QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR:

Q: (Matthias Brunner - Speedweek)
After what Lewis said, lots of people complained yesterday about the harder tyre. From what you learned today, do you expect a better performance during the race or rather similar?

Mark Webber:
I think it will be similar. We've been testing those tyres for a few events now and it was pretty clear, in Sepang, that they behaved a bit differently because the track temperature in Sepang is different to here, even though the track here is nice and warm. It's a bit of a dangerous game with that tyre because, particularly if McLarens and Red Bulls want to put an option on in Q1, then we send maybe two or three teams home so that's maybe not ideal for some people. So we need to keep an eye on that. And also, we need to be careful in Formula One with our long run pace that we don't get too close to the other categories in terms of lap times. We still need to be (the) pinnacle, we need to be able to push the cars to the limit throughout a grand prix and have very strong lap times in grands prix, man against the machine, and push the car to the limit. So as long as we can keep doing that then that's good, but I (don't) think the long runs on Friday were particularly impressive for a Formula One car round here. If you look at a GP3 lap time, I think they did a 1m 38s and some of my laps at the end of my long run were 1m 30s, so eight seconds, and I think the budget's a little bit different. We need to keep an eye on that. Pirelli are working hard but we need to make sure the degradation and pace is still of a sensible magnitude and the cars can be put on the limit and not get too far to the showbiz side of things.

Lewis Hamilton:
Too slow at the moment, isn't it? Well, maybe not for you guys but for us.

Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe)
Mark, we saw you waiting in your car after your lap. Were you thinking of having another run or were you waiting in case Seb was going to go out?

Mark Webber:
They were thinking of another run with Seb, so we waited to see and then they said no cars will go again because it was pretty clear that... I mean, Lewis is a phenomenal driver, but I think it was going to be pretty difficult for him to get us from there, so we were pretty confident that we would still have the front row, so we decided not to go again. That's why we waited in the car for a minute or so, it wasn't too long, didn't get straight back out.

Q: (Oleg Karpov - Klaxon)
Lewis, was it actually possible for you to go through the last corner with the wing open?

Lewis Hamilton:
No. Mark was just explaining that even though he's got the wing engaged, it's not that it's too easy, but for us, we're flat out without the wing engaged and it's quite difficult. A slight difference in downforce but that's actually good because it gives an indication of how much downforce they have, considering you generally lose 30 points or something when you engage the wing, something of that magnitude.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
Lewis, it looked as if on your last outing you flat-spotted the left front tyre. Is it as bad as in Malaysia, or can you count on that tyre tomorrow?

Lewis Hamilton:
No, nowhere near as bad as Malaysia. Malaysia wasn't really too bad, but we were overly cautious - or the engineers were overly cautious going into the race. But no, there's no way that they could put me on another set of tyres for tomorrow. They think the tyres will be fine, we just need to re-balance them a little bit. That's one of the limitations of our car. Since I've been in the team we've always had lock-ups - it almost as if other teams look as if they have ABS brakes, because they never lock up like we do. But it's something that we're trying to improve and it is much, much better this year. But yeah, when you're trying to eke every little bit out of the car, you sometimes happen to lock the front wheel. I did, but hopefully it won't impede my race tomorrow.

Q: (Don Kennedy - Hawkes BayToday)
Sebastian, you were seen in Parc Ferm? having a good look at Alonso's Ferrari. Was there anything that you saw there that interested you, because I would have thought that given the time differences there wasn't much for you to worry about?

Sebastian Vettel:
It looked interesting. I think everyone brought some new stuff. It's nice to see our exhaust more than twice in the pit lane! It's the usual game. Obviously, I'm not working in the aerodynamic department but it's nice to have a closer look, because usually, for us, it's very difficult to get close and in Parc Ferm? there are no mechanics around, pushing us away so it's easier.

Q: (Bob McKenzie - Daily Express)
Lewis, if these guys get away cleanly tomorrow and don't have a problem in the race, do you see any way that you can get ahead of them?

