2013 Brazilian Grand Prix - Post Qualifying Press Conference
1 – Sebastian VETTEL (Red Bull Racing) 2 – Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes) 3 – Fernando ALONSO (Ferrari)
Congratulations Sebastian, another excellent qualifying for you, your 45th pole, your second here, and your ninth this year. But what a margin as well, that’s incredible.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, big surprise. I was so happy after the quali, obviously, especially Q3, it took a long time for us to get out. There was a lot of rain after Q2, already at the end of Q2. Yeah, we need to wait. If there’s too much water it’s a shame for the people who wait for us to come out, but there’s too much water and the risk of aquaplaning is too high. So it took a long time and then got out. I was surprised by how much of the water had gone. I went straight on intermediates and was able to get a very, very good lap in straight away. Tried again in the second to beat that. It was very close, so with both my laps I was very happy. Surprised by the margin. When I was told I was very happy. I even mixed up Spanish and Portuguese. I was on the radio saying “olé, olé” but olé is Spanish so I don’t know the expression in Portuguese but maybe someone can tell me today and hopefully I’ll have another chance tomorrow. But great in these conditions to get it all right., We had very little practice and still got the car where we wanted it to be in the end so very happy.
Nico, your best qualifying here, ever. You wanted to give the Red Bulls a hard time, well, second is a good effort. What are your feelings?
Nico ROSBERG: It was a good day today. Everything went to plan. It’s always extremely tough in these conditions because it’s just all over the place and you need to make sure you don’t get caught out. But the whole team, we all did a good job and perfect strategy also in the end doing those two consecutive laps with the inter, got a good lap together, so happy with that. Surprised about the gap to Sebastian, that’s very big. Definitely would have been difficult, even getting everything perfect to come close to him. That’s fine. Optimum we’re second place and got that, so it’s OK. It’s a great place to start tomorrow – front row of the grid.
And Fernando, your equal best grid position this year. A bit of a surprise or not?
Fernando ALONSO: Well, we know that in wet conditions normally we improve a little bit our performance. We were waiting for wet races this year but it came only in the last in Brazil. I have mixed feelings to be honest. I’m happy to be so up on the grid, finally, because we start between seventh and tenths in the last five or six grand prix, which is not ideal. So being in the first three is good, but not totally happy with my lap. I lost a lot of time. Not obviously to beat Seb, he’s too far in front of us. But I think for second place it was not difficult. I lost something like seven or eighth or tenths in Turn Four, off the circuit in the paint area, losing a lot of time there. I think second could be possible but obviously I’m not sad with third and all the opportunities in front of us in tomorrow’s race starting up at the front.
Q: Sebastian, facing the race tomorrow with so much wet running but not so much dry running, what sort of conditions do you want? What is ideal for you?
SV: Well, I don’t think we had that many laps in the wet, to be honest, because we were all of us trying to save tyres as much as we can. Especially yesterday, we only had one set, and this morning. But… yeah, very pleased with the result, first of all. Tomorrow, I think Nico touched on it, it could be 50:50. It looks to be the best day that we have out of the last two but, yeah, we don’t know, anything is possible here. We saw in the race last year how quickly things can change. So, yeah, looking forward to the race in general. It’s great to start from pole. Very happy with the laps I had in the end in these tricky conditions. Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the race, no matter what the conditions.
Q: Nico, you’ve been quickest in both sessions yesterday, what sort of conditions would you like for the race itself?
NR: I don’t mind. Whatever. Whatever is OK. It can be dry or wet. Maybe in the wet I have a little bit of a better chance against Sebastian but anyway, it will be tough either way. Maybe a mix will be good for a little bit of an opportunity.
Q: And Fernando, what would you like?
FA: Yeah, I think mixed conditions would be the best thing – and that’s what it’s going to be, probably, with the weather forecast we have and we saw also today how quickly it goes from extreme to nearly dry, so tomorrow will be fun.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport) Nico, in comparison to Sebastian you lost four tenths in the last sector which is a pretty straightforward one and Fernando, I think you lost six tenths in the middle sector. You said something before, I couldn’t understand it. Can you explain what happened?
NR: I finished my KERS unfortunately, for the last sector. That’s just a compromise because of doing two consecutive laps in these wet conditions and so it was to be expected and we chose to do it that way but for sure, that cost some lap time so it was down to that.
