TV unilaterals

Q:
What a surprise to see you here Sebastian! Another race, another pole. That is four in a row now.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah I mean obviously we did it again but I tried to keep reminding myself and the team as well that every single time it's tough. I don't think today was as straightforward as we probably planned, especially in Q2, I didn't feel 100 per cent comfortable. I had a bit of a mistake in the run I had in Q2. But I was confident and in Q3 we were able to improve by quite a lot. But, as I say, step-by-step. It all starts from zero again. Today we did a good job, one more time, but all that is eight metres tomorrow so we are
looking to score some points tomorrow. It will be a long race. I think we can be as happy as we can be with the car, with everything around us. We had very good long runs on Friday so I think we have reason to feel good. But it is also a threat to feel too good. I pay attention so that does not happen and tomorrow is a new day and whatever happened today is not really of much of an importance except that we got a very good spot on the grid.

Q:
Jenson, congratulations on your front row start. At any stage did you think it could be pole today or realistically were you and McLaren just chasing the Red Bulls.

Jenson Button:
I mean in the heat of the moment you always hope that it is possible, but the pace in Q3 was phenomenal of Sebastian and the Red Bull. In Q2 it looked like it was possible and that's why I chose to run with two tyres in Q3 to give it a go and see if we can, but then I saw Seb's time and thought 'ok, we are maybe going to have to fight for second place'. But it's nice for me. This is my best grid slot of the year. From where we were on Friday I don't think either of us were happy with the balance and I think we have improved the car a lot and we should be happy with what we have achieved today. I think the team did a great job of really turning the car around over the last two days so big thanks to them. Also I had a little surprise when my girlfriend rocked up before qualifying so maybe that was a little helping hand.

Q:
Maybe your girlfriend will turn up tomorrow Lewis to give you a helping hand. Third on the grid, but you only went out for one run in Q3. Was that, looking back to Malaysia, a result of what happened there where you flat-spotted one of your tyres or what was the reason behind it?

Lewis Hamilton:
The reason behind it was clearly the last race showed how important it is to have fresh tyres during the race. Obviously we would have a used option if we are doing a three stop. In the last race I only had two options I could use and then I had a new prime and an old prime. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of fresh tyres so we are in quite a strong position. I have got the options I just qualified on, a new set of options and a new set of primes and a very decent set of options again. Just tried to increase the chances for the race as that is where it actually counts.

Q:
Sebastian, you sat in the car for two minutes when you finally came into parc ferme before you were given the thumbs up to get out. What was the reason behind that?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well it was pretty easy. With the new regulations and the fixed weight distribution the FIA has the chance whenever they want to check that and unless I get a thumbs up and it is okay from an official that I can jump out of the car I have to remain seated. Otherwise, if I do it the other way around, I might get into trouble. Maybe I didn't see him or didn't see the steward the first time, so I ended up waiting and waiting until we clarified and someone said okay it is good to go out.

Q:
KERS will be very important off the start tomorrow. Will you be running it as your team-mate has had a few problems in that sort of situation?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah it's true Mark [Webber] did not have a good day. Already this morning he had some problems and, in qualifying, it was quite a shame as I think the car is quick enough. He has had a tough weekend so far so it is a shame that we are not both up there. But I think he improved the last race pretty well from where he was after the first lap so I hope he has a good race. Looking at us, our KERS was running and we were using it and we will be using it as well tomorrow from the start. It is important I guess against those two red or silver or whatever guys.

Press conference

Q:
Sebastian, it seems to have been an absolutely perfect weekend for you so far?

Sebastian Vettel:
I mean yesterday was very good. I think we had a strong day, no problems with the car and a lot of laps. We are very happy also with the pace we thought we had. Today, this morning, was smooth so compared to last weekend it was better preparation for qualy. In qualy, I was reasonably happy, as happy as I can be, with Q1 and Q2. Then going into Q3, we were able to get even more out of the car again and I was very happy with the lap I did. Still it is difficult to judge. Second time this year we were in a good or strong situation with a big gap before the final run, but you never know. You know to a certain extent how much you pushed harder and probably where you gained the lap time to yourself compared to before, but you don' t know how much the others have left.

