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Post-race press conference - Indian GP - Pt.1

Indian GP post-race FIA press conference with Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).

Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).


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Q:
Sebastian, pole, you led every lap and set the fastest lap. Was this your most perfect win of the season do you think?

Sebastian Vettel:
Obviously it was a very good race for us. I enjoyed the time in the lead very much. I had a little bit of a fight with Jenson. It was always around four seconds and strangely he kept closing in around the pit-stops. I don't know, I was pushing very hard into the box and out of the box but we seemed to lose a little bit there so we need to understand. But on the circuit it was crucial to manage the tyres, make sure that you have enough of them left in the end, so all in all it was a very smooth race. The car was very well balanced. I felt even a little bit more confident on the hard tyres at the end, but overall a fantastic performance. Thanks to the whole team. Thanks to Renault. I think exceptional job so far, the whole season without any problems but to be honest with you it is a little bit mixed emotions. On the one hand I am very, very happy. It is the first grand prix in India and I am very proud to be the first winner and I think we can be as a team but on the other hand looking back to last weekend we lost two of our mates. I didn't know Dan Wheldon but he was a big name in motorsport. I got to know this year Marco Simoncelli and out thoughts are with them. Yes, we are ready to take certain risks when we jump into the car but we obviously pray that every time nothing happens but sometimes you get reminded and it is the last thing that we want to see. So, as I said, it is a bit mixed emotions and our thoughts are with them at this moment.

Q:
Jenson, your engineer said at one point 'we can race Vettel' but I guess it just proved a little bit too difficult today?

Jenson Button:
Yeah, it was. The last race I really struggled on the first lap and lost a lot of places so I wanted to redeem myself here. Got a good start and was able to get up to second by Turn Four and then it was basically trying to hang on to Sebastian. His pace was very good, he didn't seem to make any mistakes and every time through the pit stops we gained a little bit. I don't know if it was the stop itself or if it was after the stop, but on tyres when I came out of the box I felt very good. I felt very competitive and that was when I could really close the gap down. But as soon as Seb got into a rhythm I couldn't do anything about it really – but all in all for the team I think we have done a perfect job today. We couldn't have done anything else. Yesterday was a disaster for me in qualifying but I think we have put it right here so a good race but, as Seb said, it is a tough weekend for everyone in motorsport. The last two weekends have been very, very difficult. We have had two fatalities so it is very difficult especially with Dan. I knew Dan from a very early age, he was the guy we always had to beat in the early formulas so very sad also so I think we should dedicate this first Indian race to Dan and obviously Marco, another super talented youngster. He was the most amazing guy to watch on a bike so I think we should dedicate this to them.

Q:
Fernando, your battle was with Mark Webber and you got him at the second round of pit-stops. Tell us about your race.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, we didn't make the perfect start today. To be on a very new circuit and starting on the clean side I think we didn't have the grip that we were expecting and the other side of the grid they started a little better than us and we lost a couple of positions there. Then we race with Mark until the second pit-stop where, a little bit surprisingly, he decided to stop and we did two extra laps so we were able to overtake him so extremely happy to win the podium in this first race here in India. To have this feeling and to taste the champagne is always nice in a first race in a new country. As Sebastian and Jenson said, mixed feelings this weekend with sad weeks for motorsport with the two accidents. I think we all raced for them today and try to go ahead but always remember these two fantastic people.

Q:
Sebastian, you have set a new record today for the most laps led in a Formula One season, taking over from Nigel Mansell. I bet you just don't want this year to end?

Sebastian Vettel:
No, I don't mind. I think we can continue. The car is fantastic. The team is enjoying and we are on a run basically since the beginning of the season and it is great. We enjoy every race. The great thing is you walk into the garage every morning and you see the guys and they are flat out. They are pushing very hard and there is no sign of getting lazy and not paying attention to detail. It is really enjoyable to see that knowing that we have already achieved a lot this year, but we are still hungry so we are not lacking motivation at any stage. All the people come back with their questions but we seem to give them the right answers. I love what I do. I think we all do so it is great and in a way we don't want this to end.

Q:
Jenson, tell us about your start briefly. You got past Fernando and Mark. Exciting times?

Jenson Button:
It was. The start off the line didn't feel that good but I think there is such low grip off the start line. Then I was able to get Fernando into Turn One. I think he went a little bit deep and I knew I had to get a good exit out of Turn Three. It is such a long straight. Got a good exit, was in Mark's tow and when you are in that situation where there is a car behind you can't do anything about it. He covered the inside, did the right thing, but I had enough speed to go around the outside and carry the speed. It was an exciting part of the race. Then I had Mark behind me for about eight laps, pushing me really very hard. He tried to get down the outside of me into turn four, we both braked very, very late and both ran wide almost off the circuit but kept the position and then I was able to pull away. I think he damaged his tyres quite a bit. But it was a fun race. A little bit frustrating that I couldn't catch up with Seb, but we did a good job this weekend and that's the important thing. Pace isn't quite there, but hopefully in the last two races we can make that little step.

Q:
Fernando, what is your side of the story of the battle at the start?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, the start was not perfect so the first two or three seconds we lost too much ground there. Then I tried to recover in Turn One, braking a little bit late, but there was not the grip to brake that late and I lost a little bit more. It didn't compromise the race as I don't think we were able to fight with Sebastian at any point. Being second or third in the first lap it didn't change too much the full picture of the race. We are not that super competitive at this part of the year but we keep on having podiums thanks to the fantastic job here by people at the track. Today again we had a little problem with the front wing on the grid and the mechanics did a fantastic job in the last two or three minutes before we start on the green light so again thanks to the whole team for the fantastic effort with the things that we have in our hands. As everybody knows, next year is our main target and the same for everybody.

Q:
Sebastian, just sum up the thoughts about this first ever Indian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel:
It is great, I think, what the people did here in a short amount of time. We heard about it a couple of years ago but to put up this arena is incredible. Surely there are little bits here and there that are not 100 per cent finished but now the people know so they will fix that for next year I am quite sure. I think all in all it was fantastic. I am very proud, as I said, to be the first winner here in India. I think it is a very impressive country, very different to what we probably know from Europe, but very inspiring. If you keep you eyes and ears open I think you are able to learn a lot, the way the people handle things here. It is a big country, a lot of people, but sometimes it looks very different but they get along with it and they are very happy here. They enjoy life and in the end that's what it is all about. If your life comes to an end it is more the thoughts, the emotions, the friends, the friendships you take with you rather than whatever you have in your bank account. Even the people have so little here I think in a way they are much richer than a lot of people back in Europe so there is a lot we can learn and it is a great race, great event. The circuit is fantastic so all in all it is fantastic so thanks a lot to India and all the people here.



Press conference

Q:
Sebastian, quite a few people were questioning your motivation earlier on this weekend. That should put an end to all that talk?

Sebastian Vettel:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Podium – 1st Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, 2nd Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari & Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Technical Operations Director
Podium – 1st Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, 2nd Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari & Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Technical Operations Director
Podium – 1st Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, 2nd Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari & Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Technical Operations Director
Podium – 1st Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, 2nd Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari & Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Technical Operations Director

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