Q: Sebastian, maybe not the day you were hoping for, the pace of the looks good, but just that massive push from Lewis at the end. Are you happy with today?
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I think we can be. Yesterday I wasn’t happy; I didn’t really feel the car. It just coming better in qualifying. I think the last lap I had a bit of a moment into 13, I tried to brake really late; it didn’t work. But yeah, it was really close. Exciting for us as it was that close. A shame that Lewis had quite a big gap at the end but I guess his lap was pretty good. Looking forward to tomorrow, we did improve the car today and see what happens tomorrow.
Q: We know that Mercedes always turn it on on Saturdays. But for Sunday for tomorrow how confident are you that you can take it to those guys and we get a proper fight for the win?
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I hope they did turn it on today, as that means they have turn it off tomorrow. I think it’s very close. I think we saw yesterday in the long runs that the pace is very close, so let’s see. It’s not the easiest place to overtake but who knows, if we have an opportunity at the start and then in the race you never know. Really happy for the team, it’s a good result, so let’s get going.
Q: Seb, obviously, strategy played a part in your win here last year. There are two of you, one of him, there’s Red Bull starting on Supersofts, lots of different permutations: how do you see the race panning-out tomorrow?
SV: Well, I don’t know. Depends on how we get off the line and then hopefully we can play two against one. I think in terms of race pace we should be closer. We were closer yesterday and then we see. It depends how close we can be. Yeah. I think it also depends. We have more cars now in range. So, it changes probably a little bit the race as well. So, we’ll see.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport-Magazin.com) Question to Seb: are you concerned by the gap to Mercedes and do you think it was due to the ‘party mode’ from Lewis’ engine?
SV: I don’t know. I haven’t seen much of the qualifying. I think I had a little bit in hand. I messed up a bit in the final sector, going into Turn 13. So not ideal from my side but still, felt like a good lap and a good session. The car was coming alive so I’m pretty happy with what we did. Obviously the gap is bigger than we want it to be. I don’t think it was very close, seven-tenths obviously is quite big. So, some homework for us, but yeah, as I said, tomorrow, we’ve seen many times now, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 that, usually on Sunday, things get a little bit closer. We bet on that.
LH: I can assure you, we don’t have a party mode. I use the same mode from Q2 to the end of Q3. There was no extra button, there was no extra button that I engaged.
SV: Then what were you doing before?
SV: What were you doing before?
LH: I was waiting to put a good lap in. Wipe the smile off your face!
[off-mike question – You have mentioned looking forward to the party mode]
LH: Who did?
[off-mike question – I think you said at some point…]
LH: I’ve never heard of that suggestion, the Party Mode – but it sounds pretty cool.
Q: (Paul Gover – Herald Sun) Sebastian, there are a lot of fans around the world who enjoyed the rivalry between you and Lewis last year. We saw a little frisson just then when he’s talking about wiping the smile off your face. It’s a question to both of you. I know it’s a joke but it’s a good quote and I work for a tabloid paper. I want you to be honest so I’ll be honest. Are you looking forward to resuming battle and do you plan to wipe the smile off his face?
SV: I think he said it so quick the first time I didn’t get it, so now I got it, thanks for repeating it. I think what goes around comes around. At the end of the day that’s why we’re here, we want to have fun. If that’s what he enjoys, obviously on Saturdays he’s doing pretty well.
LH: It was a joke.
SV: I know but… He’s free to have a party tonight and then hopefully Kimi and myself will have a party tomorrow.
LH: Kimi parties all the time so…