Sebastian, after such an incredible afternoon, has it sunk in yet that you're a three time World Champion?
No. I've hardly had any time for myself yet, really. It's very difficult to find the right words, especially after the race today. I think everything that could go wrong went wrong. As a matter of fact, though, I think we always kept believing. Instead of getting angry and frustrated about the situation, imagine yourself, you are the wrong way round at turn four. It looked exactly like that (what I can see now), I had a lot of cars coming and I was in the wrong way. Obviously, then I went off the brakes, because obviously everyone was going in this direction and to join them, I tried to roll down hill and avoid cars driving backwards and we kept the car damage to a limit.
Obviously we could see in the dry conditions later on that the pace wasn't there and I was obviously slow down the straights, which made it very easy for others to pass us and very difficult for us to pass someone then we lost radio, we probably did the pit stop at the wrong time. I went on another set of dries; a lap later it started to rain. Came in for inters, the inters weren't ready because we had no radio communication, they couldn't hear me. And then we obviously caught back up in the wet in intermediate conditions. Fortunately the pace was there because, as you know, you can make up for the loss of car pace that you have by probably driving a different line and trying to do something different to others. Then to limp home, under the safety car - obviously at that moment I didn't know if it was enough. I was told a couple of laps before that it should be fine, but then I didn't know.
I saw the crash between Nico and Hamilton, obviously retiring, so Hulkenberg and Hamilton out of the race, and I knew that Fernando was ahead, and they were ahead of him at the time that I could see during the first safety car, so I didn't know. Then, to get told (that I was ahead in the championship) was unbelievable. Unfortunately the guys couldn't hear my answer because the radio was broken. No, it's difficult to find the words right now. Obviously it's still full of adrenalin. Incredible race today, as I said. I think they tried everything to make it even harder for us, not just the others but also the circumstances: as I said, with the damage on the car, losing radio, in these conditions, when communication is so crucial, stopping just a lap too early, not having the tyres ready because communication wasn't there. Where do you start, really? I think you guys had your show and we had to really fight until the end.
You've broken all sorts of records by becoming a three time consecutive World Champion; what does it mean to you?
It's difficult to find the right words. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are only two guys who have done that before. Obviously you need to be in the right place at the right time but I also believe that you can create your own luck and work for what is coming up. I think that one of the great things about Formula One is that you can not necessarily compare only yourself but you can compare your time, your era if you like to ten, 20, 30, 40 years ago. Obviously times have change but I think they will keep changing because that's what we do. I think if you look around the world there are a lot of things that have changed. People around the world learn not only in Formula One and in every other sport but also in everyday life. I don't know what to say. We are in Sao Paulo here, the place where Ayrton Senna was born and came from and the place where he was buried. To come here and win the Championship for the third time, I don't really know what to say. I have to say a big thanks to everyone in the team. Of course, this sounds like a bit of a standard phrase. Sometimes we get criticised for bringing up standard phrases like that but I really feel that as one of the guys in the team, I don't feel more important or less important. Of course I know I'm driving the car and of course I know that if I turn right in a straightline I hit the wall and that's it. It's pretty easy in that regard, but I really feel as one of them. What we achieved today is not what happened today in the race. It's what we've been working for since I really joined the team. Together, everyone here at the track, back at the factory, it's a massive amount of work getting done throughout the whole year. Now, tomorrow the season is over and the guys are already flat out for the last couple of weeks preparing RB9 and next year. You cannot afford to lift.
Obviously, I think I'm in a very very fortunate position, compared to many guys in the team, but I think you do this job - there might be some but all the guys in the garage and all the people I know in the factory - you do this job not because you really care what is written on the cheque you get at the end of the month. I think you do this job because you just love Formula One, you love motor sport, you love the excitement here. I said to the guys yesterday: 'am I nervous? Yes.' I think if I wasn't nervous now, imagine, I would fail, what am I doing here? I have a great chance, I'm in a great position and I don't really care what's going on. So I said 'yes, I am nervous' but then again we are nervous every time. It's what we need to get us started, to get us in the groove so that we are present, we are sharp, as soon as the lights go off we are not sleeping, we react and we are there. And today we had many of these occasions where you can argue you have to be present otherwise it goes wrong. It was a very tough race but we were present all the time. We remained ourselves throughout the whole year, even though people did some things that we would never consider doing, trying to achieve our targets but it's not in our hands, and it's not our job to rate and to comment so much. We have to make sure we do our own homework and most importantly, I said them to yesterday as well and throughout the year, 'enjoy.' Many times I try to stop and on the grid there are so many fans around here... on the parade lap they scream... yeah, maybe sometimes they scream for Alonso, sometimes for Massa, sometimes for Schumacher, sometimes for Rosberg. That's not the point. In the end you are one of them and it's a privilege to race in front of such a big crowd, so many people coming to see you racing and having the chance we have had today just makes it more enjoyable.
