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Indian GP - Post qualifying press conference - Pt.1

Present: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Mark Webber (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
TV Unilateral

Q:
Sebastian, you've had a fantastic weekend so far: fastest in all three practice sessions and now on pole position: it couldn't be a better start to your championship bid could it?

Sebastian Vettel:
Ah, well, first of all it was a tight session. I think especially in the end. My first run, I did a mistake in Turn Four and had to abort the lap, so that was not as per plan. Before that obviously we had, yeah, quite a good qualifying session, so we decided to go obviously for another run and had only one set of tyres left. Fortunately I get the lap together and was very happy with the lap itself. Here and there potentially could have been a bit faster, especially around Turn Four because this time I made sure I'm not locking up the fronts but yeah, all in all, it was a great weekend so far, no problems with the car. I think the boys have been pushing extremely hard. We had lots of feedback from the factory as well which was very helpful from yesterday to today, so thanks as well to those guys there. We have to keep pushing obviously. I think we have a lot of races to go, important races, but the best chance of doing well is to focus on every single step. Today was qualifying. I think we got a very good result and now we look forward to the race.

Q:
Obviously pole position last year and you won last year, as I say you've had an extraordinary weekend so far and you're three places ahead of your main championship rival Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel:
You know the races these days: you know that a lot of things can happen so I don't think that means a lot. Obviously I'm very happy to be on pole; it's the best possible position to start and I think if you ask those two [MW and LH] they would like to start in that position, so yeah, I'm very happy with that but there's a hard race coming up tomorrow. I think we had a bit of a surprise on Friday in terms of long runs; everyone was quite competitive and tyres seemed to last reasonably well so we'll see what that means for strategy tomorrow.

Q:
Mark, fourth time you've been second on the grid so far this season. Could you have been on pole?

Mark Webber:
As Seb said, it wasn't the smoothest session for him and I think also the same for me. The lap itself wasn't too bad, last corner got onto the Astroturf a bit on the exit, so for sure didn't have the cleanest run to the start/finish line so that was disappointing. But I'm driving the car. I did my best, it was close, as you say a pretty tight run thing between both Seb and I and then I didn't get to do my last attempt. Obviously the McLarens doing very slow outlaps to get their tyres ready for the lap which is different to us and I had no grip in the first sector, so the build lap was… I didn't get to do my second attempt, which would have been nice but anyway I was surprised to end up second, to be honest, but I'll take that and we can have a good race from there tomorrow.

Q:
Obviously a good one-two for Red Bull Racing.

Mark Webber:
Yeah, very good. As Seb touched on, I think the way the factory has helped us this weekend has been incredible. Milton Keynes has really been pushing hard, even though they're not here they are with us in terms of work ethic and also for the team and the guys on the floor here. Obviously it's not the easiest environment to work in, not in terms of temperature but in terms of other challenges and everyone's getting through that pretty well. So far, so good, and today's job's done, tomorrow we'll wake up with a new day.

Q:
Lewis, only your second time third on the grid so far this season. Are you happy with that third?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, absolutely. The team have done a great job this weekend in just trying to dial the setup in the car. To have us on the second row, I mean we're not quick enough to be ahead of these guys, but we can definitely challenge them in the race. I think our race pace was just as good as theirs through practice, so excited about that.

Press Conference

Q:
Sebastian, it was interesting to see the number of mistakes that have been made by all sorts of drivers, admittedly you had your own little error, up until then it seemed to be completely mistake free but it seems to be very difficult on that circuit.

Sebastian Vettel:
First of all we started the weekend much better than last year, the circuit was in much better shape, I think they did a very good job in trying to clean the circuit so I think it was ready from practice one so that was very positive. Still around here there's a lot of track improvements so in every session it just seems to get faster. Obviously when everyone puts on new tyres in qualifying then it gets even more quicker. Up to the point of Q3 we were very happy with the car and as you said had no mistakes. The first lap in Q3 wasn't perfect: I locked my front right into Turn Four, I think I was just a bit too greedy under braking and it didn't come back, so it didn't stop locking and I went a bit straight, so I had to abort the lap because I'd lost too much time. And yeah, focus on the second attempt, which fortunately was fine. I was very happy, this time braking a bit too early for Turn Four but all in all it was a very good session for us, the car was fantastic. As we touched on earlier, the support we had from the factory, from Milton Keynes, was incredible, so big thank you to the guys there. I think we improved the car from yesterday. We had a couple of new bits, so seemed to be able to make another step forward so yeah, we have to keep pushing. Today is obviously a good result from us, first and second on the grid, one and two, but tomorrow is the main exercise with the race. I think the McLarens are very quick, went very quick in the long run yesterday, as well as the Ferraris. So, I think it will be a close race, also in terms of strategy it could be a surprise. We'll see what happens.

Q:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.10.2012- Qualifying, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
27.10.2012- Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8
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Pic credit: Agence de presse Meurisse‏ [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Sebastian Vettel drives the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi - Pic credit: Infiniti
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