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Post-qualifying press conference - Abu Dhabi GP - Pt.2

F1 2011 Abu Dhabi GP post-qualifying FIA press conference with Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Jenson Button (McLaren).

Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Jenson Button (McLaren).

Questions from the floor

Q: (Dan Knutson – National Speed Sport News).
Jenson, with the balance problems you have, are they better or worse on the prime or the option or are they the same on both tyres?

Jenson Button:
For a long run, it's definitely better on the option tyre, I think. It felt pretty good in terms of grip level for a high-fuel long run, so hopefully we will see that tomorrow.

Q: (Joris Fioriti – Agence France Presse).
Jenson and Lewis, congratulations on your outfit, which is very nice. Did you have any thoughts at the beginning of the weekend that you were actually going to be faster than Red Bull, knowing that you were fastest in FP1, FP2 and FP3?

Jenson Button:
I think we've seen it before. We've been very quick in practice, but basically we're just doing our own thing. We're working through our programme and it's not about being the quickest during the day, it's just the way it seems to happen. We obviously run a different programme to Red Bull. We've seen this before and we expected the Red Bulls to be quick, so yeah, it's always a challenge to beat them and to beat Seb with the consistency they've had this year in qualifying. The race, also, is very difficult, but I feel that we are more competitive and we can challenge more in the race than we can do in qualifying.

Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe).
Question to the two McLaren drivers: what is your plan to prevent Sebastian winning tomorrow? Is there something special you can do?

Lewis Hamilton:
I think it's about getting a good start, from my side at least. I can't remember if it was last year when we… was it last year when I started second and you [Vettel] started on pole again last year, didn't you? Yeah. And I remember into turn one, I braked early and let him go. I don't plan to do that tomorrow.

Jenson Button:
Any plans? Yeah, a good start's important but it's more difficult from third than it is from second, so I don't know, we will see. As I said, we've got a pretty good race car, I think. We will see tomorrow if that is true or not but it feels that it's pretty good. It's not all about the start, I don't think.

Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer).
For those of us who haven't had time behind the wheel in an F1 car, could you talk us through the way the track changes as the night falls and everything gets cooler and the way that affects the handling of the car?

Sebastian Vettel:
It's a difficult question. We all, surely, feel something… as I said earlier, we would like to change the car in the session, it's not possible, we haven't got the time and we're not allowed to. And then you can be surprised either way so as Jenson described, I think he said he had quite an understeery balance and then finally he found the grip so yeah, the circuit did pick up some grip for the fronts but then I think it's not the same for all the cars. It wasn't really in my case, there wasn't a clear trend, it was just coming together or going away from you. In particular, you can feel when there's a lot of cars running it gets cooler, it seems to get quicker. We saw that from Q1 to Q2, then a little bit of a break, not too many cars running, only ten – I don't know if the last cars did a timed lap – but it does make a difference and the little break, not many cars, again the circuit seems to get a little bit slower and the cars are moving a bit more. It's difficult to highlight a trend, to say OK, the front picks up, the rear picks up. That's the difficulty, it's a bit of everything.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.11.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 2nd position and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 3rd position
12.11.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position
12.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
12.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
12.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advisor
12.11.2011- Qualifying, Press conference Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position

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