Japanese GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.2
6 October 2012
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) and Jenson Button (McLaren).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe).
Question to Seb and Mark: do you have any explanation why you succeed so well in Suzuka?
In years gone by, I think we've had cars that have really enjoyed this type of venue, whether RB5 a little bit, RB6 especially was very strong. We had a very tough Grand Prix with Fernando that year - Seb and I, the three of us, a good race in 2010. JB was quick last year, there was a tight field last year but in general Silverstone, Suzuka, these type of circuits, you just have to look at Adrian's (Newey's) record on some of these tracks. You go back to the Williamses with Mansell, Hakkinen, McLarens blah blah blah. He's always been strong on these type of tracks, so that's good for us but it's always challenging, and we've had to work like hell to get the car in the window where we would like it and now, this weekend, it seems pretty good so we would be very very disappointed if we weren't competitive here because, as you say, it should be a track where we can charge for very good results. I think, basically, to answer your question it's in the DNA of our car, it's in the DNA of the philosophy of our car. That's it.
As Mark said, we worked very hard to get it to where it is now. I think we were struggling this year at the beginning of the year in places, in corners where usually, traditionally, we were competitive, so we didn't really know what to expect here this weekend but sector one seemed very competitive for both of us all weekend so I think that's an indication whether the car is happy around here or not. I'm happy we are back to our shape that we had over the last couple of years around here.
Q: (Dan Knutson - Honorary).
Michael Schumacher has announced his retirement; could I have your thoughts please?
I think it's a loss for Formula One. It's a shame, obviously, I think it was good fun to have him around, race against him and joke with him, so I think I will miss that but obviously you can understand his decision and, as I said, we will miss him, but obviously wish him all the best for his future, and hope we still have him around somehow in some function.
I think it's pretty obvious that there were two different careers: one phenomenal one and then in the next one the car, everything together didn't get close to what he did in the past, and that's how sensitive Formula One can be. He knows that, he took a new challenge on - which you have to take your hat off to - because he didn't want to be back at home just doing the groceries, and he was also very hungry to challenge himself again. We saw some flash points of what he's capable of, but he also knows himself, he's seen some flash points which is the right time for him to stop, so move on.
Yes, wonderfully put by both parties. I think the last three years, we've all been wondering and watching to see what happened to his second career and it wasn't like the first one, but I think it just shows and proves how amazing the first one was because he hasn't done badly. It is a loss for the sport, having a seven time World Champion and someone that's achieved more than anyone else and will for a very long time leaving the sport. He feels that it's the right time to leave, and good luck to him.
Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe).
Sebastian, now there are only two people in front of you for the number of pole positions: Michael and Ayrton Senna. Do you think you can catch them?
As Jenson just said, I think Michael has a lot of the records that will probably stay there forever. You don't really jump into the car thinking about those sort of things. Obviously, when you end up here and end up with people telling you some things it's nice for all of us but it's not the number one motivation that makes you jump into the car. I enjoy what I do a lot and on tracks like this, as Jenson said, on soft tyres, low fuel, you really feel what the cars can achieve and I think our job becomes very very special and unique in the world. That's what I enjoy most. Obviously if you're successful then it feeds on itself. I think they are quite a long way ahead as well, so we will see. We have to work, obviously, focus step by step, and not think about those kind of things.