Korean GP - Post race press conference - Pt.2
14 October 2012
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Fernando, as you said, Ferrari is not bringing any new parts. You're still there fighting and staying close to them. How frustrating is it?
Nothing new, nothing new. The last five years of my career has been like this. I'm good, I'm confident, used to this situation. We have normally one set of tyres in Q3, there is not time for mistakes, no time to lock up a tyre or go over a kerb or anything like that on Saturday or on Sunday. We are always on the limit, but we feel comfortable, let's say, like this. We seem to extract the maximum from the car when we are under pressure and as I said, four beautiful races to come with good possibilities for us to fight for the championship, but in the end, I'm sure there will be some circuits where we are a little bit more competitive, and some circuits where we are maybe not competitive enough, but overall, in the last four races, as we said, now we need to score seven points more than Sebastian, that will be extremely tough but we believe we can do it.
Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer)
Fernando, earlier on this season, before this round of fly-aways, you said that Ferrari's best circuits were going to be Singapore, Japan and Korea. We've obviously finished those. What kind of expectations do you have for competitiveness at the other circuits, apart from Austin?
We will see. It will depend obviously on the updates in the car. I think we will see in India if there are any new parts. If there are, we will need to test them. For sure, the other teams will also bring new parts, maybe more than us, so we need to see which of them are working, which of them are not working and for who they work. I think the performance of the car will depend on that. I think in Singapore and Suzuka and Korea we felt competitive. In Singapore maybe not so much but we were able to be on the podium. In Suzuka we saw Felipe finish in second and here both of us were third and fourth, so overall they have been more or less good races for us apart from the puncture in Suzuka, so in terms of performance I think we are there. Obviously Red Bull have made a step forward and they won three races. They were one and two in qualifying in Suzuka, one and two in qualifying here, one and two in the race here so it's something that is not in our hands.
Q: (Carlos Miguel - La Gaceta)
Fernando, do you believe that the yellow flag was a key factor in the beginning of the race, nine laps with the yellow flag in the first sector?
I don't think so, I don't think so because I was not within one second of Mark so it was not really a possibility to use the DRS - obviously with the DRS you cannot do it. I think it was maybe a little penalty - or a little bit worse for the guys behind me. I think Lewis, Felipe and Kimi didn't have the possibility to open the DRS because of the yellow flag and I think for Felipe's race it was a little bit easier if he could overtake Hamilton straight away at the beginning, but not for me.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, in the last few laps, on the radio we were always hearing the team telling you to be cautious, go slow, there was a problem with the tyres and then you set your fastest lap on the last lap, so what is the truth: was it a big risk?
Obviously you start your stint in the beginning with a little bit more than 20 laps to go, after the last stop. I think you can work that out yourself, you have a lot of kilos in the car. Towards the end it's nearly empty so you go quicker without even trying harder. I think it's the same for everyone, given that you still have the tyres. Obviously we try to look after them during the whole of the last stint, because we've seen in the stint before how sudden the front tyre can lock up and you can lose control of the front tyres, so obviously we didn't want to run into that sort of problem again, especially with pressure from behind so even if you have quite a big gap, when you start to struggle a lot with these tyres, then there is a lot of time lost within a couple of laps - I'm speaking of a couple of seconds per lap, so we didn't know that. As I said, we controlled that very well so we still had some shoes left, tyres were not new but they were not completely worn until the end so I was going a little bit quicker in the last sector so that's why the lap time was pretty similar to what I started with in the beginning of the stint, but calculate the difference of fuel and it's a big difference.
Q: (Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Serra)
Sebastian, do you also now have a psychological advantage over Fernando, from a technical point of view, as Red Bull seems to be ahead. And secondly, how did the double DRS help you, as you didn't use it in Suzuka?
Well, I didn't use it again today in the race. It was obviously not an option. It's not just one feature on the car that makes you go quicker. I think we tried to work a lot around the car and sometimes you bring some new parts but sometimes you just work on the set-up: you do something smart, you listen to your stomach, you listen to what you see on the data and you act on what you see on the data and everyone is pushing hard. You sometimes might find more with the set-up than you might find with new parts so, as I said, we are pushing very hard but I think if you look at this season, it has been pretty much up and down and it was very good for us in the last couple of races but we also know how little it takes to maybe end up in a different position in the Grand Prix. I think we can take nothing for granted, we have to look after ourselves. Whether we have a mental advantage or not, psychological advantage or not I don't really care. I'm not into those kind of things. As I said, we look after ourselves. There's a lot of things we have to focus on to do a perfect job and that is the target every weekend.
Q: (Cristobal Rosaleny - Car and Driver, Spain)
Fernando, you used to say that the weakest point at Ferrari was in qualifying, but Red Bull looked clearly faster than you in the race. Were you expecting that and are you a bit concerned for the next races?
Of course I was expecting that. I think we were not the fastest car in the race in our championship so I didn't come to Korea expecting to be the fastest car on Sunday. We always said that we improve on Sunday compared to Saturday. I think between the two cars, in 15 or 16 races, the other Ferrari was in Q3 six times, ten times not in Q3 so definitely there is not the performance in qualifying which we then see on Sunday, when we normally improve. Yesterday we were P4 and P6 and today we were in P3 and P4, so definitely on Sunday there is always a step forward for us but we never believe or we never thought we were the fastest in the race and today was more or less as expected or better than expected, because we were fighting with Webber all the race which was something we were not able to do in Singapore or in Suzuka.
Q: (Marco dell'Innocenti - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Mark, if you look at these two guys beside you, do you think that with the 18 points from today, you still have the chance to fight with them for the championship?
Yeah, well it's getting tricky now. I obviously need some bizarre circumstances. It's clearly possible for me to win Grand Prix. You just need to get everything perfect and today I didn't, I paid the price. I can win some races before the year's out but the gap is massive to these two guys. That's the way it is. We have quite a few races and all the points add up at the end of the year. Of course we're all on our game, we all drive pretty well. I only smelt a little bit of tyre smoke off Seb today so I knew that that was unusual for him, but apart from that it was a clean Grand Prix for all of us and that's how it generally goes for us three, when we don't get smashed out by other people. It's difficult but you never never never know.