Indian GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.2
28 October 2012
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Mark Webber (Red Bull).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Vinayak Pande - Hindustan Times).
Fernando, yesterday you were quoted as saying that you were 100 percent certain that you will be this year's World Champion. Do you still feel that way after this race?
Of course. We know that there were still 100 points yesterday and now 75 points (available). We are 13 behind. We know that we need to improve. We are not fast enough, especially on Saturdays, as I said, but hopefully we can improve the situation in Abu Dhabi or in USA. The races are long, and as we saw today with Mark, a KERS problem can happen to anyone, it can happen to Seb, it can happen to me and it can happen to all of us. Still many points on the table and I'm still very optimistic.
Q: (Vinayak Pande - Hindustan Times).
Of the three races that are left, is there any one in particular, do you think, that will favour Ferrari?
I think Brazil will be quite good for us and hopefully it's a happy Grand Prix.
Q: (Sudhir Chandran - Chequered Flag).
Now that you have been a part of two editions of the Indian Grand Prix, is there one unique feature about this track, destination or venue, which you find distinctly different from the others that you race at around the world, fans included?
I think every Grand Prix is special and has something special about it. Obviously it's the second time that we've run here. So far, all the quotes from the drivers regarding this circuit have been very positive. It's a lot of fun for us. It's not so easy to manage the tyres in one lap for qualifying, but also over the race (distance) so it's a big challenge and I think that's what we like. There are some corners, like turn 15, where you always think that something went wrong and you will try and do it better next time. You get challenged to the limit which is obviously what we like. We don't want to make mistakes but obviously we like those sort of places.
On top of that, I think it's an impressive country. Obviously last year I had a bit of time to have a look, and I think coming back is quite a big difference. Obviously, in here (the paddock) it's something that we all know, the Formula One paddock but having a look at Delhi or a little bit the life outside the circuit is very different to other places. I think there's a couple of stations or a couple of stops on the calendar that are very impressive in that regard. India has a lot to offer. There are a lot of people here: 1.3 billion or more so quite incredible and just to see that, to see how people live here, to see the culture, I think is very very different.
In life, I think a lot is always about expectations and in Europe expectations are very, very high. Money plays a big role whereas here, I think, expectations are fairly low. Money is not that important. It doesn't matter how old you are. I think it's more important to have a healthy, happy life, to enjoy your life with your family, with your kids. Sometimes to compare the circumstances you live in, here in India compared to Europe - obviously I grew up in Germany - it's black and white, it's very different but it's nice to see that the people are so happy, warm-hearted. I think it would definitely be nice to spend a little bit more time to travel around and get more of an idea. As I said, in here, everything is more or less the same. It will be the same next week when we go to Abu Dhabi, even though it's a completely different place. As a country, this place has a lot to offer.
Good question and a good answer.
Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Moto und Sport).
Sebastian, in the latter part of the race, the front end of your floor seemed to touch the ground. You could see sparks coming off it. Did it cost you time; it seemed to have repaired itself later on?
I noticed the problem. I think it was when I got the DRS of a backmarker, from Timo (Glock) actually, pretty close to the end of the race and obviously when you open DRS, you go much quicker down the straight and I saw some sparks. I think you've seen a couple of cars throwing out some sparks out of the back of the car this weekend. I don't think it was really a problem. I didn't feel anything regarding the balance (of the car). All the other laps it was no problem, but I saw it in the mirror, I saw Timo backing off and I think he was a bit afraid at the time. We obviously need to analyse what was the problem, but it didn't cost us anything or slow us down.
Q: (Shridhar Potdar - Sakal Media House).
Sebastian, every time you make a point about the team members in the factory and those working behind the scenes. You seem to have a special bond with your pit crew which plays an important role in any driver's success, whether he is a World Champion contender or not. Can you share what kind of relationship you have with your pit crew members and the main members of the team?
