Drivers: Sebastian Vettel
(Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton
(McLaren) and Fernando Alonso
Sebastian, we've seen pole decided all year being decided by mere hundredths of a second, but today it was almost a quarter of a second. What made the difference?
Well, it's difficult to say. I think we've had a fantastic weekend so far to be honest. Yesterday was very smooth, we didn't have any problems with the car. I think we have learned a couple of lessons, especially in the last two races where arguably we were quick on Sunday in the race but we didn't get [the best] out of the car on Saturday in qualifying. So, we learned quite a bit and, as I said, it was important to have a clean run, yesterday was a good day and this morning. We trusted the car that we had, we were able to go with the circuit and tried to read the conditions, so I was very happy in qualifying - throughout qualifying really, Q1, Q2 and Q3 – so yeah I was able to always get a little bit quicker. It looked very tight in the beginning to be honest. I knew it would be within a tenth, but in the end it seemed that we could make a bit more of a difference, which obviously is good. But still the advantage we have over Lewis is eight metres on the grid. Looking forward to the race, I think we have a great car. This time we got it right in qualifying and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. It should be an interesting one I guess.
Lewis, moving to you, so fast all day yesterday, how much has the change in climactic conditions affected car balance for you today?
It was definitely a bit harder for us today. We definitely struggled with working with the tyres in FP3 and in qualifying, having to push extremely hard to try to get the temperature, to get the tyres to switch on, but very, very fortunately we had still a new set in Q3 and just managed to get through. I'm very, very happy with the performance. I'm very surprised to see us on the front row but nonetheless we'll definitely take it and work as hard as we can tomorrow.
Fernando, some big upgrades this weekend, paying dividends almost immediately.
Yeah, the car felt quite good yesterday when we tested some new parts and we feel much more happy with the balance of the car and the grip of the car, Felipe and me, straight away. It's a first step. Obviously, the world will never stop, for us or for the competitors, but at the moment we are extremely happy and thankful to the guys in the factory.
Sebastian, in recent weeks they've banned your floor, they banned your wheels this weekend and you guys are still on top, in pole position. How do you keep doing it?
I think it's not just a hole in the floor that makes all the difference. Obviously reading the papers you get that impression. It was a bit of a shame that it went one way and then the other, being declared illegal, then legal and then illegal, but in the end we never feared a big impact on the performance of the car. I think generally, the car works as a whole – not the hole in the floor but a combination of all the parts together! We were not afraid that it would have a big impact on performance. This track is very special. As Lewis said it's very tricky to switch the tyres on, there arte not so many corners, as in there are no long duration tyres so it's difficult to work the tyres properly. But as I said, I think for us it was crucial that we learned from the experience especially of the last two grands prix. It was good fun today and even without the hole I enjoyed qualifying a lot.
Sebastian after the win in Monaco for the team was there a certain amount of confidence coming here. Was this, if nor expected, did you feel you'd taken a step forward?
Well, we changed the car. We had to close the hole or slot or whatever you call it. It seemed to work pretty well without the hole. No, I think there wasn't a lot of time to react. It depends on what kind of schedule you follow. We've seen some teams bringing a big step here, Ferrari
did. For us it was nothing big. We are always pushing very hard to improve the car but I think, as I mentioned in the [unilateral] press conference earlier, it was important that we really had a clean preparation, a clean Friday. We were focusing on ourselves, so that was important. Then in qualifying, we just tried to get the maximum out of every run, and we seemed to improve on every run and even we seemed to chip away a little bit from the guys behind, which was a bit of a surprise because I thought going into qualifying that it would be extremely tight. On this track it's very difficult to make a difference, so I'm very happy.