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German GP – Thursday press conference – Pt.1

4 July 2013

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q:
Good afternoon to all six of you. Not much time between the last race and this – Silverstone still very much fresh in our minds. I think all six of you had a very eventful race in Britain. So let's start off with your thoughts on the race in Silverstone and the afternoon you had there. I guess we should start with Nico Rosberg, as you won.

Nico Rosberg:
I had a good afternoon! It was a very good race weekend in general and I'm really to come out with that result at the end. To have a fast car in the race as well, which has been our weakness in recent weeks and months. So to have improved there was great. And home grand prix for the team, so to win there was absolutely fantastic.

Q:
Yourself, Sebastian – contrasting experiences.

Sebastian Vettel:
I think we had a solid weekend. We were able to qualify well right behind the Mercedes, which was I think the best we could do on Saturday. But on Sunday we had good pace in the race. Obviously, it's difficult to know as Lewis had a tyre failure very early on but I think we could have matched him in terms of race pace. But after that, quite frustrating to lose the lead due to a technical problem, but as I said after the race these things happen. So I think we've understood the problem, fixed the problem, so we move on.

Q:
Sergio, what about you, what stands out for you from your race at Silverstone?

Sergio Perez:
Tyres I think. I think the race itself was better than expected. We had better race pace and in the race itself it was a good strategy and so on. We were able to do better than expected but then with the safety cars it got us in the wrong place and towards the end I didn't have good tyres and the people behind were coming a bit quicker and then I had the explosion with the tyre.

Q:
Adrian, your race?

Adrian Sutil:
Yeah, exciting race, interesting race. I would say the pace was not generally as good as expected, so I had to always look more in the mirror and try to make myself as wide as possible and protect my position. I had a very good start. I was running fourth for a long time and then third after the re-start after the second safety car. It looked close to a podium but still our car was just not fast enough and maybe it was a bit unlucky the second safety car period but nevertheless I think there was a chance, a small little chance, to get on the podium, if after the re-start something else would have happened. We risked it and stayed out and then of course a lot of cars with better tyres were behind and I lost quite a few positions very quickly. But seventh in the end was some good points for the team, we stabilised our position and we're fifth in the Constructors' World Championship and that's very important for us.

Q:
What about you Daniel, just finishing behind Adrian in eighth place after that career-best fifth?

Daniel Ricciardo:
It seemed for the last half of the race we were tied together for a little bit. The safety at the end was a bit of a lottery I guess. We were in fourth at the time behind the safety car and obviously fourth is a great position at the time, for us, for the team. Whether we pitted or not, I guess it was a bit of a gamble at the time, whatever we chose to do, and obviously we stayed out and lost out because of it. But I think the weekend as a whole went really well, from Friday through to Sunday we were always in the top 10, always strong. I think our race pace was good as well. It's positive for us. It would have been nice to get a few more points and I'm sure we'll get another opportunity.

Q:
Finally, Nico Hulkenberg. At the back a chaotic race at times but one that eventually brought you your second points finish of the season.

Nico Hulkenberg:
Yeah, happy to get away with a point after quite a long dry period. It was a good feeling for me and the team to have a point. Overall, quite an exciting race with lots of wheel-to-wheel action. So it was a lot of fun from inside the car. Fortunately, I wasn't one of the guys who had the tyre problems.

Q:
So this weekend here: it's the first German Grand Prix here at the Nürburgring for you in your third season in F1, which surprised me when I read that. Does it add to the excitement, racing in front of your home fans, a new track in an F1 car?

Nico Hulkenberg:
Yeah, it does. A lot of excitement. I had done the practice one session in 2011 in a Force India but it is the first proper race attempt. The Nürburgring has always been very kind to me. I've had lots of good finishes here, won a lot of races and have done many laps here. I really like the place, obviously a lot of history on this circuit and the Nordschleife, so I'm really looking forward to this weekend.

Q:
Racing in front of your home fans at a track you know well – how much does that help you and how much does it raise the goals that you and Sauber might have for this weekend?

Nico Hulkenberg:
Maybe there is a bit of extra motivation but you have to be realistic with what we have. But I'll try everything to make it a good weekend for us and I'll just look forward and try to enjoy it as much as I can.

Q:
Sebastian happy birthday for this week. Probably the only thing you celebrate in July given that you've not won in front of your home fans in Formula One. You haven't won in July either – which seems a strange one.

Sebastian Vettel:
I think it was much more important what we have achieved the last four years and the last three years in particular. So, yeah, I think we've have good races in the past here but also in Hockenheim. So in Germany in general. Was always close but not good enough to win yet – but I hope I have a little bit of time left to try again. We definitely try this weekend.

