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Spanish Grand Prix 2013: Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.2

11 May 2013

Drivers: Nico Rosberg, (Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

Questions From The Floor

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat)
Nico, congratulations for the pole. Did you practice to take it already during pre-season testing?

Nico Rosberg:
Did I practice the pole position? No. But I mean of course. We practiced with lower fuel during the winter to simulator pole position – well, not pole position, to simulate qualifying. Just as for the car, us drivers, y'know it's also good to practice a little bit – so I was quite confident coming here because I know that I feel comfortable with the car on this track and things went really well today, definitely.

Q: (Livio Orrichio - O Estado de São Paulo)
Both Mercedes drivers, your team said many times that you must better the car in race conditions – and all the improvements you try to do for this race was in this direction, and the free practice yesterday and today morning. Do you think the car can be in race condition better than the previous race?

Nico Rosberg:
Better for sure, yeah. Because in Bahrain the temperatures and the circuit and everything exposed our small weaknesses in a very extreme way. So a) we're in a different track and everything so naturally it's going to be a bit better, and b) we also really tried to understand what went wrong in Bahrain, and we do understand better what's going on there and have improved things. But still, for sure, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm very confident that I can go for the win tomorrow. No, the target needs to be a little bit less than that I think – maybe a podium – but there are so many unknowns for tomorrow because the situation is completely different again, with graining. And so, we just have to see how it goes.

Q: And Lewis, your thoughts on that and whether you've had to adapt anything in terms of the way you drive, in terms of looking after the rear tyres on the Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton:
Not really, it's the same as the last race for me.

Q: (Barna Zsoldos – Nemzeti Sport)
Nico, in the past few years, Lewis' team-mates were just blown away by him in the qualifyings and now you're beating him on a regular basis. How does it feel?

Nico Rosberg:
Of course I'm pleased, yeah, to be ahead of Lewis, very happy with that because I know that he's very, very high level in terms of his driving. He's one of the best out there. When I can be in front of him I'm extremely happy.

Q: (Adrian R. Huber – Agencia EFE)
Question for both Nico and Lewis. Did you guys expect in the pre-season this beginning of the season – or is this working out much better than you expected? Less?

Lewis Hamilton:
I don't think we expected it, definitely not. Especially for Nico, in the last couple of years have had a really difficult time in the team with the cars, and me coming to the team I definitely didn't expect to have such a competitive car. But obviously massively pleased that we do and it's great to be able to put on performances like we have today for encouraging the team and the guys back at the factory to keep pushing to improve and bring more developments. We're not there yet but this is a good starting point for us.

Q: (Pierre Van Vliet – F1i.com)
Sebastian, you had only one run in Q3. What's the point of saving tyres and how to you expect that to play a role tomorrow in race pace?

Sebastian Vettel:
What's the point? I think it's pretty easy: the tyres don't last so the fresher the tyres are, the longer they last. Ideally they are new. That's why we decided to save as many sets as we can. Obviously a bit different to other people but that's the idea behind. Whether it works or not we'll know tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the big challenge – as both of them touched on – to look after the tyres and make them last, try to suffer as little graining as possible, which I think we all do suffer, some people more, some people less.

Q: (Leonid Novozhilov – F1 Live)
Lewis, do you have a problem with your car today? When will we see you win in a Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton:
Generally this weekend I haven't had the best of weekends up until now. Obviously this is still great for us today, to be one and two on the grid but I've just been struggling all weekend generally. Even my long runs have been pretty poor but on one lap pace, the car doesn't seem to be too bad but I've just been a little bit lost generally, not really knowing what things to change and which direction to go, so I kind of didn't really make many changes into P3 and into qualifying, I just left the car the same. I didn't really make any changes to it, I wasn't one hundred percent comfortable but I knew that it was good enough to do what we did today. As for the win, we've got improve our race pace but obviously we have very good qualifying pace. I hope in the near future we will get our win, but we'll work for it tomorrow.

Q: Nico, you used the word confidence before. Did you use a used set of tyres in Q2 to get through?

Nico Rosberg:
I used a used set...

