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

8 September 2013

Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)

Questions From The Floor

Q: (Adrian Huber Rodriguez – Agencia EFE)
Fernando, is the only way for you to win this championship is for Sebastian to lose it?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, I think we need to be realistic about the championship now there's a very big gap. We don't have enough races and probably we don't have the speed right now to win some consecutive races and hope to reduce the gap just by pace. We need to be lucky and we need to have some DNFs from Sebastian or something to win the championship. With the races left and the points disadvantage, it's hard but in a way, it was exactly the same last year. We could only lose the championship, with 41 points advantage in front of Sebastian after the Monza race. It was difficult for him to catch up and so it was maybe up to us. We didn't complete the job and we had a DNF in Suzuka and some other problems. There's still a long way to go; we will try until the last race to be as good as we can and score as many points as possible and then in Brazil we will see how many points we have compared to him.

Q: (Adrian Huber Rodriguez – Agencia EFE)
And yesterday, there was so much talk and so much written as to whether you had said this or said that. Did you feel today that the fans spoke out for you? They cheered you; do you feel much better today than yesterday?

Fernando Alonso:
Concerning yesterday, it's the third or fourth consecutive race that some people have tried to create some tension between the team and the drivers. Then we come to the press conference, we explain everything but obviously this doesn't sell so many newspapers – normality. Every time I leave an airport, the hotel, home, everywhere – here in Italy there's huge support, huge love from them and me to them as well and to the team and we keep repeating this and we saw today on the podium maybe not many of them read the newspapers in the morning, luckily.

Q: (Jaime Rodriguez – El Mundo)
Fernando, can you explain the overtaking manoeuvre on Mark, maybe the most spectacular in the whole race?

Fernando Alonso:
I tried a lap before but I was not close enough in turn four, in the second chicane, and then we were very close in the first chicane on that lap. Mark had a little slower exit in the first chicane so I used all the KERS on that straight hoping that with the KERS plus the slipstream it will be enough to pass, but it was not enough so that we arrived side by side. At one point, I thought 'well, I will miss the second chicane and I will give the place back' but at the last moment I get the grip, we were very close to touching each other but again we come back to the point that it's not the same fighting with an experienced and respectful driver compared to some others with whom you would never try that move, with whom we've had some incidents already.

Q: (Cesare Manucci – Autosprint)
Sebastian, in parc ferme you changed gears five, six and seven I think, because you already had a warning of the same problems with the transmission that you had during the race, or was it a completely different problem, or just to be more safe for the race?

Sebastian Vettel:
We already saw something on Friday, obviously something similar but Friday to Saturday we changed the gearbox and then I think in the race it was a surprise. We were obviously aware of the Friday problem but we didn't see anything before that. There's not much you can do; obviously once you start the car there's nothing you can change so in the end, I think we were lucky or in a comfortable position to have a little bit of a gap especially towards the end. I don't know what they saw on the pit wall in terms of data, if the problem got worse and worse and worse or stabilised, but obviously I tried to save the car, save the engine and gearbox as much as I can. In the end, I still have to go full power on the straights; basically try to short shift and save the car a little bit.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, does it hurt to see the people against you on the podium?

Sebastian Vettel:
About the general atmosphere, fortunately I had an experience in 2008 which blew me away completely when we won here in an Italian team with a Ferrari engine so the atmosphere was fantastic. When we won here in 2011 and this year... 2011 was a surprise, this year I think it was kind of expected. I said on the radio on the in lap that the more booing we get, the better we have done today. It's normal. I don't blame the people to be honest, I think their love of Ferrari is in their genes. It's something very special. Obviously Fernando is in a great position on the podium, whereas if you're dressed in any other colour it's not the same, but still, it's a fantastic race, a fantastic podium here.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, I think the only hard moment was at the start when you locked up the front tyres a bit. How was it after that, please?

Sebastian Vettel:
Our start was difficult, as I mentioned. I didn't get off the line that well, couldn't see Mark so tried to give him enough room and then tried to brake late, probably a little bit too late, locked the front right and then had lots of vibrations after that because I had a flat spot on the front right tyre. Fortunately we weren't front limited on this circuit, so the front tyre was not a big issue, so I tried to look after the rears after that and we still got far enough to make the one stop work.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and National Speedsport News)
Mark, can you describe your side of when Alonso passed you and how badly did that damaged wing affect your race?

