which I think is great, and not just today, back 20 years ago it was the same and in another 20 years time it will probably still be the same. But I'm not really jumping into the car thinking “OK, one more and I will equal Fangio” in this case. I think you really have to focus on what you do, and that's the way eventually you get to somewhere like that. But I'm still motivated, even without knowing too many numbers and statistics. But of course, it's very special to hear that.
Q: (Ubald Parkar – F1 Pulse.com).
Mark, it has been suggested that Red Bull might use team orders to give you a victory. Would you be satisfied if you were handed a win like that? And it has been suggested that Red Bull might change focus to ensure that you would win a race. What would be done differently from what has been done earlier this season?
Nothing will be different. There's been a lot of talk from the team but no talk from me. I don't want any positions off Sebastian, for the remainder of the year. Nothing will change.
Q: (Kushan Mitra – Business Today).
One thing became quite clear in qualifying as well as in practice: whenever somebody went off line, a lot of dust obscured the track and that put some drivers off. Is that going to be a hazard tomorrow? Is the dust obscuring the track going to be a hazard if somebody goes off line and onto the grass?
Yeah, I think it will affect us. Obviously, if you're right behind the car in front, depending on where the car goes off, it puts up some dust on the line and then you pick up that dust, you lose grip if it's in a corner, and you might lose a little bit of grip for the next couple of corners, so yes, it affects us. On the other hand, we've been practising now for two days and we had people in front of us going off the circuit, joining it again and I think we know roughly what to expect. The real tricky bit is when the people go off so much and put a lot of dust up, so that you can't actually see where you are going, but yeah, the marshals are aware. We've had some incidents over the weekend and nothing happened, nothing bad happened so far, so that's good.
Q: (Sudhir Chandran – Chequered Flag, Bombay).
Sebastian, you seem to be making this a habit of sorts. It's almost like you could do it in your sleep now. Seriously, a new track, new country, new situation; is it as easy as it looks for us from here?
I think it's easier for you to sit in a chair and watch. We're still busy out there. It has been quite tricky, as I said, we have to really make sure we stay on the line, and in qualifying you push as hard as you can, trying to squeeze every single bit out of the car, a little bit too much and then you're off-line, you immediately lose quite a lot of time, so the circuit in that regard doesn't forgive your mistakes, which I think is good, it's the challenge we have to face. But surely it's not easy. I enjoy what I do, I was very excited when I came here. I had a bit of time on Wednesday to go around and have a look at different things, off-track, so that was very interesting. It's a very inspiring country in many ways, it's very different to what we know in Europe. It's great to see that and I think there's a lot of lessons we can learn, we can take on board for the future.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association).
Mark, Christian was speaking on Thursday about the desire within the team to get you second in the drivers' championship. Does that actually mean anything to you? He said he wanted to make it the perfect season for Red Bull.
I think wins are more important for me.
Q: (Peter Windsor – The Flying Lap).
Question for Lewis and one of the Red Bull drivers; I just wondered where you ended up generally speaking on downforce, whether this circuit compares with others, if you can categorise it roughly without giving away too many secrets?
I think the downforce level has been pretty similar for the last couple of races. In Suzuka we were at our maximum, Korea we were at our maximum and here, a bit less than our maximum but very, very similar, same wings.
Yeah, it's pretty high on downforce around here. Obviously, it would be nice to be lower in the first sector but you've got a huge amount of quick corners and big combinations, sort of Suzuka-esque and a quick sort of Budapest if you like, so it's a busy and demanding second and third sector for the car, so you need plenty of load on.
Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport).
Felipe broke his suspension by going too deep into a chicane, I think it's eight and nine. Either into a hole or kerb – I don't know. Is that a concern?
Haven't seen the incident. If he's hit the kerb… I think Kamui hit it the other day with the middle of the chassis and he went into the air, so maybe it's better to misjudge it a lot more than just misjudge it by not much. We know there are some high apex kerbs here, which are trying to keep us from doing exactly that, obviously cutting and making the radius nicer for ourselves. I haven't seen the incident yet, but it looks like he's had a failure off the back of the contact with that. Yeah, try and stay away from them, I suppose. That's the best thing but it's not always easy.
I think they're the best kerbs we've had, the actual kerb itself, not necessarily the bollard at the bump at the back but again, the orange parts are a lot shallower – not as high or steep as at some of the other circuits. They've done a great job with them. You can ride the rest of the kerb and they're quite wide. Normally, you can lose a bit of time on them but I think they're great.
I can't think of any particularly danger area. It's the first incident in that style – linked to a kerb – that we've seen this weekend. I haven't seen it but I think it's probably more down to the fact that in qualifying you try maybe a little bit harder, maybe a little bit extra and try to go on the limit, also in terms of how much kerb you take. I think eight/nine is quite quick and it's very easy to maybe be close to half a metre misplaced by going in a little bit too early, which can obviously have an effect, not actually riding the kerb but the bit behind the kerb, too hard. I will definitely take a look, but I think the only thing we can do now in case there's a problem is stay away from them.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat).
Sebastian, you won the first ever Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, and almost did the same last year in Korea. How much would it mean to you to win the first ever Indian Grand Prix?
A lot. As I've said and many drivers agree, it's a great circuit, a great challenge, a new track, a new challenge as well. Many times before going into this weekend I was asked the question what is the motivation going into this race, why are you here? I even had to explain why I turn up. To be honest, we are racing, we are having the Grand Prix of India here for the first time and every one of us would be extremely happy and proud to be the one to win it, so that's the target for tomorrow and not lacking any motivation, so yes, it would make me very proud.