(conducted by Davide Valsecchi)
Q: Sebastian, what a lap, it was just amazing. And then the last sector, how good it was, it was something unbelievable.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I was happy with the whole lap, not just the last sector. The car was really amazing. It just kept getting better, so really happy. I knew that on the first lap I had some mistakes. I lost the rear at Turn 3 at the exit of the low-speed, and then 6 again, so I was a bit beaten up, but then I knew that if I got a tidy lap and I have a little bit of margin then I could push.
Q: Do you ever check the reaction of the fans? They love it!
SV: Yeah, really good. Also in the hairpin, in Turn 14, just under braking, outside, I see the people going crazy. It’s really nice.
Q: Let me check it out, tomorrow, first row, Turn 1, how is it going to be?
SV: I don’t know. We find out tomorrow. Looks like on Kimi’s side there’s more rubber, so I need a good start!
Sebastian, just talk us through that session and how you built up to that incredible time of 1:31.095?
SV: Yeah, it was indeed a crazy session – the car was unbelievable and it just got better. I think right from the first lap in the first of part of qualifying, in Q1, I was really happy and in the end we didn’t have to do much on the car. I didn’t have to fight so much finding the last fine tunings. I was very happy with the settings I had from the beginning. Usually you change quite a lot, you change your mind… it was tricky, because also the wind was changing, sometimes more, sometimes less, and a bit gusty as well. Trying to look around the lap to see where the flags are, trying to get a reference. The last lap in Q3 I knew I could step it up. I knew I had a bit more in me, because on the first run I had two moments, out of Turn 3, accelerating I was probably a bit keen. The same out of Turn 6, I lost the rear twice, so I lost a bit of momentum in those places. So I knew that I had a little bit more and obviously in the last lap I got it all together and very happy that when I crossed the line I was looking up to see the screen and I saw something green, which is usually good, and little bit of purple. Really pleased; it was a tight session but I think again a great result for the team.
Your car seems to be getting stronger by the race. Are you surprised by the gap to Mercedes this weekend?
SV: Yes, we are. I think the first three races have been a bit different now. The tracks are quite different to each other and to have that much of a gap is a bit of a surprise. But I think it’s also a track where you just need to get in and find that sweet spot and if you are a little bit out then easily you drop a little bit of time, so I wouldn’t be surprised tomorrow if that gap disappears and it will be a very tight race. Obviously, I wouldn’t mind if it stays there but I think it will be a tight race amongst the top three teams, and a long, tough race, but obviously it’s good to start from the front.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport-Magazin.com) Question for the two Ferrari drivers. It’s always a balance between race pace and qualifying pace. Now, as you’ve seen the gap to the Mercedes, do you feel you’ve sacrificed race pace a bit too much for qualifying pace?
SV: No. No, I think we try to look at both, obviously, and tomorrow the forecast is quite different so I think we kept that in mind. Obviously we see how it works tomorrow but the answer is still no.
Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport-Magazin.com) Seb, you had some problems yesterday; I don’t think the balance was alright and on the long run the lap times dropped a bit. Why did it go so much better today? Did you change something dramatic in the car or what happened?
SV: We made some small changes but I think it was already pretty OK yesterday afternoon. I think in the long run I was catching traffic and (on) the other one it started to rain so I think for everyone it was a bit compromised, the amount of laps that you got. Yeah, I think overall I was happier today. Obviously it helps a little bit to focus on one lap as well, if you get the P3 session right you get the better feeling for the car so between practice and qualifying we didn’t do hardly anything. I think the overnight changes that we did, they were working and they made the car a little bit better. I was a little bit happier with the front end overall. I hope we can carry that momentum and feeling, obviously, into the race tomorrow.