Q:
As the defending World Champion you race with a lot of focus on you week after week. How much does that intensify when you come to a German Grand Prix in front of your home fans?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well surely it's special. As the other drivers… as Nico just touched on, I think we've done a lot of racing here before our time in Formula One so we know the circuit well. Obviously it's great to come back and especially the last couple of years with more and more people supporting the team, supporting myself. It's great to come back and really get a feeling of a true home grand prix. So, I'm looking forward to this weekend, looking forward to the support from the fans and yeah, hopefully see more and more Red Bull flags around the track.

Q:
Daniel, to you next, happy birthday to you this week as well. Don't know what you got for a birthday present but I'm sure the one you're really looking for is to be Sebastian's team-mate for next year. That would surely be the best present of all – wouldn't it?

Daniel Ricciardo:
Yeah, I guess so. Birthday present… that was Monday, that was my birthday, after the race. So, I was just coming down from the weekend really. Had a bit of birthday cake, not too much, of course. Obviously talk about next year was pretty frequent last weekend. For me, just keep trying to do what I'm doing, keep pushing and… yeah… it's nice to hear some positive things. Definitely. It would be a great position to be in but I've still got a bit of work ahead of me. Silverstone went well. I think that didn't hinder anything. I've got to keep doing that.

Q:
Is that all you can do? Just keep doing what you're doing? You've not set yourself new goals, new targets to attract the attention of those that might make the decision?

Daniel Ricciardo:
Well, I definitely try… I haven't won a race yet so definitely I've still got some further goals and ambitions so I'll keep striving for better things. But realistically to do the best I can. I think the qualifying on Saturday was good and the race, as I've said, it could have easily been better but we still got points and showed a consistent pace throughout the weekend, the whole three days, so that was important. Definitely some positive things from that and happy to keep it going now.

Q:
Sergio, we come to your ninth race as a McLaren driver. What positives do you take out of the first eight races?

Sergio Perez:
It's been a very difficult season for us, for McLaren. Big struggle. Since the start of the season I think we have made some progress. First of all in understanding the car, get the correlation right. But to be honest I don't expect a major difference this weekend to where we were in Silverstone. I think we will be in a similar position, trying to fight to get into the points. And I hope we can score good points here because in Silverstone we should have scored points, so definitely here I aim for some points as well.

Q:
Do you think you're driving better now, as a McLaren driver, than in the first couple of races for your new team?

Sergio Perez:
Yes, of course. The understanding of the car is getting better, the knowledge with the team. Sometimes people don't realise when you change teams, how difficult it is to adapt to the different style of the car, different ways of approaching setting up the car. It takes a couple of races – it took me a couple of races – but I think right now I'm really in good shape. Together with my team we have done good progress so I definitely thing from now on, for the rest of the season, we can keep taking the maximum out of the car.

Q:
Adrian. Consistency. That seems to be what you and Force India have found. The last three races you've scored points, your team-mate Paul di Resta has scored points and you seem to have found that sweet spot.

Adrian Sutil:
Yes, the car is very consistent. It was consistent the whole year. I think I was not so consistent at the beginning and had issues sometimes. But I hope I sorted it out and now, in the last three races, was quite good. The last one was quite smooth. Monaco was a great result and hopefully this kind of result can come. I think the car is always strong enough to be in the top six. It's all about getting it all right, all together, not making mistakes, whether it's me or someone else. We are a whole team and sometimes there are little things we can improve but at the moment I think we are on our way and most important to score now points as much as possible – we missed a few in the first few races – and just get better. We get better, we're on our way. I think together with Lotus we are almost now the fourth quickest team and that's a very good improvement and a great result for Force India at the moment.

Q:
Nico Rosberg, two wins in the last three races. I can't think of anything you'd rather enjoy – maybe three wins in three races – but you must be loving the way this season is turning out at the moment.

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, for sure. It's a really nice time in my career at the moment. It's new. I've never had a car as quick as it is now, going to every next race, knowing that I go out there in qualifying I can fight for a position right at the front. And then also in the race the car is getting better and better so the chances are higher so that even on Sunday I can keep my qualifying position. And it's a really, really nice feeling. Very motivating also.

Q:
If that's the case, do you see yourself and Mercedes as genuine title contenders this season?

Nico Rosberg:
No, it's too early to say that. We're really focussing on getting our momentum, keeping it going as we have at the moment and just concentrating one race to the next, trying to get the most out of them, just as we have done now in the last couple of races – which have gone fantastically for me. And then we see, in a few races time.

Q:
So anything could happen. You don't think you're the main threat to stopping Red Bull winning another world title?

Nico Rosberg:
I don't really want to speak about a world title – yet.


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