Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
Questions From The Floor
(for Sebastian Vettel)
Q: (Srinivasan Kannan - Mail Today)
There was something unusual we saw at the end of the race: you got out of the car, almost kneeled, almost kissing in front of the car. What was that?
It's just an appreciation for the car, for the team. It's pretty special. We work so hard all year to try and make that car faster, as simple as that. The guys are pushing, you could argue that it's the fifth season with this generation of cars. Next year it will be a new generation, but you still see issues that we have. Unfortunately Mark had a problem with the alternator, similar to last year. Out of precaution, I wasn't allowed to use the drinks bottle in the race, we switched the KERS off, we did everything to try and save energy at the end. So the cars are built on the limit, even if you think it's season number five, with the same – in a way – the same kind of car. The fact that the car lasts, the work that the mechanics put into the car. It's just an appreciation. I think it's a team effort at the end of the day. I spoke to the guys yesterday night... surely you could argue that I have an important job when I'm out there driving the car, no doubt, I'm aware of that but I'm not selfish, I'm not taking all the credit myself. I'm very thankful for what these guys are doing. If you look at their pay check at the end of the month, you'd be surprised if you could do the amount of hours that they do. I think it's better to work at McDonalds than to do what they do! It's one hundred percent commitment. They love their job, they love the fact that they are working on a F1 car and get to see technology like that. I think at the end of the day we could... it's rockets in a way. It's a shame, in a way, that with modern circuits people don't get the excitement of the speeds that close any more, but I think for safety reasons there's no doubt... you don't want to go back to where we've been in the past, so I think the sport has progressed but for sure you lose some of the excitement but I think for racing fans, such as the mechanics, it's still the same. It was just a gesture of saying thank you.
Q: (Lokendra Pratap Sahi – The Telegraph)
Seb, congratulations, would you say this has been amongst your most or probably the most emotional day, as an F1 driver?
In a way, we saw that one coming. Last year was very special. If you look at the race last year, Brazil, it was... if you tried to write a story like that you can't because you can't be creative enough. Maybe this year the difference is that it happens in a place like this. What I want to say is that I would actually love to take the time out and travel India, travel around here, because I think this country has the possibility to teach you so much. The majority of people are very poor, if you compare the living standards to Europe. I think it's within human nature that you always find something to complain about. Being German, maybe it's in my roots to find something to complain about but you come here, the majority of people have a very difficult life you would say, but they are very happy. Obviously we don't get to see much because it's an isolated world, we are here in the paddock so if you get to see a little bit of the surroundings, it's quite frightening sometimes to see the circumstances people have to live in, but the big lesson is that they are happy. It was a difficult emotion to cross the line and to feel happy all of a sudden because you're in a rhythm, you know what you're doing, you have a certain routine. Yes, I was very nervous before the race but I am all the time, I am nervous, usually the last hour of my sleep from Saturday to Sunday is quite poor because I'm looking forward to the race, I'm having all sorts of scenarios in my head. I think it takes time to understand what happened but I think it is also a special place to win at and yeah, when my engineer called for the usual procedure - parc ferme, park the car - I said to myself I don't care, I go there, the crowd was great in the main grandstand and I'll have some fun there which I enjoyed a lot.
Q: (Aditya Iyer – The India Express)
Sebastian, firstly congratulations. I was just curious to know, when you were growing up, watching F1, did you ever root for the underdog, did you ever want the guy finishing behind Schumacher to win, as a fan?
I was never imagining myself to... what were we dreaming about when we were young boys? To be honest with you, when I started karting, I was doing the free practice, I was interested in the result, knowing if I was quick or not, I wanted to know, and after that I went to the sand and played with toy cars. We played hide and seek... it was a very nice time, to be honest. I had a lot of friends at the go-kart track, at the age of seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, when it was really about just growing up and having a hobby, you know? My friends at school went to play football, I joined them, I wasn't very good. I already didn't like losing at the time so yeah, it was a very nice time. It's a lot of work, a lot of hours you put in, but I have to thank my parents in a way because they never put pressure on me. I understood it was very serious, I understand that they... maybe I understand now better than back then, but I understood that they spent a lot of time with me, sacrificed their lives in a way but we had a good time as a family together. Yeah, even if I wouldn't be here in F1 now and successful somewhere else, I don't know, studying and having a normal job, I would still look back and say it was a nice time we spent together as a family and we would still talk about it every second or third dinner, because they are nice memories that we have. So when I was a child, I wasn't really... of course, it was a dream to race in F1 but I think it's wrong to say it was a target. Later on, when I was 15/16, yes, I had a target but now, looking back, it was very difficult to grasp.
Q: (Saptarshi Shukla – Autocar India)
Congratulations Sebastian, incidentally, I was at your hotel last evening and I saw you come in at nine at night which was six hours after qualifying finished. Is it normal or are you as diligent at any other weekend?
I think I spend a lot of time here at the track, looking at stuff, writing my reports and trying to give feedback but also to be honest, last night I had dinner here at the circuit. Many times people complain about the paddock and the people; to be honest with you, I'm not like that, I enjoy being here and spending time with people that you know. I had an interesting discussion last night with a journalist. I like the paddock, it's not like a prison to me. People say when you cross the entrance it's like being in a circus but I think it's what you make of the circus also. If you come in with a negative mindset then for sure you will have a bad time. This morning, when I looked at the car and also yesterday to be honest, I looked at it and it's a small piece of kit. It's not very big. A truck is bigger, any truck you can buy on the road is bigger but imagine the speed this car can travel with you behind the wheel. It's amazing. I just appreciate that fact, you know. Whether you finish first, second, 15th or last, it doesn't really matter, but I think it's something unique, that we get to feel, we get to enjoy. I appreciate that and hopefully this kind of feeling never changes.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
First, being Italian, I apologise for all the boos that you got because I think they're quite shameful and since they were coming a lot from Ferrari fans, I think it was not very much deserved. Second, Fangio...
Yes, but to be honest with you, I'm not blaming the Ferrari fans. I tried to make the example, unfortunately nowadays the world is ticking so quickly that people are not always listening exactly to what I'm saying or what I'm trying to say. I don't blame the people that booed, you know. If I go to the football stadium, for example, I cheer for the home team. The first moment you maybe don't appreciate the outside or the away team to score a goal, the guy who actually scored a goal you don't appreciate him being an amazing player and you might boo because other people boo. So in that regard, I think I know how to put it but like I said, obviously it doesn't feel great but if you have a love for.. for example for Ferrari or McLaren... I had actually one guy writing a letter after Singapore. He apologised because he was in the crowd and he was booing and he apologised that he was booing, it was the wrong thing to do. I think if people think about it they understand but in the heat of the moment, you know, there's nobody really to blame. Somebody starts, some people join in, others don't. We are fans of the sport and if some people have a passion for Ferrari, which they might have for good reason, they've been around for quite a while, they don't like it if somebody else wins. It's not necessarily my fault. I think I'm mature enough to understand that.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
My question actually was another one, because it was just four names: Fangio, Schumacher, Prost, Vettel.