Lewis Hamilton:
Ah, I've just been thinking about it. The old circuit is still there, the last two corners so I could maybe use the last two corners and then I will be able to match their pace maybe, if I don't take the chicane. But otherwise, no.

Q: (Bob McKenzie - Daily Express)
And if Sebastian's KERS isn't working, for some reason, at the start, do you think you can get him there and get one place?

Lewis Hamilton:
It's always possible. Our KERS seems to work quite well. It's always possible to overtake if he doesn't have it, but then without a doubt he will be on my tail for quite some time and eventually find his way past, I'm sure.

Q: (Bob McKenzie - Daily Express)
Is it despondent, is there despondency when you see two guys as fast as they are, that you will be in a separate race, won't you?

Lewis Hamilton:
No. You know, Formula One, as Mark was saying, is the pinnacle of motor sport and nothing comes easy. At the moment, they've just done a better job and every single team is trying their hardest to catch up and we're second quickest at the moment, so we can't complain too much. I just hope that at some stage we can find a significant improvement in the car in terms of downforce, that we can have a proper race with these guys.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado do S?o Paulo)
Mark, what happened that you came back, fighting for pole position? Do you understand how to use the tyres better over one lap or is it a question of adaptation to the circuit?

Mark Webber:
Probably a little bit of both, actually. I'm getting a better understanding of the tyres more and more. Obviously, they're new for everybody and it's up to everybody to get on top of them. Also, I wasn't particularly slow in Sepang and also in China, but we didn't have the smoothest of weekends in terms of the car, technically, so, whether it was not the best qualifying strategy in terms of tyres or blah, blah, blah, then you're at the back of the grid, or you don't have KERS at the start - all those little things add up. Seb's also done a good job. Turkey was a fair weekend and I wasn't as close as this. Obviously, Seb didn't have the smoothest day today but also there's still an improvement from my side. I don't mind the track here so I hope that I can start being a bit more competitive now. A few things together have added up, it's small margins as we know. It doesn't take much and before you know it you're back in the ball game.

Q: (Matthias Brunner - Speedweek)
Lewis, what is the best remark today about your new overalls?

Lewis Hamilton:
I've got a word in my head but I can't use it! Umm... colourful!

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
Sebastian, how big was the temptation at the end to give it another try for pole position, and is that one set of fresh tyres you saved so important or more important than to give up a potential pole position?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, we will find out tomorrow. In the end we decided that staying in the garage is more important than probably swapping from right to left on the grid. Why did we do it? Because there was quite a big margin to the people behind, plus they saved their set of tyres. I'm generally a bit against the temptation that, for tomorrow, it's all clear, it's either one or the other car, but surely a Red Bull. A grand prix is a long, long way, it's a long distance, it will be tough tomorrow and the McLaren is very competitive in the race. So is Ferrari. I only want to remind you of the pace they had in qualifying two weeks ago in Turkey and then on Sunday. You cannot take anything for granted tomorrow, but surely the temptation was big, because I wasn't happy with my lap. It's a different story when you get everything 100 per cent right and you feel that you have reached your maximum, and then you're still a tenth or two behind. I think you are much more relaxed when you jump out, but in that case I was actually keen to go again, just to prove it to myself but I didn't get the chance today. Maybe (I'll) get it tomorrow.

Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe)
Mark and Seb, do you agree with Lewis that victory is for a Red Bull tomorrow?

Mark Webber:
I hope so. Obviously, we need the cars to run well. Eventually, we can see that with these regulations, the fast cars can still get through, whatever sometimes happens in the first part of the race. It's not like the old day when if you lost 10 seconds somewhere in the race, then you could maybe get stuck behind someone. If all goes well and smoothly, then of course we should be able to go for the victory, but you never, never know. We had Turkey last year: there were a few races last year when Lewis was maybe not as strong in qualifying and in the race I couldn't get rid of him. But I hope it's not like that tomorrow.

 

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