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Italy - Saturday press conference - 1.

Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso), Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren Mercedes) and Mark Webber (Red Bull).



TV Unilaterals:


Q:
Sebastian, the youngest man in Formula One history to be on pole position at 21 years, 73 days. You were quick in all three qualifying sessions. What conditions out there and what a fabulous pole for you.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I mean unbelievable, incredible. I was joking with my engineers. We were saying if it is wet, then we have to go for pole position and unbelievable. The conditions were so difficult today, a lot of water. You never knew how much water to expect. The most difficult parts were the Ascari chicane, there was so much water. Sometimes you were lucky not to lose the car because of the aquaplaning. What can I say? I never dreamt of being on pole. Unbelievable. This is our home Grand Prix. There are two Italian teams, the bigger one is Scuderia Ferrari but I think now the people know the small one, Scuderia Toro Rosso, so it is unbelievable.

Q:
You looked as if you were having a lot of fun despite the conditions.

SV:
Yeah, we had some wet practice on Friday and I didn't feel very comfortable. Overnight we did some changes. Obviously we didn't know what to expect, how wet or how much rain there would be. I think we found just the right thing. This morning after free practice I felt very comfortable. I was very happy with the car in the wet. Very good balance and very happy. When you feel confident in these conditions, it is a huge advantage. I think that is the key because if you don't know how your car is reacting, then obviously you are not trying. As I said, it was so difficult today, obviously with the traffic, especially in the first qualifying sequence where there were a lot of cars on the circuit. It was nearly impossible to see anything, so I think great respect for all drivers. They were behaving really well. I think they made all of our lives out there easier today, so incredible.

Q:
Some big names like Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton did not make it through to Q3. Tell us about making the call when to go out and what tyres to use?

SV:
Well, I think there was no real secret. We did more or less the best we could in running and simply getting used to the conditions out there. Obviously it was always depending on how much rain there was. In Q2 it was very difficult. I set the time quite early. I was lucky to get a clean lap and I put it all together in this lap and then towards the end of the session there was more and more rain, so the people waiting more and more to go out had a bit of bad luck. As I say, we never knew how the weather was going to be. The weather forecast changes every five to 10 minutes, so it is quite difficult. In the end, I think, it was smarter to go out and have some running and not focus maybe to get one lap on the lightest fuel level possible and take some more time and do a couple more laps.

Q:
Heikki, quickest in Q1 and competitive throughout qualifying but not quite there for the pole.

Heikki Kovalainen:
Yeah, tell me about it. It was very close with Sebastian and I just missed the beginning of the session. My first lap wasn't quite as good and then it started to rain a little bit towards the end of the session. In the last lap I tried to have another go but the grip level was fading away. Anyway I think we are in a good position for the race tomorrow and the car has felt good in any conditions this weekend to be honest, even yesterday in the dry it felt pretty strong and the test here was strong, so I think we can look forward to a good competitive race tomorrow.

Q:
Your team mate looked like he went out on intermediates at the start of Q2 and that is effectively what cost him.

HK:
Well, I honestly don't know exactly what was going on with Lewis and his engineer. But with my crew we decided to stay on the same set of tyres that we had at the first part of qualifying. It looked like it might start to rain later on, so it was important to do a lap at the beginning and obviously Lewis thought it would be dry enough for the intermediate tyres and then it just started to rain as we went out. Obviously that's unlucky for him but I am sure he will do a strong race tomorrow.

Q:
Mark, a great result for Adrian Newey and the design team at Red Bull.

Mark Webber:
Yeah, the main Red Bull team if you like, but obviously it is still a Red Bull team in Toro Rosso, so obviously congratulations to those guys. It is all the same family if you like, so congratulations to Sebastian on his first pole. As the guys said it was tricky. It was difficult to get the lap. At the start of Q3 I had a little bit too much spray to pick my braking points in the first two chicanes. I stuffed the second one up and the guys said it is going to rain heavier, so I thought I haven't done a great job here in Q3. But I managed, my last lap actually was my best which was a bit tricky to get the lap time out of the car. But I am pretty happy with how it went and we will see what happens with the weather tomorrow.

Q:
Sébastien Bourdais was closing but you did deliver. Talk us through that last lap.

MW:
Well, I obviously wanted to get both chicanes as best I could. Ascari was the trickiest part in the last session as there were just some small railway lines to make sure you got the right line. It was amazing how the water was moving around a little bit for the last bit and we saw a lot of guys make mistakes there and I did as well on my previous lap. I was really focussing to get it right as I knew if I drilled that, then the lap time would be better for me and that's how it turned out.

Q:
Sebastian, is it beginning to sink in, being the youngest ever driver in the history of Formula One to be on pole?

SV:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Toro Rosso STR03, Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza, 12th-14th, September, 2008
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Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
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27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

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