Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso), Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren Mercedes) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber).
Questions from the floor.
(Matthias Brunner - Motorsport Aktuell).
Sebastian, sooner or later, towards the end of the race, it must have dawned on you that 'I'm going to win this.' How difficult was it not to let the mind wander?
Yeah, I sometimes had these thoughts. P1 was still on the board, P1, P1 and a plus and I was leading by quite a bit, and I thought f***k, you know, if you finish the race you will be winning - I apologise - but you know, it was unbelievable, but then I tried to focus again, the conditions were difficult. In the end it was not so difficult to keep up concentration. As I said, sometimes I had these thoughts but then I was trying again, sometimes I lifted my hand out of the cockpit to feel if it was drizzling and how big the raindrops were, but in the end it was difficult. So you automatically had to keep up your concentration, because in some places there was a dry line and if you were just pushing a bit too much under braking you overshot by a bit, similar to yesterday when we struggled with a lot of water. Today, when there was this dry line, after that it was wet again, very slippery and obviously when you got there, there was a high chance of losing the car. In the end, I always try to push and obviously towards the last couple of laps I was controlling it but I was still enjoying it. I had a lot of fun from lap one to the last lap, so it was just a nice race.
(Juha Päätalo - Financial Times Deutschland).
Sebastian, with your early pit stop, did you think the others would stay longer on the track and you might lose the lead in that phase of the race?
I didn't know. First of all we didn't know when the others were going to stop. We calculated Heikki longer than us. In the end, it might have been early but it worked out. Obviously it was very difficult for the guys behind me in terms of reliability as Robert described. I have been there a couple of times, also last year, and I remember how it feels, going down the straight without seeing anything. You're looking left, you're looking right. Then all of a sudden the first board appears, hopefully 200 metres so you can prepare yourself for braking, anything else but comfortable. So I was in the best position and obviously was able to pull out quite a gap and it was quite important to come out in front of the one-stoppers, so at that time I think the leader was Nico, so that worked out very, very well. To be honest, the last couple of races, especially in Formula One, were extremely busy, stuck in traffic and so on. The last races were a bit better, so I got clean air here and there but this race was probably the most trouble free race I ever did. Obviously I was in the lead, so I only had to call for blue flags and therefore I could concentrate on my car, on my tyres, taking care of them and focus just to push as hard as I could.
(Juha Päätalo - Financial Times Deutschland).
Heikki, were the problems with the grip similar to Silverstone or anywhere else you have had big tyre wear, because at a certain phase Lewis was very much faster than you on the same tyres?
I think the problems were a lot less than at Silverstone, just in certain phases of the race, especially with the extreme tyre, when the circuit was drying out I had a little bit of tyre wear but it was a problem a little bit related to the brakes as well. I was struggling to keep the temperatures in the brakes and trying to maximise the braking performance, that was where I think most of the time was lost this time, and it got better towards the end when the pace was getting better, the circuit drying out. The braking was better and then the brakes also picked up some temperature and for me that was quite crucial in this race. It was more of a struggle earlier on and for longer than I was expecting.
(Linda Janson - Auto Euro).
Sebastian, was the last lap at Monza the longest in your career and what did the team say to you during the last lap?
As I said before, it was probably the longest lap I did around Monza, the slowest one, but for sure it was the nicest one. When I took the chequered flag I didn't know what to say. I was communicating with my engineer throughout the race, towards the end about reference times with Heikki and other cars and what's going on. There was debris in the last corner, so I was forced to keep up the tension and then I didn't know what I should say, so I waited for them to make the first call. Then I was very calm, congratulating everybody, I was extremely happy, but at some point I started shouting. I was extremely happy. It's difficult to describe that moment, to see people left and right, a lot of people cheering, the marshals coming down from their posts and clapping their hands. This is something that for sure I will never forget.
(Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Sera).
Sebastian, are you sure you are going to quit the team at the end of the season after this victory? And secondly, how are you going to face the pressure that will perhaps include comparisons with Schumacher?
First of all, about this comparison to Michael. I think first of all you have to realise what this guy achieved in the past. To compare anybody among us drivers - probably Fernando is the closest, he's a two time World Champion - but to compare anybody to Michael I think is a bit ridiculous. Obviously I'm very young and at a very early stage of my career and therefore I think there's no need to make a comparison. He's probably one of the best drivers we have ever seen. I'm proud, in a way, because I know him. He's a very nice guy and completely down-to-earth. For the future, no matter what happens, first of all next year I am going to race for Red Bull Racing, but I don't see that it's a step backwards. Obviously now we have probably been stronger in the last couple of races, we have been stronger than they were but there's no secret, I think the package is similar. We have been working very hard, I believe, because many people find the excuse in the engine. I believe that we have a strong engine in the back with the Ferrari package, but I don't think that's all. In the end, you still have to get the job done and for my future, regarding pressure and so on, I have been in similar situations in the past, obviously not in Formula One as we know, but I'm approaching the next race, and obviously a normal race is difficult for us to win and to repeat this kind of result: pole position and victory but we will fight. People have seen, now, and we have underlined in the last couple of races that we have a strong package, going towards the end of the season, so I hope that we can score some more points. Going into the top ten, last qualifying, I think is still a big success for us as well as scoring some points. I won't go to Singapore and feel like a hero and the superstar and expect another race win just like that. It's not going to be like that. Where I come from and how I grew up, I am down-to-earth enough to realise what happened today and to understand the approach for the next races.