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Japanese GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.2

Sebastian, how important has qualifying been for you? You look at earlier on in the European season you've sometimes struggled to get even close to the front row. Now you've really been doing the job in qualifying. How key is that in the championship run-in, and also do you feel that this is finished business after this time last year when you were made to be conservative and not win for the championship?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think it's very important... at the beginning of the season I think there was a little bit of a trend of saying that qualifying was not that important this year because the races were very upside down. Some of the races changed completely in the last ten laps, but I think it still shows how important it is, to be well positioned after Saturday's qualifying for Sunday's race. If you then take an average of 15 races or whatever we've had so far and you see how important qualifying is still, I think it was important for us to make a step forward on Saturday. Still, I think it's very easy this year to not have the perfect Saturday afternoon - I experienced it last time two weeks ago in Singapore, how quickly it can change. I had a very good car, I was happy and everything seemed to work as per plan in Q1 and Q2. Then you arrive in Q3 and you don't understand why you can't go quicker. This morning I read an article about Felipe, or Felipe did an interview and I think he experienced the same thing yesterday. We do so many new sets of tyres, so many qualifyings and it's then difficult to say OK, I didn't get the grip on that run and it just didn't come together and that's why I was lacking the speed... because you always want an explanation, you want to find the reason why you weren't quick enough. It seems this year that cars are obviously much closer together and the window seems much narrower this year, to make the tyres work. You especially feel that in qualifying so that's why things can change quickly. You might get a messy qualifying even after a brilliant start and then it might compromise your whole weekend, so that's how quickly it can change.

Q: (Marco Dell'Innocenti - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, at the end of the race, they said to you to be careful and in spite of it you set the fastest lap. Are you sure that nothing could happen, and secondly did you race with the double DRS today?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, today in the race I wasn't really using DRS, so it didn't really matter. Fortunately I didn't have to use it. I think we've made improvements over the last couple of races. As I said earlier, qualifying was a bit our weakness and has seemed a little bit better in the last races.

At the end, I obviously wasn't trying to take any unnecessary risks. I was trying to control the gap to Felipe. I think last year I was sometimes in a similar situation with a gap of five or six seconds and trying to control the race too much and it got very close towards the end of the race, so I didn't want to lift at any stage. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't want to lose the focus and concentration and in the end, obviously I thought to myself maybe it's not the smartest thing but as I said, I wasn't trying to do something stupid but you don't get to race a car like that too often in your life, where you feel in control and the car is balanced and you're just very happy with what the car does, and how it behaves, so I was able to put some reasonably quick lap times in at the end.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Felipe, was this the hardest one of the last six races for Ferrari on paper and what do you really have to do, where do have to concentrate the most to try to come back?

Felipe Massa:
Are you talking hard for Ferrari or hard for me? Well, I would say our car was competitive here, not compared with the Red Bulls, but I think we had very good pace in the race. We had very good pace in practice as well. When I did a long run on Friday I was one of the quickest guys on the track, so I think the car was good here. I'm sure Fernando would have done a good job today. But anyway, we need to improve, we need to bring more new pieces, we need to push in that direction, to improve the car. Just going back to the qualifying, I didn't have a good qualifying. Actually, I had a very good qualifying until the second set in Q2. Before that, I was always in the top five, top seven and I couldn't use the tyres. As Sebastian said, sometimes you have that opportunity and you cannot use it, and I didn't have any grip on the front tyres, and I think that was the biggest problem for my qualifying. I'm sure that starting in the top five would have been as the race was today, because I was fourth after corner three. Starting at the front is very important. The race is easier, you can control your tyres better and use the pace in a better direction. For sure, qualifying is very important.

Q: (Tetsuya Otani - Car Graphic)
Kamui, at the restart after the safety car, you had a pretty big gap in front of you, between Sebastian and you. What was the situation for you?

Kamui Kobayashi:
Actually I was stuck in gear. It was holding in first gear, it was already on the rev limiter and I couldn't shift up to second and I need to brake, so I was really surprised. Anyway, I couldn't fight with Sebastian. I didn't mind, I couldn't hold my position. He started pretty early, before, quite far away to the safety car line, so I had enough to recover. But it was a bit of a surprise.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.10.2012- Race, 3rd position Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
07.10.2012- Race, 2nd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
07.10.2012- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 race winner and 2nd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
07.10.2012- Race, (L-R) Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 e Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
07.10.2012- Race, (L-R) Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F2012, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
Kamui Kobayashi and the Caterham Seven 250R Kamui edition
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T, Marco Mattiacci (ITA) Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari F1 team show a panel for Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
12.10.2014- Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Caterham F1 Team CT05 and Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
12.10.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36

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