Q: Yeah, because Lewis was tearing it up in Q2 and you came in Q3 with a new set of tyres, so you obviously felt very confident then?

Nico Rosberg:
Confident, yeah, in general, confident, yeah. It was more a question of Lewis didn't quite manage to get his lap right with the used set in Q2 and I managed to get it right so it was enough to go into Q3. That was the difference.

Q: (Jerome Pugmire - Associated Press)
There's some talk about this penalty points system being discussed; something could be implemented in the future. I just wanted to get each of your opinions on what you think of this proposal if it happens.

Sebastian Vettel:
I don't like it. I don't know, maybe I'm a little bit too old fashioned, I don't want to make this too long but I think we had a lot of penalties in the past. I think from a drivers' point of view we've been pushing for penalties and right now we are probably in a situation where we have more penalties than we would like so it's a little bit of a vicious circle . I think the catalogue is not released entirely. I've seen some sketch of it but I think you have the potential of scoring points for some things that are not entirely in our hands and small things and at the end of the day the consequence could be very big. I don't know if that's the idea. Surely, if you want to adapt a system that everybody uses on the road, which is the idea, there might be some logic behind it, but at the end of the day we are not driving on the road, we are racing.

Lewis Hamilton:
I'm not really bothered by it. I don't really have much of an opinion about it.

Nico Rosberg:
I don't know enough about it so it's not worth commenting on.

Q: (Rosanna Tennant – Pole Position)
A light-hearted question: Lewis, how's Roscoe finding his race?

Lewis Hamilton:
Go and ask Roscoe! He's much better. He was a bit ill – not ill, but he was injured earlier in the week but he's recovered so I might bring him down later on or tomorrow, with his new team coat, yeah, race suit.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, taking account that maybe the other two guys have a problem with long pace, the long race distance, who do you think could be your main challenger tomorrow, Kimi or Fernando?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, I think first of all them (the two Mercedes drivers), they are in front of us right now so to be honest, I think they had some long runs and they didn't look too bad. Historically the Mercedes is pretty aggressive when it comes to looking after the tyres. How that turns out tomorrow we will have to wait and see. Other than that, eye-balling the long runs yesterday, I think Ferrari and Lotus were pretty competitive, so I think we can expect them to be very strong in the race as well.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild)
Nico and Lewis, what kind of help do you really expect from your new development driver Daniel Juncadella?

Nico Rosberg:
For sure he's been doing a good job in the simulator from what I hear but why he is here this weekend is mainly as a gesture from Mercedes DTM to give him race experience and to see what it's like at the pinnacle of motor sport. For sure, in DTM, there are a lot of things they can learn from where we are in F1.

Lewis Hamilton:
I think that's a good answer really. It's good fun to be here to experience... (interrupted, inaudible)

Q: (Valenti Fradera – El 9 Esportiu)
Following on the question about Nico beating you in qualifying, Lewis do you feel somehow disappointed to having been pipped by Nico again?

Lewis Hamilton:
No. Sometimes you get beat, sometimes you get ahead. It's the name of the game and at the end of the day he was quicker today and it just means for me that I have to work harder. Simple.

Q: (Sarah Holt – CNN.com)
Hallo everyone: Lewis, you in particular seemed to be fastest in the final sector, as did you, Nico as well, that's where the Mercedes seemed to find its time which is interesting because it's the slower part of the track. So that might bode well for Monaco, perhaps, but what about this track tomorrow, which might suit the Red Bulls more which are faster in the first two sectors? Talk about tomorrow and Monaco if you like.

Nico Rosberg:
I don't think you can understand something from that for how it's going to go in tomorrow's race in terms of degradation and race speed. Of course it is an interesting thing to have a look at and OK, it's definitely not a bad thing for Monaco to be quick in that last sector with all the tight corners and last year we had a very good car in Monaco, I think the fastest of everybody, so I'm looking forward to Monaco, but in general we have to really play it low because it's always great to be in front on Saturday but then if you're not able to win on Sunday – which has been our issue and our weakness, has been our race pace, so we need to be very careful and just try and do better than the last race. Last race, I think Lewis managed to finish fifth and the target is to be a bit better than that.

Courtesy FIA


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