PODIUM INTERVIEWS (Conducted by Martin Brundle)
Q: OK, moving on to Sebastian. Well, you’re twenty points ahead now in the World Championship, second today, a lot of people out there very happy about that. How do you feel about the race?
Sebastian VETTEL: Well, how would you feel if you were just shy of half a second behind the winner. It was very close. Yeah, I was told he was in trouble; I was pushing anyway. I felt much happier in the second stint, second part of the race. In the first part of the race I was struggling a little bit to feel the car but then as soon as we put (on) the supersoft tyre, the car came alive and I had really good pace. I was catching little by little but then he obviously struggled so the last laps it was getting really close. I think I had Perez which cost me a bit of time with lapped cars. I think I needed one more lap because he was really struggling to get up the hill but yeah, obviously (I) wanted to win but nevertheless it was a good result.
Q: You were on the radio, talking about the start. You felt it was a bit keen, did you?
SV: No, I don’t think he… I was pretty sure he jumped it. Ask Daniel about it.
Q: Sebastian, talking of starts, how good was yours?
SV: I think it was OK. Obviously, it’s always distracting… from my point of view he jumped the start but… obviously I was sure that he did; it looked like it from the inside of the car but it’s not for me to judge at the end of the day so I probably was a bit late because it’s quite tricky then to keep standing still but yeah, I think it was OK. I had a bit of wheelslip later on but overall I thought it was a good start.
Q: Valtteri’s reaction time: 0.201s.
SV: Don’t believe that.
Q: OK. A few comments please about the end of the race; the supersoft tyre was marking up quite a lot. Just how much of a handful was it?
SV: Marking up?
Q: Blisters and…
SV: Well, not for us. I think obviously Valtteri was more in trouble than us. For us, I think it was OK. I struggled a bit on the qualies… sorry, on the ultrasoft tyre. Yeah, second stint it was much better. I preferred the car, just not enough time, like Russia, I ran out of time.
Q: Half on eye on the championship today, you’ve extended that gap to Hamilton.
SV: I wanted to win. It’s been a race where the last couple of years it wasn’t really going in my direction so I’m happy to be on the podium, I think it’s a really nice trophy. The race here means a lot. Obviously I have a bit of a background with Austria so yeah, I really wanted to win so probably not entirely happy because I didn’t.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) To Sebastian, we saw you in the first part with some struggling situations and in the second one you were flying. So, in the end of the day the buzz is that Ferrari is just a little bit behind Mercedes – or almost at the same level? Looking at Silverstone, above all.
SV: I’m looking forward to Silverstone, should be a lot of fun with this year’s cars, first of all. Thinking about today the pace, again, it was a match, I think we were racing for the same tenths. In the first stint Valtteri was quicker, no doubt he was pulling away, opening a significant gap which allowed him obviously to come in later. Second stint he had fresher tyres, he ran into a problem – but overall in the second stint overall for us it was better in terms of balance. The first stint, probably for Valtteri was better. So I don’t think you could say that they were quicker on the ultrasoft, we were quicker on the supersoft. I think it was very close and probably he was happier with the car in the first stint than I was and the other way around in the second stint. We started from zero, he had eight metres advantage when the lights went off, and then we finished half a second behind each other. In the end, I think we had the same pace.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte) Sebastian, now it looks like Valtteri is definitely in the fight for the world title, and it may be that he can take some points off your main competitor, Lewis Hamilton – which is not the case with Kimi Räikkönen who is coming behind. What analysis do you do of this situation. Also, if you are more worried with the FIA more rigorous to check especially the floor of your car that supposedly was bending.
SV: I think we have a very quick car. I had obviously the… I was fortunate in the past to have very quick cars and they have always been checked a lot because people believe that something isn’t right. So, I guess if you go back to Mercedes and ask them about the last three years, they’ve been checked many times, so I see it as a compliment which I pass on to our aero department, chassis department, vehicle dynamics, everybody working really close with each other, we’ve done massive improvements, obviously, since last year, new set of regulations so I think it’s a compliment. I’m not worried. I know the guys are pushing but there’s no intention to build something that is not legal. What was the first part of the question?
