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Abu Dhabi GP - Post qualifying press conference - Pt.2

3 November 2012

Questions from the floor

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, yesterday you said after second practice that you didn't believe you could get pole, it would be extremely hard. What changed? Was it you and your car that did more or was it perhaps Red Bull which haven't performed as you expected?

Lewis Hamilton:
They were slower than I expected but we were faster than I expected as well. Mark did a great lap as well - what's the margin, it is three tenths? I knew that they were very very quick but I would never have imagined being this far ahead of them. But I did do a really really good lap, very happy with the lap. I thought that we would be a match or slightly slower than them this weekend and it's a blessing in disguise to be ahead of them.

Q: (Dan Knutson - Honorary)
Sebastian, on a different subject, Michael Schumacher has just three races left in his F1 career. How do you view his last three years in Formula One?

Sebastian Vettel:
We have commented on this a couple of times. I think Mark summed it up pretty well a couple of races ago, that obviously those three years are very different to the years he had before that, but it doesn't make him a worse driver. I think the last three years he was hoping to have a better car than he probably had. When the car was there, I think he was able to use the potential so I think we've seen that he's still very quick, for example in Monaco, when the car was there. Obviously very different to the years with Ferrari when they were dominating a lot, but it also shows that you need to have the right car beneath you, and the right team in order to fight for wins and championships.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, in Q1 you touched the wall a little bit, did that have any effect on your mind during the rest of qualifying?

Sebastian Vettel:
It was the first lap, I was a little bit greedy on the exit of turn 19 and I just brushed the wall a little bit so not really hard contact. There was no problem for the car.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport)
Sebastian, you were hardly able to run in the morning; had you been able to do that, would you have found out something which would have helped you in qualifying?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think so. Obviously Saturday morning - or Saturday afternoon in this case - is the last chance before qualifying and also the first chance after practice on Friday to have a read on the car and I think we tried a couple of things. Obviously I would have loved to get a proper answer so I think that what we had in qualifying was still pretty good and very competitive but obviously some boxes will never be ticked so we won't get an answer on the things that we wanted to but I'm quite confident we found a good compromise, nevertheless.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, is it a kind of relief having Fernando seventh, given that it's not so easy to overtake here. Will that change something in your strategy going into the race, or are you going to race, attack and try to win?

Sebastian Vettel:
I think we have to try to race. I don't think you can go round looking at one guy in particular, so, as I said, you don't have to be Einstein to make out that it's good if you're ahead and bad if you're behind but today there's no points, it's a long race tomorrow. I think some of the guys were very quick in qualifying, arguably they are slower in the race so we are going to find out tomorrow. I think if you are quicker, then it's also possible to overtake. Obviously it might be tricky, we've seen that in previous years but as I touched on earlier, it's not impossible and for us, also in terms of strategy, we go for the fastest race, that's what we have to focus on and at the moment, Lewis is ahead of us so we are trying to hunt him down.

Q: (Leonid Novozhilov - F1 Live)
Lewis Hamilton, do you give a chance to the Red Bull drivers at the start tomorrow?

Lewis Hamilton:
Do I give them a chance? Definitely not, de-finitely not. As Mark was saying, I've had some very very bad starts but that's down to clutch performance but I will be onto my guys tonight to make sure that that doesn't happen tomorrow.

Q: (Dan Knutson - Honorary)
Mark, when we talked to Christian Horner on Thursday, he never used the word team orders. He did say you're a strong team player, an important part of the team, and you would know what to do. Are you comfortable with that for tomorrow?

Mark Webber:
Drive flat out.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, yesterday you were struggling more with the option tyres and this is why you were also explaining your difficult session. Do you think you have solved the problem?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, I just changed my technique a bit, in terms of warming them up and then from the previous race when we struggled in Q3 on the option tyres particularly in P3 in India, I think it was, we used the method that we improved there, which seemed to have helped this weekend, which I am sure other people are doing. It's nothing special, it's just with tyre temperatures and pressures and other things, but it worked, they worked really well.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action)
You have pretty broad sporting interests, Mark. the Melbourne Cup is coming up on Tuesday, the (horse) race that stops the nation (Australia), they say. Are you interested? Will you watch it, do you have a tip?

Mark Webber:
I love sport but horse racing is not far off the bottom of my list. Gambling, in my house, my father didn't tolerate it. Actually, I'm not a big fan of how much it's rammed down your throat in Australia, in terms of how you can bet on who farts at what stage in a football match. It's incredible how obsessed we've become with gambling and betting but each to their own. If you love gambling it's a good buzz but it does nothing for me. I would rather ride my mountain bike.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action)
That'll be No then.

Mark Webber:
That's a No. I got busted once. I was in the principal's office at school for playing up and the race was on, so she couldn't see me so she had to wait until the race was over. I did, when I was very very very young, my grandparents let us put a little sneaky fiver on sometimes, which wasn't always allowed and the horse was called Tawrrific and it actually won the race, so I told her that I was very happy and she wasn't very impressed, because her horse didn't win.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action)
Did you watch the Aussie V8s today?

Mark Webber:
Not enough, the time schedule is not very helpful and they're parked down the other side of the track. I want to go and see some of the guys for sure. It was just great that they managed to drive on the same track as us, a slick operation as usual, it's a good category. No, I haven't got to see any of the action yet but I've seen the results, but I haven't seen a single lap.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action)
You could take Lewis and Sebastian with you. You guys would go and see the V8s, wouldn't you?

Lewis Hamilton:
Sure. When we have time.


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