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Singapore GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.1

23 September 2012

Podium Interviews

(Conducted by Eddie Jordan)

Q:
Sebastian you're a back-to-back winner here. What's the secret?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think it's one of the toughest races of the year to be honest. It's very long; the full two hours. The circuit is a killer. There's so many bumps, there's no space for mistakes and the race just seems to go on forever. Obviously we benefited from Lewis' failure. A couple of laps before that he lost some oil and then after that I think we generally we had very, very strong pace all weekend. I had a good start, which got us into second and in the hunt. The pace was there so... I'm just incredibly happy and proud because this is a such a tough race. I would like to dedicate it to one very, very special man, Professor Sid Watkins who passed away and we remember him for sure. I think he is one of the biggest reasons we can go out on a circuit like this and enjoy ourselves and be reasonably safe. He pushed the boundaries in terms of safety for all of us, so a big thank you to him.

Q:
Can you see something reminiscent of 2010; how you came from this position and just sneaked that win of the championship in 2010?

Sebastian Vettel:
I don't think Fernando would be too happy if it happened again in the last race. But it's an incredible season for all of us (inaudible) we have a lot of races left, the car seems to be competitive and we just have to use the momentum and keep pushing for these last races and see what happens.

Q:
Jenson, what happened at the re-start?

Jenson Button:
First of all, good evening everyone. Was that fun? Good. It was a pretty tough two hours for us. The re-start? Sebastian accelerated and braked for the right-hander and I just didn't expect that, such a speed difference. So I hit the brakes, locked up and just missed the rear of his car, because that would have been quite embarrassing. But we got through it and yeah it's a good second place. I'm reasonably happy with that. We all want to win, but you can't win them all.

Q:
Does that second place make up in some small way for Monza?

Jenson Button:
Yeah it does, but for us as a team to have another failure this weekend is disappointing. The important thing for us is we have a very good car. I think the team are doing a fantastic job and it seems that every race we go to we really do have a chance of winning so that's important to us.

Q:
Fernando, you also have won twice here and now on the podium again. It must be one of your favourite tracks?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, good evening everybody. Of course, is one of the best tracks to drive, to enjoy. The weekend in general is out of our normal routine, let's say, of times etcetera. We enjoy driving here, the atmosphere is fantastic, the layout is quite interesting and it was a fun race again.

Q:
You still have a 29 point lead in the Championship but yet you haven't won since Germany. Are all of your opponents, are they all falling away or tripping over themselves?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, in Monza is was Lewis winning the race and Sebastian retired. Here it's Sebastian winning, Lewis retiring, so for me it's OK is they keep doing it like this.

Press Conference

Q:
Sebastian, really should we have expected that result after practice – but perhaps not after qualifying?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, it just underlines that we obviously struggled a bit yesterday, especially in the last section of qualifying. Up to then I think it was fine and the pace was there. The confirmation was straight away there in the grand prix when we found ourselves behind Lewis and were able to push him quite hard. I think he was obviously trying to save his tyres, we were trying to save the tyres. It's a bit of a different race, it's very tactical but I think the pace was there in the race throughout. Also, towards the end versus Jenson I think we could have an answer every time he was going quick and it was a good finish of the Grand Prix. Obviously it's a long race, a lot of laps – we did the full two hours again – but it's fun in a way, you are excited, a bit nervous before the race starts, knowing there is a little bit of a marathon coming, but I think that's what makes this race so special: not just racing at night, it's also the circuit with a lot of corners, a lot of bumps, making it extremely difficult. It's a great challenge for us. Very happy with the result, obviously. I think the team deserves a big thank you. In fact working in these conditions is very, very hot and in the garage it is another 10, 15 degrees hotter than outside. So not the nicest office to work it but obviously it's nice to give a little bit of champagne back and bring a trophy home – so I'm very happy.

Q:
And good for the Championship chances as well…

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, it looks better than before. Fernando finished third. I am not a genius but I think it's looking ten points better than it was before. There's a lot of races left and it's a bit difficult to predict what's going to happen. We have to make sure that we finish the races first of all. I think the pace is there, even if we are not quick enough to win then it is good enough to collect a lot of points. And we have to make sure we do that. It's a tough championship so far but we're still in it. We're still looking forward to the next couple of races, and obviously the target at the moment is to beat Fernando.

Q:
Jenson, the pace seemed to be there at the start but not necessarily at the end.

Jenson Button:
Yeah, the pace on the supersoft was good. I could look after the tyres pretty well – not that it did me any good anyway because after the pitstops they had a gap because they went to new tyres earlier than me, so it didn't really work out. And on the harder of the two tyres, the balance wasn't as good and I couldn't really look after the tyres and degradation was reasonably high so, yeah, not too bad. Would have been nicer to have pushed Sebastian a bit harder: you never know around a street circuit when you push someone hard, so there was always the possibility that we could do one step better but it wasn't to be; Sebastian didn't make any mistakes and we came away with a second. Reasonably good points and it's nice to get some good points back on the board after the DNF in Monza.

Q:
After Lewis' retirement was there any concern in terms of reliability, or did they not tell you that?

Jenson Button:
No, they didn't say anything. I obviously knew that it was a… I still don't know… but I'm guessing it was a gearbox problem. For about three or four laps it was spraying gearbox oil. I thought it was the backmarker at the time, and then I saw Lewis pull over so I knew that was from his car. It's disappointing for the team to have another DNF – two weekends on the trot. It's something that we need to sort out because as a team over the race weekends we're doing a great job and the pace is there with the car. Over the last few races the results we've had have been very good but it's just we can't seem to do that with both cars. It's something for sure we need to work on for the rest of the season.

Q:
Fernando, for you was this pretty much the best you could hope for?

Fernando Alonso:
Yes, definitely. I think we were not very competitive this weekend so we struggled a little with the pace of the car and yesterday we managed to put a good lap in Q3 and that was a little bit the best part of the weekend. Because if you start at the rear I think you are having problems all the race, so starting in fifth, it was OK. Then the start was so-so. We lost position with di Resta and then we recovered in first and second corner, and then we fight a little bit with Maldonado so I think the safety car arrive in the worst moment for us because we have stopped and changed the tyres five laps before the safety car, so we didn't have the pitstop for free like the others did. So, it was, I think with all these difficulties, if we put altogether, arriving third in our difficult weekend is for sure a fantastic result in terms of points.

Q:
And in terms of your rivals obviously with Lewis not finishing…

Fernando Alonso:
Yes, again I think it's a very positive weekend. A very good weekend. Of the four or five contenders, we lost points with one, with the other three we increased our advantage, so obviously, as I said, when we are not quick enough to win more points against three of our opponents, I think it's positive.


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