21 September 2013
Singapore GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.1
The post-qualifying FIA press conference from Singapore with Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1).
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1).
Sebastian, biting your nails at the end there. You took the decision not to go out and do a final run. Does it sit comfortably with you, being a gambler?
Yeah. It's a weird feeling. You stand in the garage when there's roughly two minutes to go in the session and you know that it's too late. But then it's much worse when you see the others at the final attempt and you know there's nothing you can do. Because you stand in the garage. I was watching the sector times very closely with obviously Romain, Nico and Mark in particular. Mark started with a purple sector one, very close in sector two, then Nico had a purple sector two, then Romain had a purple sector two. Then fortunately my last sector was strong enough to - yeah - just stay ahead. It was very close in the end with Nico. That's a great feeling then, obviously, because it could go wrong but very happy obviously with the result. The car's been phenomenal all weekend. Yesterday I think the gap was a bit of a surprise. Today's been more what we expected - especially with Mercedes being very close behind.
The gap is a tenth of a second Nico. You've had the upper hand over your team-mate here but not quite over the Red Bulls.
Yeah, unfortunately Sebastian especially has been really quick the whole weekend but it was very, very close in the end. A pity, because one tenth more, with the way they gambled in the last qualifying... One tenth more would have been possible somehow, y'know? That would have been great but anyway, second place is still a good result. A great result. And it gives me a good position to start the race tomorrow and I'm also very confident about our race pace. It's looking OK so I think a great result is possible.
Romain, a confident decision from you in the first part of qualifying not to use the faster tyre. Were you feeling confident today?
Well, I think the car's been OK today. If we look at how many laps we did in the whole weekend so far, P3 in the quali is not too bad. We knew we were strong this morning. I think we got a little bit caught by the night coming on and it was a little bit less quick than the fast time we expected in Q1 but nevertheless I think the team did a good decision about the strategy and the cut-off and everything, so then we had two attempts in Q3. It's good to be at the front in this grand prix.
Sebastian. You've won from pole the last two grands prix. Is it more of a challenge to do it around this Marina Bay circuit tomorrow?
Yeah, definitely. It's one of the toughest races we face all year. I would say the toughest - physically and mentally - because it's so long. One lap is so long, there's so many corners, there's hardly any room for mistakes, it's very bumpy and, as you can see, we're all sweating pretty much even though we only did a couple of laps in qualifying. So the heat obviously and the humidity plays a factor. It will be very tough. Surely pole is the best position to start from - very happy with that as it is tricky to pass on this track. But because it is such a long race I think there is plenty of opportunities for all of us. Usually we get a safety car at some stage in the race. Yeah, as I said, happy to start from pole, try to have a good start and then settle into a nice rhythm and see what we can do.
So Sebastian, your 41st career pole, sixth of this season, three in a row now after Spa and Monza. You've had a great record around here, won the last two times at Singapore. What is it about this Singapore circuit that really gets to you?
I don't know. We race at night. I think even though it hasn't been in the calendar for many decades but still it seems like a classic and it's a very nice place to come to. The circuit is a big challenge for all of us. It's so long, so many corners, very difficult to keep the focus for the entire lap. Tomorrow's race will be very long, it's usually the longest race we have with two hours duration. So, yeah, it's just... you hate it and love it at the same time. Obviously in qualifying if you get the lap right it feels fantastic. I think it's the challenge that I love - that we love - when we come here.
A quick word on your main title rival - Fernando Alonso seventh today.
Tagged as: FIA , Sebastian Vettel , Mercedes , Rosberg , Romain Grosjean , Red Bull Racing , Nico Rosberg , Singapore , press conference , Singapore Grand Prix , Marina Bay , Lotus , Grosjean
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