Mark Webber:
I think that I braked pretty deep into there, so did Fernando. It was early in the race, we were still to get a feel for where everything is. Obviously as Fernando touched on, it's very easy to go straight there and not make the entry to the chicane. I was also mindful of the fact that I wanted to make the entry to the chicane as well but when Fernando then got pretty much level on the outside of three, the chess match is over, basically, so you then obviously have to concede and look to take the fight to another part of the race. The wing, I think, wasn't too bad. I think we've had quite a few little snags on the front wings this season but that seemed to be OK. It wouldn't have helped; I don't think we had the best balance in the first ten, 15 laps because of that. As the race went on towards the end, it might not have been too bad to help the stint but I couldn't go anywhere against that with Felipe and at the end of the stop the guys might have tweaked it up a little bit, but in general, not a big difference. I was concerned that the wing might have been more damaged when I saw it go and also on the back straight on the way to the Parabolica I thought I saw Fernando's left rear – just an illusion maybe – but I saw the tyre about to go down but it didn't, it stayed up and in the end we both survived.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera)
Sebastian, Adrian Newey in Spa said that Monza wouldn't be a positive track for Red Bull, but looking at the dominance here, maybe he was wrong. What happened, how were you able to change the situation?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think he was as surprised as we were. Just on the way up to the podium, he said 'I thought that it was going to be damage limitation this weekend.' I said to him 'well, if damage limitation is like that, I want to have a lot of damage for the rest of the season.' It was very unexpected. Already the pace on Friday surprised us. From a balance point of view, I was very happy with the car, similar to two years ago. So obviously we've been very competitive in Canada, very competitive in Spa on medium downforce tracks. This one was a little bit unknown. We haven't been the fastest down the straights again, but fast enough, somewhere in the mid-field which is enough to use the strengths that we have through the corners, despite running as little wing as we can afford.

Q: (Carlos Miguel – La Gaceta)
Fernando, what do you expect for Singapore, because in theory it is very good for your car. Do you believe Red Bull is now at the level of 2011?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, we will see. Obviously we were expecting a lot from Monza and it was a very good Monza. It's true that we didn't win the race because Red Bull and Sebastian did an even better job and they were very very good but in our level of competitiveness that we had this year, Monza is one of the best weekends, as we expected before. We came from Silverstone, from Nurburgring, from Hungary where we had Red Bull in front of us, Lotus in front of us, Mercedes in front of us and some other cars sometimes, so here in Monza we were able to beat all those cars and fight for the wins, so if we can repeat this good performance in Singapore, we hope so but this will be the real test for us. We made some changes in the car, they seemed to be positive in Spa, seem to be good and positive in Monza, but when we reach the maximum level of downforce in Singapore, like we had in Hungary, we need to check. If we still have Mercedes in front, Lotus in front and some other teams, we will be more or less the same as in Hungary and we don't want to be. I think we prepare the car and we prepare everything to make a step forward and in Singapore hopefully we can see it.

The level of domination? Well, I think as Sebastian touched on before as well, already in Canada, Spa, Monza are very unique tracks in terms of level of downforce. They were quick in Spa so more or less... we saw it in Canada so Spa was not a surprise and here in Monza also they performed really well. I think it's more tight this year than 2011 and also there are more teams in the battle. There is not only Red Bull who can be on pole position etc; there is Mercedes who have done many pole positions this year etc, so many races are coming with many interesting combinations of performance so what we have to do is try to be close to the top in all track characteristics.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Sebastian, you said some minutes ago that the car reminded you of the 2011 car here. It means a very dominant car as we already saw in Spa - Francorchamps, you have 53 points advantage over Alonso. What do you predict for the rest of the season? You are very close to being World Champion for the fourth consecutive time?

Sebastian Vettel:
I'm trying not to think about it too much. I think that when I spoke about the fact that it was similar to 2011 I was speaking about the experience here in Monza because usually... you know, 2009, 2010, 2012 it was very tricky for us here. Obviously this year was similar to 2011 when the car just seemed to be very well balanced in the corners, I felt very good through all the medium speed and the chicanes. It's not as simple as you think. People say 'at Monza, you just need horsepower, little wing on the car' but in fact if the car doesn't feel right and doesn't allow you to play, you lose a lot of lap time, just because you are not comfortable. The cars are sliding more than the rest of the year because you run less downforce so you need to be happy with that and accept that. We have a car this year that was similar in 2011 in that regard and allowed myself to play and still to feel comfortable, even though the car was loose. Other than that, I think I tend to agree with Fernando. Obviously the last two races have been very good for us but overall this year, I think it's been very close. Yesterday was the first pole position we got in real dry dry conditions, if you don't consider Melbourne because it was a little bit damp and drying up in Q3. So on that front, we seem to have made progress and in the race it has stood out this year that we have had a very very strong race car. Together with Ferrari, I think on average we have been the fastest in the race.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, during the race we heard a little message radioed by you that you were complaining about the rear light on the Vettel car. I would like to know how disturbing, how annoying it was for you during the race?

Sebastian Vettel:
Me?

Fernando Alonso:
Was the question for me? Well, it was...

Sebastian Vettel:
Will you listen now? You complained about the red light?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, yeah. It was disturbing a little bit. Obviously it's a very strong light with no rain.

Sebastian Vettel:
It's worse in here.

Fernando Alonso:
Sebastian is not used to having a car in front so he doesn't know how it feels to have a red light on but when you are behind, a little bit close, it's always flashing and sometimes you just have to touch one button because that's the red light or something that you press by mistake, if he could switch, but he didn't. So the whole race I had it flashing in my eyes.

Sebastian Vettel:
I was trying to get away so it wasn't disturbing you so much.

Fernando Alonso:
You didn't...

Transcript courtesy FIA.


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