FA: I went off in turn four. I braked very late and I missed the corner and then I was on the extra circuit that is painted and obviously very slippery and I arrived braking more or less with zero on the target in the lap time, compared to the lap before and I exited with eight tenths slower so I lost these eight tenths, which obviously aren’t enough for pole but maybe it was enough for second place. That’s the way it is. The lap was not completely clean today.
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) Fernando, how do you see the fight for second place, is it good news for the team to have the Lotus behind, because they could try to overtake Ferrari?
FA: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s going to be tough. Obviously the second place in the Constructors’ is getting very difficult and the Mercedes were very strong all weekend so I expect them to be very strong tomorrow as well. But yeah, you are right, we cannot forget Lotus, that they have been scoring a lot of points in the last races and they are also a threat for third in the Constructors’ so it’s good to have them behind. It’s also good to have Felipe performing well today, with both Ferraris in Q3 and hopefully tomorrow both Ferraris can be in good points and I can help, failing anything, to have a very good last race with Ferrari.
Q: (Carlos Miguel – La Gaceta) Fernando, do you think victory is a possibility tomorrow or maybe it’s very difficult?
FA: Well, I think it’s going to be very difficult. Obviously every Grand Prix you go to, inside, even in a small percentage, you have to think of victory, because we are competitors and we like to win every race we go to. But we also need to be realistic and don’t tell our fans, our team, our people that tomorrow we have a high chance to win the race. That is not true, so we will try to do our best, we see whatever the position is at the end, what we have to do is to maximise what is available and for sure, comparing the last five or six events we’ve been through, there was probably zero chance to win the race. Tomorrow there’s maybe a small chance but very small.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) To all of you: if we have a dry race tomorrow which is possible, what will be the impact of being on the wet conditions all the days and then immediately in the race on dry tyres and dry asphalt?
SV: Well, first of all I think we all have new tyres so that helps but obviously the track is very green because we didn’t have dry conditions before, so I think that will make it tricky. And then I think it’s important that whoever has the best guess coming here, in terms of set-up, to ensure that your car is fine, not just for one lap in the wet conditions but also that the performance is there in the dry, first of all, and you are able to look after the tyres. It’s a long race, seventy laps here. We’ve seen in the past that it’s not that easy to make the tyres last, depending on your strategy so it will be difficult if it’s dry but then again, it will be same for everyone.
NR: There are a lot of other things like balance, like your front wing setting, your seventh gear – you might on the limiter for a hundred meters if you get it wrong – your engine temperatures are difficult to predict, so we might have opened too much and tomorrow we realise, oh damn, we’re running too cold so we lose performance. There’s a lot of things like that.
FA: Nothing more to add, I think.
Q: (Cristobal Rosaleny – Car and Driver) For all of you, how much did you compromise your set-up for maybe a wet race tomorrow?
SV: Well, I think to be honest with you, the typical wet set-up doesn’t exist any more, at least for us. In the past, the races that we had, there’s not that much difference. For sure we tried to go a little bit in a direction that helps us for wet conditions after the first or second practice yesterday but I wouldn’t call it a wet set-up, because usually in the wet you put more wing on, you lift the car, things like this but to be honest, the last couple of years, it has been pretty frozen when you went from dry to wet set-up, or dry to wet conditions.
Q: (Rodrigo Franca – VIP Magazine) Sebastian, the Brazilian fans cheered a lot for you in the 2008 race. It was in pretty much the same conditions that we had today and you were at Toro Rosso and if you were ahead of Lewis Hamilton it would help Felipe to be champion, so a lot of people cheered for you in that race. Do you think you have a special relationship with Brazilian fans and also with Interlagos?
SV: Well, I finished in front of Lewis as far as I can remember, so I tried to help the Brazilians but I think it’s a special place. I think all of us have had at least one race that was complete chaos in either direction, especially if I look at last year, the final race, fighting with Fernando for the championship. If you look at the highlights it has been an absolutely crazy race. My car was very damaged, I was facing the other way after turn four on the first lap but for some reason it seems to be a circuit - and together with the conditions - where you are able to create something out of nowhere. Equally, you might be on the safe side and something can happen. Surely, I have a special memory when coming here and yeah, you always believe something can happen here because the chance is there, as I described.