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

Of course I'm happy, I mean, y'know, I think we had to work extremely hard in the first couple of races, we were not where we wanted to be so therefore I'm extremely happy that we had a much better weekend here. Friday morning, the first time I went out, I felt much happier with the car balance, so I think we found a reasonable package that seemed to work on this circuit pretty well so all in all, I'm very pleased. As I said yesterday, I think I owe this one to the team, to the boys. As I touched on, they've been working so hard, giving them an extremely hard time here at the circuit, back in the factory, we all try to find the best configuration. I don't want you to look in the back of our garage, it's pretty busy and pretty messy: a lot of work, a lot of parts. So we try to get the best package together. As I said, very good yesterday in qualifying and today in the race obviously crucial to get a good start. Then I was able to pull away by three or four seconds immediately which turned out to be crucial. By the time Romain got past Lewis I think he had more or less had the same pace. At the end of the stints I think we were a little bit superior and then yeah, second stint pretty much the same. Kimi always had new tyres so we knew he would be a danger until the last lap. Again, obviously in the beginning trying not to lose too much. I think especially that second-last stint where we were on option tyres, Kimi was on a new prime tyre, so it was difficult. I thought he would make his way past pretty easily. I tried to defend, one time it was really close and after that it seemed that he was running into the same kind of problems with the tyres and we were able to… not pull away but we could open a bit of a gap. So yeah, a very, very tight and difficult race. Obviously not too busy in terms of overtaking and wheel to wheel racing for me, but I knew that every single corner would be crucial with no mistakes allowed. I kept the car on the track at all the time which was a help and yeah, great result and very, very happy.

Q:
You had a faster pitstop at the last pitstop but then you seemed to be held up by a Caterham in front of you.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, a little bit, but it's the same story for all of us. You know, you get there first and depending on where you run into traffic you might get held up - but the guys did a very good job all race long, all the guys we lapped. You're never going to get past without losing a little bit but it's the same when Kimi or Romain faces the traffic. They run into the same problems. I have to say given the amount of marbles and dirt and sand and pickup off-line, they were very fair.

Q:
You didn't explain why you had to pull off at the end.

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, I think I wasn't the only one…

Q:
But that was another thing altogether…

Sebastian Vettel:
I don't know.

Q:
You were just told to pull off?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I think it's not the first time you saw that. It was a very quick race, the pace was extremely high, we had no time at any stage to rest, so a lot of pressure always from behind. So pushing hard and yeah, I was too exhausted to do the in-lap!

Q:
Except you had to run the whole pitlane…

Sebastian Vettel:
By then I'd found some extra KERS

Q:
Kimi, again a team that changed the car quite a lot during this weekend, especially after last weekend as well - but obviously it was a good car.

Kimi Raikkonen:
My car was the same the whole weekend. We tried two cars with different floors but I mean in the end I don't think there's much difference between them but for sure it looks like we did the right thing. The car cannot be too bad because we finished second and third, we're still not happy in certain areas but that's a pretty normal thing. You're never really 100 per cent happy with things. You always try to find something new and improved. But, I mean, great thing for the team to finish second and third, so I'm happy for them but a bit disappointed to not have more, to not be able to challenge more for the win. I'm not winning but that's life.

Q:
Was it difficult even with the DRS to get really, really close, close enough?

Kimi Raikkonen:
I think like you saw on TV I got close enough once to have a chance to try but I chose the wrong side, so that's about it. After that my tyres dropped off a bit and I couldn't get close enough. Yep, next time we try, hopefully we can put ourselves in a similar position later on this season in the next coming races. It's not going to be easy but we will try. And that would be nice.

Q:
Romain, congratulations to you on your first podium, tell us about the start. It must have been pretty good?

Romain Grosjean:
Yeah, it was! I think we are doing some pretty good starts since the beginning, except Melbourne. Malaysia, China and here we have some very good starts. I think it was important for me to be straight up to the front. Then I have to say that I really enjoyed the first stint, the car was fantastic on the option and I could overtake Mark Webber and then Lewis Hamilton. I thought I would come back a little bit on Sebastian and then we choose to go for the prime on the second stint, and it appears that there were a little bit less grip, it was more difficult and Kimi was behind me. He passed me and then the tyres went away. I think the last two stints were pretty good, our car was feeling good, the team can be proud of what they did because with this season so tight between cars it's very difficult to be at the front and we have two cars on the podium which is extremely good. We're working very hard as well, trying some new pieces - the old and new and seeing what is the best - but it's always difficult. Tyres, as you know, are going away quite quickly and it doesn't give you much free practice time but our podium feels pretty good and I think it will feel even better when I'm on the plane home and take one or two days to relax before going to the factory and working and trying to get a better car for the next race.

Q:
Was the car better on primes from then on, after using the options from the start?

Romain Grosjean:
Unfortunately not. It was pretty good on the two last stints with the new prime but I had a choice between scrubbed primes and scrubbed options for stint two because I did a mistake in Q2 run one where I went wide and used one extra set of options. If I had one new set of options I think I would have put it on and maybe got closer to Seb - but I have to be happy with third place, it's a first podium, we have two cars here and that's fantastic.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.04.2012.- Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
22.04.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 2nd position
22.04.2012- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 race winner
22.04.2012- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 race winner, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 2nd position and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20 3rd position
Esteban Gutierrez joins Ferrari as test and reserve driver
Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 world champion at FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Qatar [Pic credit: FIA / Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI]
Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 world champion at FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Qatar [Pic credit: FIA / Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI]
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel in the F2012 during a day testing at Fiorano
Raffaele Marciello (ITA) Ferrari F14-T Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
26.11.2014.

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