The championship fight
SV: I don’t really care. Obviously, I’m not too happy today because I didn’t win. At the end of the day I had the clear aim today to win. Yeah, didn’t quite make it, it was very tight. Points-wise I know that the higher-up you finish, the better it is with points but whether it’s Valtteri, Lewis or someone else I think you’re fighting anyone out there for the race. That’s been the primary target today, the last races and will be next races. Then I think you change your minds fairly quickly in terms of who is a contender and who is not. We’re still quite early, there’s a lot of points to get, so I’m not too bothered at the moment.
Q: (Ysef Harding – Xero Xone News) Daniel, congratulations, you’ve been really been putting in a lot of work for Red Bull, obviously. To get a podium here at Red Bull Ring, what does it mean for the team? What’s been doing it for you? Has it been Odessa, the trips to LA? Has it been ribs? What is it, man, what’s been keeping you on form in these last few laps?
SV: If it’s ribs you have to share, you know that.
DR: Yeah. Actually I did have ribs last night. I did have ribs! Yeah, certainly the schnitzel and the ribs are helping.
SV: I had schnitzel! So maybe next race, Saturday night we have to dinner together and I’ll have what you have.
DR: What, bangers and mash? Look, for sure I’m getting more comfortable with the car this year. Things are moving forward and I don’t know I can just see a little bit of a little sweet sport and it’s nice you know. I feel like we have got good momentum. The team is getting more positive, I’m getting more positive, so all that kind of forms into one and then you get a taste of a few podiums and you kind of want more. I knew the start would be important today, trying to clear Kimi and then once we got into that third spot then it was just trying to be relentless and keep the pace on. Yeah, outside of F1, sure, life is good. America is great when I go there, so I still need to go for those chicken waffles, so yeah, soon!
Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto Motor) Sebsastian, Valtteri, regarding the start again: Valtteri you said that the important things was the car only moved after the lights went out. So, does that mean that you actually gambled a little bit and you were just lucky that the car didn’t move because you started your start procedure before that. And Sebastian, what you do mean by not believing that Valtteri had the reaction time of 0.2 seconds. The computer said that, so how can that not be. Can you please elaborate on that?
VB: So, the start lights there is always the different variation since the five lights are on, since they go off, but the variation for quite a long time has not been massive, so you know more or less the zone when it is going to be off and you are so alert at that point and you are gambling between your reaction and guessing. Sometimes you get a mega one and sometimes you’re a bit late and today was my best reaction for the light. It is as long as you’re positive and it was fine. So all good.
SV: First of all, to clarify it, I don’t want to take anything away from Valtteri, I think he drove an excellent race. Obviously at the end, with a difficult car he didn’t do a mistake, so he performed well. But when I said I don’t believe, it’s because I don’t believe. I think normally the reaction times are around 0.2 for everyone. I don’t think that everyone was that much slower today, that’s why I don’t believe that Valtteri was that much quicker. I had a strong belief at the time that he jumped the start. Turned out he didn’t, so I’m guessing that there is a reason to be believe he didn’t but I can’t believe that his reaction time was 0.2. That would be normal and in my point of view his reaction was inhuman, so… He said earlier that he is not human.
VB: Just joking.
SV: He’s Finnish.
DR: Can I elaborate. Just to put my two cents in. As Valtteri said, the main thing is it was positive. The lights were held for a long time, more than normal. There is always a window but it did seem longer and when you are there and your revs are high and you’re waiting, waiting. For sure, he went, but the lights went out but I guess he got lucky. I did it in Formula 3 before, once. Yeah, it was on the edge, I’m sure you react, but at that same point the lights went out. In theory it’s not a natural reaction I don’t believe, but as Valtteri said if it’s plus then he’s safe. But I don’t believe he reacted to the lights.
Q: (Istvan Simon – Auto Magazin) A question for all three drivers. Silverstone is next, probably one of your favourite tracks, everybody seems to like. Do you think there are going to be some corners this year that are going to be flat with the new regulation cars and are you looking forward to that?
VB: Definitely. The old Turn 1…. I’m not ever good with the corner names, you tell me!
Q: Turn 9, Copse.
VB: Yes, for sure that’s going to be flat. Then all the corners after that, Maggots, Becketts, they are going to be really quick, so it should be a lot of fun, so definitely we are going to enjoy it.
SV: Well, I think the better question is which corners aren’t flat! I think we are all keen to find out. Silverstone is one of the best tracks. In all honesty I preferred the old Silverstone, I don’t like the new bit so much. But anyways, a lot of the old track is still there. So really looking forward to the fast corners. I think our car has been really strong this year in fast corners so I think it should be quite nice.