I think it's the same for Mark and myself. Obviously we work very closely with the guys. I think we have 20 races a year, a couple of pre-season tests and obviously we spend a lot of time in the factory, we spend time here at the track, working with the members of the team, every single one: mechanics, engineers, all sorts of staff. Obviously you know who you're talking to. If you're new to the environment it takes a bit of time to get to know everyone and to get to know how everyone ticks. I think the special thing at the moment and the special thing at the beginning of the year at any stage is the atmosphere in the garage is fantastic, the guys are really incredible. I don't know how they do it, they hardly sleep at night, only a couple of hours. They try to prepare the car as best as they can in order to give Mark and myself the best chance to have a solid race. Back in the factory, the people are pushing, obviously trying to improve the car. It's obviously difficult to say thank you to each and every one because quite a lot of people work behind the scenes in our team, but everyone plays their role, it's not a one man show. I think the result today or the result last week or whenever, the results in the last two years are not just thanks to me or thanks to Adrian (Newey), or thanks to any particular person in the team, I think it's thanks to all of us. Everyone is pushing hard, there are lots of bright guys with good ideas. Obviously some guys are really important but all in all, that's the spirit we share and it's just nice to be a big part of it.
Q: (L.P. Shahi – The Telegraph India).
Sebastian, you say there is no one element that makes the difference. Are you under-estimating your own part in this?
No, that's the way I see it. Obviously on a Sunday afternoon or a Saturday afternoon, whenever, in qualifying, in the race, when I'm out in the circuit in the car, then I know that there is a lot depending on me. If I get it wrong there's no result, if I get it right it might be a good result. But I think there's far more work behind that than just one lap in the race, or one lap in qualifying, one result in a year, in the season. That's why I'm convinced of what I said and I think everyone is pushing very hard. Obviously it's easier to measure if I make a mistake, I lose half a second in the last corner, it's easy to say that instead of 1m 30.0s, I could have done 1m 29.5s but that's why it's difficult to measure the effort everyone brings in. The guys in the garage are working hard, preparing the car, preparing the pit stop etc. It's obviously difficult to measure if you're talking about performance or lap time, but then it becomes very easy to measure if you don't finish the race, compared to a race where you do finish and you collect a lot of points. Sometimes it's down to one guy who is obviously committed and does the right thing at the right moment, preventing a problem or sometimes his head is not right, he's not fully committed then small mistakes add up to maybe a big mistake costing a certain result on a Sunday. I think that's where it's fair to say that we win together and we lose together.
Q: (Luigi Perna - La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Fernando, looking at the performance that you had during the race, and the result that you had at the end, second place, may we say that this was the best race of your season, or the best performance in the car?
I think it's difficult to say, I don't know, it's difficult to chose. I'm really proud and happy of the Valencia performance, or Malaysia or some other races where we fight all the race through, Monza etc, but definitely this one was one of the best, I think, pushing from lap one to the last lap, not risking or taking more risks that in previous races with overtakings etc, so quite happy.
Q: (Dan Knutson - Honorary).
Seb, there's been all the stories on the internet about you and Ferrari. Could you set the record straight please: is there any arrangement, agreement, talk between you and your people and Ferrari?
This could be quite funny now, what I say... No, there's nothing, nothing to tell you, nothing I've signed. Nothing has changed. It's quite amusing. I don't know where it came from but... I don't read much, so it's quite a surprise when you get to the circuit and get all these questions. Nothing to report. As I said, I can't be happier at the moment, I'm very happy with...
Actually, there's one thing I would like to say about this. As I said, there's no reason to write anything or report anything but obviously, as I said earlier, you don't know every single one in the team, and it's hard to speak to every single one, so if there's - sorry to say - some bullshit in the press, obviously there might be some concerns back in the factory, but I'm 100 percent behind them as I feel they're 100 percent behind me and therefore I want to get this straight: there's nothing to report and I'm very happy at Red Bull Racing.
Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe).
Sebastian, during the last ten laps when Fernando passed Mark, did you fear that Fernando would come back after you and may be successful?
You never feel too certain. Obviously it's important, as I said earlier, I tried to open a gap to - you know - later on, and no matter what happened, to have a little bit of a cushion, to have time to react to be able to control the race in the end. Obviously I was told that Fernando got into P2, Mark had the problem, so I think, as Mark said, obviously with a completely smooth race he could stay ahead. As we also said, on the hard tyres, McLaren and Ferrari were quite competitive. I think I had the same gap when he started to be second as I had in the end, so I was able to keep the gap and control the race.
Q: (Frank Schneider – Bild Zeitung).
Question to Fernando and to Seb: Seb, first, is there anything you want from Fernando at the moment; and Fernando is there anything you want to have from Seb at the moment?
Could I...? Ah, no you have a cap. I was just about to say, his cap, but he hasn't... Where did you get that from?
I can give it to you but... I didn't understand the...
I think we are both happy with what we have.