I think many times in these kinds of situations it's so easy to lose focus. Obviously we have won 2010, 2011. I had a very smart guy who once told me the hardest thing was winning after winning, because you get the attention, you get the pressure but you focus on how to win again, rather than focusing on the small steps it takes. That's what I always try to remember myself or remind the guys in the team. It's just another day, another race and we have to be ourselves and make sure we enjoy it and the rest will be just fine.
(Cesare Maria Mannucci - Autosprint)
Can you describe the accident on the first lap from the start?
Yeah, the start was quite good. I was quite happy. Then I think I was bit too early on KERS and didn't get KERS until turn one but nevertheless, I was side by side with Mark and he squeezed me to the inside, so your angle for turn one becomes worse and worse. It's very easy if you try to be stubborn and fight until the apex that everyone just keeps turning in and you are the one parked on the apex and you lose your front wing so I had to back off, obviously slow down a lot, go down to first gear, everyone around the outside used that momentum, and I lost a lot of positions. Then down to turn four, I was benefitting from the slipstream in front, relatively safe to Paul who was behind, as far as I remember, and then I got the hit in turn four for no reason. I don't know what happened. I think someone probably... I think it was Bruno, I was told it was Bruno... he was probably fighting someone into turn four. It was drizzling since the start of the formation lap and it was quite slippery in turn four, we knew that. Maybe he forgot. The same thing I mentioned about the fact that in turn one I had to back out of the situation because your angle just becomes narrower. If he was on the inside, which I suppose - I haven't seen the footage - BOOM and I was the car that he used to stop himself. They didn't help us.
(Leonid Novozhilov - F1 Life)
Sebastian, what do you think about your fans? Do they help you in your success?
Well, I think the support we had this year is again even more than we had last year. Obviously we are still a very young team in that regard, we cannot compare ourselves to Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and these kind of teams. They have been around for centuries and for us, we are still pretty young, but we can see and feel that our fan base is growing, there are more and more people coming to the track with Red Bull shirts, supporting us. More and more people write and support. The amount of positive feedback we get is obviously very useful, it helps you a lot. People obviously try to lift you up if everything goes right and they try to knock you down when you do a mistake or you do wrong. I think first of all, for yourself, you have to remain the same, let's say, neutral, as in, you're never as good as they are, as they say and never as bad as they say. If you remember that, I think it already helps a lot, as least it does for me. If you feel down or things go against your way, then it's incredibly helpful to have support and many people telling you that they still believe in you. Support outside from the fans but also inside; I mentioned the guys working on the car in the garage - imagine you walk into your office and everyone gives you - without saying a single word - the feeling that things will be alright. It gives you confidence, energy without having to say anything. It's extremely useful and very helpful and it only helps you to be stronger.
(Flavio Vanetti – Il Corriere della Sera)
Seb, what about driving with the damage you had? Was it worse in dry conditions and did the rain in some way help you?
I think in the end we had the conditions that we were supposed to have, as in, nobody knew when it starts to rain, nobody knew how much rain there would be and nobody knew when the rain would stop. I think the best example for that, even though we have all the technical equipment you can imagine these days: radar, forecasts and so on, you wouldn't pit a lap before the rain arrived if you would know. We did, which didn't help, but I think generally, to answer your question, in the dry conditions we were not quick enough. I was stuck behind Kamui but we were nowhere on the straights, and also our tyres were suffering and we were not quick enough to fight, to go through the field because the car was damaged. I looked at the floor and it didn't look nice. I'm quite happy because I could continue. Many times you have an accident like that in that corner and that it's, that's the end of the race so I was very happy for that. In wet conditions I think you can make up a little bit of time here and there by - I wouldn't say commitment because I'm sure everyone else is committed. Everyone is pushing as hard as he can and what he feels comfortable with in his car but I think you can verify in terms of the lines, the usual things when it starts to rain. Obviously it's quite slippery here in the wet and I think we benefitted from the time we had in intermediate conditions because I think we were quite a bit quicker - or more competitive than in dry conditions.
(Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)