F1 » 23 June 2012
Post-qualifying press conference - European GP - Pt.2
Post-qualifying FIA press conference from Valencia with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams).
Questions from the floor.
Q: (Adrian Huber – Agencia EFE).
Pastor, would you be happy to finish on the podium tomorrow, or are you hoping for more?
For sure, the points are very important for the team. It will be good to be on the podium but for sure if we can go for more, I will try my best like always, then we will see. Tomorrow the strategy is going to be very important. The team is ready, so looking forward to that.
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe).
Lewis and Sebastian: you are the best of those going for pole. Is there any secret to the last lap that you do, and what are your thoughts before going out for that final lap?
Lewis Hamilton: [to Sebastian Vettel]
What is your secret?
Can't tell you. I'm not sure whether there is a secret. Qualifying, we know, is all about one lap and to be honest, today it was very difficult, very tricky because the wind plays a huge role here, sometimes blowing more than at other times, with gusts and generally it seems to be very slippery. Obviously the grip is lower than last year because the cars have less downforce and it makes it quite tricky, as we touched on. A lot of drivers lock up easily under braking, especially in qualifying when you want to brake as late as you can, but knowing that if you lock up you miss the apex and then you lose time. It's quite difficult but ideally you just try to go through the lap before it happens - at least I had a little bit of time in Q3 - and try to focus on the key points, go through what I have to do and what I have to look out for and then it seems that I did so in the last run. So happy that I got everything together, just on the limit, and got the best out of the car, so I was very happy with the last run.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado deSao Paulo).
Sebastian, you have a lot of new parts on your car and the first time you're going to use them in race conditions will be tomorrow, in these very hard conditions. Are you worried about the reliability of your car, considering there are so many new things?
No. You're right, obviously it's the first time because the first time they were on the car was on Friday and since Friday there was no Grand Prix. It makes it difficult but there's always a first time for everything. Obviously we try to build the parts so that they are reliable so as I said, I'm not worried. I think it will be tough, it will be hot but it's not the worst race of the year for the car in terms of the ambient conditions, so I'm quite confident.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Sebastian and Lewis: do you realise that you have a big opportunity tomorrow to keep a huge advantage to the third guy who we suppose is a contender in the championship, Fernando Alonso. Are you working on a strategy to save points?
No. I anticipate that they will come through very strongly throughout the race, so whilst qualifying for some cars is not important, you look at the Lotuses and you look at… even Mark will be very competitive tomorrow. They have great long run pace and they can look after the tyres better than others, due to low speed downforce. I also know that Ferrari had upgrades this week - at least so Fernando told me - so I anticipate that they are going to be very competitive. Again, as I said, I'm very surprised for us because we didn't have any upgrades this weekend and so to be where we are is a big bonus for us.
Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport).
From what you have learned about the tyres here, can it be another race like Montreal where people in the race come out of nowhere with different strategies or different tyre management?
I think Montreal was different; the tyre choice was different in Montreal. We had the supersoft and soft and I think we already saw on Friday in Montreal that the tyres last pretty well. On Sunday then, some people were able to prove that doing a one stop and obviously when it's close between one and two stops then there can be a difference and people come out of nowhere. Lewis did the right thing, two weeks ago, by going with two stops. We did the wrong thing but I think it should be different here. The race is not so many laps and the tyres are a little bit different. It's going to be hot again but I think it's a different race, different track, different conditions.
Q: (Panayiotis Seitandis – Alpha TV).
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