Questions From The Floor

Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer)
Question to all of you; coming into the weekend, one of the things that we heard was a possible concern was the engine due to dust and sand. We've seen a very very dusty day today. Have you got concerns about your engines in the race tomorrow?

Sebastian Vettel:
No, because we've run here previously and it's more or less the same: sometimes more sand, sometimes less. They do a good job here around the track, cleaning the circuit. I was surprised this year that there seemed to be less dust on the track than in previous years, so I think that if they keep doing that we should be OK tomorrow concerning the engine.

Lewis Hamilton:
The same really. The engineers do a fantastic job to design the engine, it's hardly affected, the filters are very very good, so it doesn't cause us any trouble.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, how much of a relief is it for you to get this pole position after the difficult start to the season? Were you worried that this could be a more difficult season; now you have the car that you were used to?

Sebastian Vettel:
Pretty much the same way as people around, really. Not us inside the team, not myself. I started to... it looked like panic, it's the same now. We've got a very good result today and I'm very happy. Of course I'm happy to be on pole for tomorrow's race. For sure it feels good but zero points scored so far as the race is tomorrow. I think we are only a couple of races into the season, as I've mentioned many times now because I've had the same questions. We didn't have the start that maybe we expected and people probably expected of us, but since day one, where we realised that maybe we weren't as strong as we wanted to be, we've worked very very hard and this is step one towards the right direction so we keep fighting and keep working hard to make sure that the results similar to today come more often again.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Sebastian and Mark, we saw that in the last race Nico Rosberg did very well, but today he's further back as you were in the last race. Is this a new phase for the team or is it a characteristic of the season in Formula One, all these changes?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think that we've seen so far that things can change very quickly. We've seen that Nico had a phenomenal lap in China, he out-qualified everyone by half a second, no one had a chance on that Saturday and to be fair, also on Sunday he was in a league of his own. This weekend I think they're very strong again. I think Michael went out in Q1 because they didn't run again and then I don't know what happened to Nico. I heard that he's fifth so I don't consider that is qualifying at the back, and I think they will be very strong tomorrow. This circuit is known for being a bit of an engine circuit; they have a very strong package, they are very quick on the straights so surely, given the pace he had all weekend, we expected him maybe to be a bit stronger in qualifying, but given the margins and given the gaps between the cars, first, second, third, fifth, I haven't seen the complete result yet but I don't think there's much between them, so a little mistake here or there is enough to maybe not get the best result you can or you could on that day. Equally, I went out last weekend in Q2, or I didn't make it to Q3 and there wasn't much missing, so I think it's fairly close this year and I think that the racing we have seen as well and probably will see again tomorrow.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, two days ago you said that you were lacking something to have a winning car. Now did you change your mind? And the second question is about Nico: it seems that Nico saved a set of new soft tyres. Is that crucial or doesn't it matter?

Sebastian Vettel:
Surely it's an advantage for him if he has more sets of new tyres. How much of an advantage you will see tomorrow. Sometimes it turns out to be a massive advantage, sometimes none. People run different strategies and we start to do that already on Saturday. All in all, I'm very pleased with the result today. As I said, I was much happier with the car all weekend and felt that we can qualify in a much better position. Going into qualifying, I knew that with a little bit here and there we could potentially go on pole. Going into Q3, seeing everyone's first shot - Lewis very competitive - I know that we should be able to match him, maybe go a bit quicker so in the end, I'm very happy that we did, but I still think that for tomorrow, other people are probably the favourites. We start from the front row, P1, but it's a long race and a lot of things can happen. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the race, so we will see.

Q: (Khoda Rawi - F1Arab.com)
Lewis, I believe you are the first driver in F1 history that finished the first three races of the season in third position, and you've never won here before. Do you think you can do it tomorrow, since the car seems competitive on all tracks?

Lewis Hamilton:
It's going to be massively hard tomorrow, for sure. We seem to have had some good races here. I think in my first year I was second here - we struggled a little bit that year and yet we still got good results and I think we have a better car this year to fight the Red Bulls in the race. I think their race pace has generally been a little bit quicker in the last couple of races, within a tenth (of a second) of race pace, but we've made some improvements so I hope that tomorrow our set-up works really well for us and we can challenge for a win.

Q: (Khoda Rawi - F1Arab.com)
Lewis, you have a huge fan base in the Middle East; what would you like to say to your fans?

Lewis Hamilton:
To my fans here... Growing up I never ever thought that I would ever have fans so to learn that I have more and more fans coming from different places and particularly the Middle East is a fantastic feeling, so I'm very much appreciative of all the support that they give me and I hope that many of them come this weekend. And a big thank you to all of them for some of the messages that I get, because I do notice that I have certain messages on Twitter or Facebook from out here in the Middle East, so just a big thank you to them, and fingers crossed for the season.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
Sebastian, as it was mentioned already, Rosberg had one run in each of the qualifying sessions. I think you had two attempts each. Was that planned or were there some problems?

Sebastian Vettel:
No, surely it was not planned. Ideally you go through with one run only, the minimum amount of effort so in the first qualifying I think both Mark and myself weren't happy with the first run and then we were able to re-balance the car and we were maybe then fine in the second run. But it just shows how competitive it is, how close it can be. I saw that Lewis was P16 or 17 and just made it by four hundredths so half a tenth. With the track improving and the other people having very competitive cars, it's very close. The same in Q2: I wasn't entirely happy with my lap. I made a little bit of a mistake going into turn eight and I know that I should have been in a better place in Q2. I wasn't keen to go out and then we went out but I didn't make it across the line in time in order to have another go, so fortunately it was good enough, but again, in Q2, I think Kimi got caught out and didn't make it to Q3 so... If you can make it with one run, that's preferred because you save tyres.

Q: (Stephane Barbe - L'Equipe)
Sebastian, being a two time World Champion already, how much did it help not to panic after the first races?

Sebastian Vettel:
It's the same as I said before, I think we had no reason to panic and equally, now it's not as if we are living in a different world, so we still know that we have a lot to do, a lot of work ahead of us. Surely the result is very good for all of us, because it gives you a lot of energy knowing that if you work hard, you also get the rewards. As I mentioned, especially for the guys in the garage, working day and night, as much as they can, I think it's good to be back on top, but we have a race tomorrow and that's when we can score points and not before. As I said, I don't think we had a reason to panic and equally, now the world is still turning and we keep fighting and keep doing what we were doing, working hard and trying to come back to where we have been last year.

Q: (Ben Hunt - The Sun)
With regards to the death of a young man last night in the protests that have marred this Grand Prix, I just wondered if any of you drivers would care to comment on that at all?

Sebastian Vettel:
It's the first time that I've heard about it. I don't know what happened so it's difficult to comment. I think it's always... either you know the person or you don't, but I think it's always dreadful if someone dies, but I don't know what happened, so...

Mark Webber:
I don't know the situation so... it's never good, of course.

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