Lewis decided to do only one run, so we went back out but as soon as we saw there is no threat we abort the run and came in so we were able to save the tyres a bit. Overall very happy. It is not easy obviously. It all starts again from zero but people tend to forget that. I am very happy with the team at this stage, the way we all remain focussed. I think we did a very good job today. We are happy, but tomorrow is a new day so looking forward to that.

Q:
We have heard a lot about tyre management overall. Not just looking after the tyres but having enough for the race itself. What's your situation as we heard from Lewis what his situation is?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I didn't count. I don't know how many sets he has left. Obviously he saved a set of options which can be important but the main thing is that you know your tyres are in good shape and I think we did a very good job. We did what was necessary. In hindsight, with the qualifying system we have had now for quite a while, it is very easy to save a set of tyres and then not make it and then you miss out more than probably starting the race with a set less or a scrubbed set rather than a new set.

It is quite a shame for Mark as he was quick. He didn't really have a smooth weekend. He had some problems. I think in the end it was tight with the timing and he went out on a set of hards, of primes, and as you said tyre management, the way you bring the tyres in, can be important and the hard tyre is probably not as easy as the option. Not much he was missing, but it is shame that we could not have both cars up there but looking at myself obviously very happy.

Q:
Jenson, lucky overalls the red and white for China and the dragon on them as well. What do you reckon?

Jenson Button:
I quite like these. I think they are pretty flash. It has been a reasonably good day for us. Yesterday I don't think we had the perfect balance. The car didn't feel bad but I don't think we were extracting the best out of it whereas today we made some good chances, especially overnight, and the car was a lot more consistent to drive. I think we pretty much extracted what we could out of it today so a big thank you to the guys for working hard and happy to be P2. It is the best qualifying of the year for me and a much better place to start the race from.

Q:
You and Sebastian were the only two who actually did a second run. What sort of tyre situation are you in and is the strategy fairly simple tomorrow. I remember in Malaysia you said the car came alive on the harder tyre at the end of the race.

Jenson Button:
Well I think when you have got a quick car like we have it is a lot easier to have new sets of tyres. Obviously Lewis is in the best position in terms of tyres, but Sebastian and myself have done only two laps on our other set of options, the one that would have been new, so for me it was important to get position on the grid for the race. After Q2 I thought it was possible to get pole position. Obviously that was way out of reach but I thought there was an opportunity and I felt that it was better to use both tyres in Q3 and get the best out of the car. Unfortunately the end of Q3 I couldn't actually go any quicker. I actually lost time on my last set so we aborted it. But we are in a good pace for the race and I look forward to it around here. It is always a fun place to race.

Q:
Lewis, not so happy with the car yesterday, what about today?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, pretty much the same as Jenson. We made some changes and it seemed to go quite well today, so much happier with the car throughout qualifying.

Q:
There have been new parts on the car, I understand it's a combination of what you've already been running and the new parts as well.

Lewis Hamilton:
We haven't made much of a step this weekend but a step is a step so it's a positive at least, and we're quite happy with where we are. Obviously we need to make some more steps forward but I think there are some good things in the pipeline.

Q:
Is the tyre strategy fairly simple for you now, looking at last weekend and three weeks ago as well, or is it still very much a mystery?

Lewis Hamilton:
The strategy is quite simple but obviously the race is never simple: you have the start, you have all the stops that you need to do, you have to look after the tyres and so it's going to be very tricky again tomorrow but I really wanted to put myself in a decent spot, and I feel I am in a decent spot, and in a position to really have a good opportunity in the race because I didn't really have the best opportunity in the last race and that's what caused the result.

 

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