Drivers: Sebastian Vettel
(Red Bull Racing), Mark Webber
(Red Bull Racing) and Romain Grosjean
Questions From The Floor
Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
Mark, you spoke about the second stop but the first one was already pretty early for a two stop strategy. Was it just to do an undercut on Romain, or do you feel that you were in the role of a rabbit to challenge Romain to follow you and then obviously it paid out for Seb?
Yeah, we were obviously looking to get in the lead, to put some pressure on Romain. I don't think the option was easy to handle for any of us. I wanted to put some pressure on Romain towards the end of that stint. We were more or less in the window for a two stop. As soon as I pitted after the prime, the guys said 'yeah, we're on a two stop, it's no problem. Look after the tyres and we'll stay on two.' And then I was on two and then we switched to three so I think they just saw that it was just a quicker way for me to do three stops. That's what they thought, that was the reason they did it. That's the reason for that.
Q: (Dan Knutson - Auto Action and National Speedsport News)
Mark, in those laps, you were trying to get Grosjean but you couldn't quite get him down the straights; what was happening through the chicane and down the pit straight?
Well, at the end of the race, the DRS is not as effective because you're on the limiter, basically. We managed to get off the chicane a bit better on the... when you arrive on someone you want to get the job done pretty quickly. First sector is obviously not that easy because... Romain is a bit low on tyres but they also had more downforce than us. I was quite low on wing. When I arrived on him, I was obviously hoping to get it done a little bit earlier but it was also knowing that his tyres were going to be quite tired, getting towards the end of the race as well. The backmarkers didn't work out for Romain, it's a bit of a nightmare when you catch so many guys; they all want the DRS, they all want to fight and in the end, it was beneficial for me to pounce when Romain got not the best run with the backmarkers, which was no fault of his own.
Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe)
Romain, what do you think you still miss to get a victory: another car, another team, another strategy? And the same for you, Sebastian, about Romain.
From my side, I think, today, was a little bit of pace on the hard tyre. We covered Mark on the first stop. It was two laps shorter than what we thought and then again, the second stop was just a little bit earlier than we thought because of the tyres' age and so on. And I think we missed Friday, so we had to do a long run in FP3 to know how the tyres were going because from Friday we had no information from our long runs, we really struggled with the car, so we lost that information that we are normally pretty good on. Today the hard tyres didn't behave as we expected and before the race, honestly, we said we'll start on option but then what's going on in the second stint, we didn't know if we had to fit option or prime and it was just an unknown. I think the Red Bull
today was... we said in the strategy meeting that we never thought that we could beat them. So we are where we expected to be. Just sometimes, it's a little bit of everything. Today was not the luck missing, it was not the start, the driving, it was just a little bit of pace from the car.
Well, I think after the start and the first stint, I thought that it would be a great race for Romain. Obviously we tried to make our stint longer and so on, to come back in the end but they looked very strong. I think they struggled a little bit more on the prime probably but then again as he just said, they didn't expect to race where they ended up racing. I think he drove a fantastic race today. I don't think it's a matter of... he can beat me, he beat me last year at the Race of Champions. I put the car in the wall. I think it's not a matter of that. The race is long. Today obviously favoured us over the distance which is a little bit unusual compared to the Lotus because I knew that being in third, losing out in the first stint, usually the distance is more, you know, let's say the strength of the Lotuses. I think Romain did a great job, great performance all weekend I think, great qualifying yesterday again, outqualified Kimi. We know that Kimi is a strong driver. Last year I think Romain made some mistakes but the most important thing is that we learn from these mistakes as drivers so I think he learned a lot of things and gradually he's improving, so big respect for that.
Q: (Anne Giuntini - L'Equipe)
Mark, last year you had an incident with Romain here. Did you change your mind about him during this year, especially in this race, but also the whole season?
No, I think it's very clear that Romain has a very different mental approach to the job at the moment this year. He's driven some quite strong races, putting together the whole weekend which is a sign of a driver starting to get a bit more relaxed and confident. A lot less mistakes, not just in races but in practice so it's not... You know, we're not here to blow smoke up his arse but in the end he's doing a very good job this year and it's a big step for him because last year, in F1, also the first year against Fernando in F1 wasn't easy for him and to come back... yeah, he's doing a good job. It starts and stops with him. Hope he doesn't improve too much more before the end of the year! And we can keep going.
Q: (Kate Walker - GP Week)