Sebastian, thanks for waiting. Can we just reflect on two weeks ago to start with. It was a slightly frustrating weekend for you in Spain. You’ve tested at Barcelona since the race. How much progress did you make with the car?
Sebastian VETTEL: I think it’s fair to summarise that Barcelona was not a strong race for us. I think Saturday was actually pretty good, qualifying was very close, but in the race we fell a little bit behind. It was good that we had the opportunity on Tuesday and Wednesday to get into the race situation again and understand a little bit better with more time and more laps and I think that’s what we did. There are a couple of ideas that we have and there are things that we believe may have cause a weak race or weak pace during the race. But for here it’s not that relevant as it’s a completely different track, but certainly going forward, time will tell whether we found a good direction.
Well, let’s look at this weekend. What chance a repeat victory of last year and do you think the longer wheelbase of this year’s car will have any impact on the performance?
SV: I don’t know. We will see. I think cars with a longer wheelbase, they were still fine here last year. It’s not that much different. It’s not like all of a sudden you’re sitting on a bus. I think the car, we’ve improved it in general this year throughout the races we’ve had, the feel that I’ve had for the car, how responsive it was etc, which should help us for here, but I don’t think the wheelbase will play a big difference and if so I think our car is not longer than most of the other cars so it will be fine.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globoesporte.com) To all drivers. Pirelli are supplying here for the first time the hypersoft tyres. What do you project for the weekend here – would be very interesting?
Sebastian, anything to add on the hypersoft?
SV: Well, I think we never had it this year, obviously, during races. Testing was cold – but I think the first glimpse we got last year during the Abu Dhabi test quite interesting. It was faster – so it’s always fun when it’s faster. I think it doesn’t last that long but the stress around Monaco is very low for the tyres, if you compare it to a normal race track. So should be fine and should be faster, so that’s why I think a lot of people went mostly for the hypersoft.
Q: (Giles Richards – The Guardian) A question for all four drivers, two parts. The organisers here have said they’re going to use grid girls this weekend. So, first of all I’d like to know where all four of you stand on the original decision to stop using grid girls and what you think about this race’s decision to go against that and use them this weekend?
SV: Well, I think the whole thing has been blown up, probably unnecessary because I don’t think any of the grid girls in the past were forced to do it. So, I think they enjoyed what they were doing. I agree with Lewis, I like women, I think they look beautiful, so if there was guys, I was just not interested, nothing against those guys but I just didn’t care as much but, bottom line, I think it’s too much of a fuss nowadays. I think all the women that took part as a grid girl in the past did it because they want to. I’m sure if you ask any grid girl on Sunday if they’re happy to stand there, their answer will be yes. I don’t think there’s anybody that forces them to do it. So, it speaks a little bit for our times that sometimes there’s a lot of noise for nothing.
Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Seb and Lewis, Charles is up there with you. He comes into F1 this season with a huge amount of expectation and hype, based on his performance in junior formulae. You had exactly the same, the two of you, when you came into F1 first time around. What would your advice be to him about how to handle that pressure of expectation and what do you know and think of him as a driver?
SV: I think I was never that hyped when I came in. I didn’t win GP2 and I think the hype is absolutely justified. If there’s no hype around him, then I don’t understand who should be hyped because you walk through all the categories like that, then you belong here. But I think the advice to him is not to listen, just get on with it and just enjoy it. I think the cars that we’re driving are the fastest cars in the world and that’s what you should be looking for, not all the noise that sometimes happens around. I think it’s important that you’re here, you know why you want to be here. You look at what’s really important to you. The rest is not that much of your concern.
Q: Do you expect him to be your Ferrari teammate in the coming season?
SV: Well, I don’t know. I’m not signing who is sitting next to me but (you should) probably ask Maurizio. Yeah, I don’t see why not. Obviously he has more years than all of us here if you look at the passport. I think the races he’s had so far, he used his opportunities, he scored points with a car that doesn’t belong in the points so he’s doing everything he can at the moment.
CL: Thank you.
Q: (Jon McEvoy – Daily Mail) Sebastian, Lewis hasn’t yet signed his new deal, though Mercedes say that he probably will. But would you welcome him at Ferrari at all next year?
SV: I don’t know. He hasn’t asked me!
LH: He has a veto so that wouldn’t happen.
SV: I don’t. I wouldn’t mind. Obviously, to be completely honest, I’m very happy with the relationship I have with Kimi.
LH: I think we have a better relationship, do you not think?
SV: I don’t know. Maybe if we get closer. I don’t know. Plus, we just spoke about Charles. I don’t know, you never know what happens. I’m pretty sure that Lewis’s priority lies with Mercedes. Everything else would be a big surprise but you never know, so we will see. Maybe, one day, I don’t know, we will both go somewhere else because we’re old or… I don’t know. Never say never. For me, at the moment, it doesn’t really matter, I’m very happy to be where I am for the time that everyone knows. I know and then we will see what happens.