F1 Bahrain 2013: Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.1
20 April 2013
Drivers: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).
Congratulations Nico, you're first ever top four start in Bahrain and you did it in style. Were you as surprised as some people that pole was yours today?
A little bit, yeah. It wasn't really clear before who was the quickest car, especially over one lap. I was a bit closer this morning already, so I was a bit more happy than yesterday for sure, so as a team I think we worked really during the night to improve the car because yesterday we were really struggling. So that's been going well. I'm really, really happy, that's a fantastic result. That's great for tomorrow. Of course tomorrow it's going to be a tough race for sure, with rear tyre degradation especially, so a lot can still happen.
We'll talk more about the race in a couple of moments. Sebastian, you're qualifying today: was that the pace of the Red Bull or was it a lap that could have been better? Are you disappointed with second place?
Definitely not disappointed. I think congratulations to Nico; he put a very strong lap in. I think it was all his today. Initially when I crossed the line I saw that I didn't go first, so I saw second placed on one of the screens but I didn't know how much was missing, because the lap was fine. You always a little bit here or there but, yeah, when I got told the gap to P1, to Nico, it was clear that even with the perfect lap he was unbeatable today. But nevertheless, very happy. I think we managed to save some tyres throughout qualifying. As Nico touched on it will be all about tyres and tyre degradation tomorrow, once again. So, we'll see what happens but for sure it's good to start from the front.
Today, Fernando, was all about the dash for pole, though, and it was a lap, your second lap, that contained a couple of errors right at the end and you came back into the pits. Was that trying too hard because Nico's lap was too fast or were you just not happy with the balance of the car or what?
Well, in the car obviously you don't know Nico's lap, we don't have TV in the car yet! So we tried to complete the second lap and it was very, very similar until the last corner and in the last corner the exit I saw it was half a tenth or one tenth slower than the previous lap so we decided to come in just to save one lap on those tyres. You never know if you have to use them again in the race, so very, very happy with third place. Normally in qualifying we're struggling a lot but today the car was very competitive in qualifying and this puts us in a strong position to start tomorrow's race with the group of the leaders and fight for the podium with a little bit more margin.
Nico, both Sebastian and Fernando have hinted at tyre degradation sorting out tomorrow's race. It's something that Mercedes have suffered from in the past, so is today your day for celebration and is tomorrow just a day to limit your losses?
I really want to kick-start my season. It's really been a rough ride in the first three races and so today's really been the first normal qualifying up to now, so I just want to kick-start everything now, my whole season. I'm OK for the race tomorrow, you know. For sure the competition is going to be tough, definitely. Difficult to say if we have enough pace to win the race tomorrow but for sure we're going to try and I look forward to starting first – definitely.