Chinese GP · F1 2017

Chinese Grand Prix Post Qualifying Press Conference (Vettel Extracts Only)

TV UNILATERAL

Q: Sebastian, a great session from you and Ferrari as well. How important was it for you to get on the front row today?

Sebastian VETTEL: We’ll see tomorrow how important it was. It was a nice session; I enjoyed it a lot. I think if we could have been a bit quicker at the end I would have enjoyed it a bit more. I think I was very happy with the lap I had. Last corner maybe I lost a little bit – maybe I ‘chickened’ onto the brakes a bit too soon. Obviously it was very close with Valtteri, good job we got just enough margin to make it to the front row.

Q: Do you think you have a better race car than qualifying car at the moment?

SV: I think our car is strong no matter what. It obviously depends what these guys are doing. Certainly we’ve seen also in the previous years that in quali they seem to be able to really get on top of what they have. I think we can still improve. Let’s see what the race looks like tomorrow. The conditions will be quite different. Maybe we should put fuel in the car and race now. I don’t know what happens tomorrow.

Q: Sebastian, it’s 380m from the grid to Turn One tomorrow. How significant is that going to be – or do you think you are going to be able to overtake tomorrow?

SV: For me it’s 388m, I guess. Hopefully I can make up those eight metres. Which side are we starting on? Where’s pole? [on the outside] OK, so if I make up 8m then it looks pretty good. I don’t know. There’s a lot of things that can turn out in many ways tomorrow. That’s one option that I mentioned but we don’t know what the conditions are going to be like. We’ll see. I think it should be an exciting race nevertheless. Obviously very limited running yesterday, hardly any for me. I think I did two laps but nobody really did a lot of laps, so we’ll see. The car is good, the car is fine, so I’m confident, no matter the conditions that the car is working, and then we try to do the fastest race.

Q: Lewis has already said that racing against someone like yourself is what racing is all about. Just how much are you relishing the battle with him?

SV: Well, it’s been a while so yeah, I think we’re on a good way. Obviously it’s a lot of fun when you fight for poles and wins. Certainly enjoyed Australia a lot, despite the outcome on Sunday which obviously was fantastic – but in general, to be able to fight at the front for the podium, and really fight for it is a great feeling. Same here. You go into the weekend and… we didn’t really have much expectation because it’s a completely different track but on the hand we did know that our car is working well. So, just need to keep it up. Need to try to improve it whenever we can. So overall, I can only give it back, and hopefully there’s a lot more for the rest of the season. But this is only race two. A lot of things can happen but we need to obviously give everything we have to stay there.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Seb, the distance between you and Lewis, Ferrari and Mercedes in general, seems to be even closer than last year and the past years in general. This difference in qualifying, compared to last year and previous seasons; do you think it can be a trend throughout the season?

SV: Well, I think we’ve made a big step as a team so I think it’s really thanks to the team that simply supplied me with a better car. I think in general I like this formula a lot where you can push on the limit. Probably the last couple of years it was creeping away from all of us, step by step, and with this year’s cars it’s back to how it was a long time ago and back to how it should be. I don’t know if it’s a combination of things; as a driver you jump into the car and you always try to do your best but as I said, big thank you to the team to supply me with a great car this year, right from the first outing and I have high hopes that we can still improve it from where we are. I know the team is still growing together, there is still a lot of progress that we can make but the way I feel and the way the team feels and the way the team shows it to me directly and indirectly, there’s no rush. We are here to do our job and we know that we can be strong. I think we’ve laid a good foundation and now it’s up to us to build onto it. Now it’s April, we still have a lot of time. The most important thing, I think, is that we enjoy it.

Q: (Jens Nagler – Bild) To all three of you: what do you think will be the key tomorrow: the start, the strategy or perhaps even some overtaking which would be exciting?

SV: I think… mostly conditions. If it’s dry we know what to do, everybody knows what to do. It’s fairly easy knowing what to expect. If there’s an element of wet then it can mix things up so we will see. I think we wake up tomorrow, look outside and see what to do. We have enough wet tyres so it should be fine if it’s wet.

 

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