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Post-qualifying press conference - European GP - Pt.1

Sebastian, well done, your third consecutive pole, does that mean it's going to be followed by your third consecutive win? Or does that not mean anything any longer in 2012?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well it does, so it would be nice, I think… I'm very happy to be here now because, to be honest, we had a very good weekend. Yesterday was very good, I felt comfortable in the car, this morning I felt very good, even though we didn't get to finish the run on the soft tyre but this afternoon we started and I think we were a little bit off, compared to where we were the whole weekend. And we played a little bit of catch-up through Q1 and Q2: you don't have that many runs. And we had to go out again in Q2. It was very tight. We saw I think Fernando was just not quick enough for Q3 and I think I was a little bit slower than that, so if we could have stayed in the garage then, yeah, we would not be here now – so it was a good call from the guys on the pitwall, and yeah, obviously we knew then we only had one set of options left, and tried to give it the best shot in the end. I knew that if I get the lap together, plus whatever we tried in qualifying with the car… I mean you can't really do much, you can't really change the setup but you can play a little bit with the settings you have inside the car: differential, front wing, and yeah, I think we caught up. And I had a good feeling in the last lap and managed to put everything together in the three sectors – which was good enough for pole. So, I'm very happy, especially after the effort that has gone in, as I touched on, from the guys here but also from the guys in the factory. We've got a couple of new bits here, they seem to be a step forward, which is very good.

Q:
I'm told it's more than a couple of new bits. I'm told it's quite a large number of bits…

Sebastian Vettel:
Well it depends. We've tried a lot, we've been pushing very hard, to be honest. I think it's difficult this year. I think we see everyone is very close to each other and everyone is pushing. If you at McLaren, if you look at Ferrari, if you look at Mercedes. The big teams have more resources, probably, to bring new parts than other teams and they have been bringing more than a couple. A couple is two, so maybe we have also bought more than two – but nevertheless, other teams are up there. Force India was incredibly quick all weekend: yesterday I thought it was just a surprise but even on very low fuel it would have been a very competitive lap time and they confirmed it today. I think in the end they ran out of tyres but in terms of lap times, they weren't far off in Q2. It's tight, it's difficult to make the right step and that's why I'm quite happy to be honest.

Q:
I'm not sure what your team-mate's problems were but presumably you had no similar problems.

Sebastian Vettel:
It's a bit of a shame, because the potential is there. I think Mark would have had a solid qualifying, no doubt and we would have qualified in the same area with a normal qualifying for him. But he had a problem, with the brakes I think this morning and I'm not sure what happened this afternoon – so it's really a shame because you always hope for the team as well to get the best possible result – but nevertheless, yeah, I think the race is long tomorrow, the pace was there on Friday for him as well, so confident he will come back.

Q:
But you've had no similar problems.

Sebastian Vettel:
No, as I said, the only problem he had was the brakes this morning and this afternoon I don't know. But I didn't have any problems fortunately.

Q:
Lewis, on pole here in 2009 and three second places over the years. Given the problems you had yesterday, you sound as though you're pretty happy about today's performance.

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah. As I was saying, I've really struggled all weekend with setup. During the year I've not really struggled too much to get the right balance but particularly today, and yesterday was a real struggle. But you have those weekends sometimes. You can't always get it perfect. Made some changes going into qualifying that I was just praying would work. And they seemed to have worked, so I was quite happy with the balance that I had. And I was able to… and to be able to get out the lap when you need it, just like Sebastian did. But obviously not as quick as his. But to be able to go out and do those single laps and make sure you maximise the potential of what you have – that really does satisfy me, so I'm happy with where we are.

Q:
It's just been so close at this circuit. Even though it's a long lap it's been so close and literally thousandths of a second have made a big difference.

Lewis Hamilton:
Absolutely. It's very, very surprising. Well, not surprising but it's very interesting to see so many of the teams improving and continuing to bring updates and to see the pack close up. I think it's great to see all the teams so competitive. It makes it even more challenging for us as individuals and also for the teams to up their game. And also for us drivers to make sure we're on top of our game when we're out there.

Q:
How much of a different is it going to be with one DRS zone here? I think there were two last year and this year one.

Lewis Hamilton:
To be honest I have no recollection of what happened last year. But, I don't know, Overtaking here is always difficult. It's always difficult to follow as it is in Monaco. Particularly going through Turn 10 maybe, is it? Going onto the back straight. It's not that easy to follow through out there. But the DRS, I guess, will definitely come into play throughout the race. Hopefully I'll have some chance. Who knows, we'll see what.

Q:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.06.2012- Qualifying, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
23.06.2012- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 pole position and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 2nd position
23.06.2012- Qualifying, Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
23.06.2012- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 pole position, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 2nd position and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34 3rd position

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