Belgian GP · F1 2018

FIA Post Qualifying Press Conference – Belgium (SV Quotes Only)

getpreview (1)TRACK INTERVIEWS

Q: Well done, enjoy the moment. Seb, it looked like Ferrari had the edge. Lewis thought that in dry running maybe he would have had the pace, but to me it looked like in dry running it was going to be a Ferrari front-row lock-out, but that rain suddenly changed everything. Was there much more left?

Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I think so. I think we didn’t time it great. Look, in these conditions it can be anything. You might as well take second from where we are. I think we had the pace today for pole but we’ll never find out; obviously Q3 was a bit different. I think the gap was quite big, so deserved for Lewis to get the pole, but tomorrow I’m quite sure we have good pace in the car, also for the race, so looking forward to that.

Q: Just when you mention timing. It looked like as if there was a little bit of… I don’t want to say confusion, but uncertainty…

SV: It was confusion! When all of a sudden it starts to rain like this, from a team point of view you have to manage two cars and Kimi was rushing to get back out and then in the end, now you look, it’s sunshine and it’s nearly dry again. I didn’t also know what to do, I had a bit of traffic, then I had the track drying up and I wanted to save a bit of tyres, and I had a bit of traffic with Esteban in front, and then you know that any lap could be the lap but equally you know the lap will be at the end if it continues to dry up. Yeah, maybe I was also not as calm as can be in the car and in the end happy with second, first row for tomorrow and we have strong pace, so anything can happen.


Q: Sebastian, Lewis says the rain was a friend of his, you were fastest in all three practice sessions, Ferrari, as a team, in the dry, do you think the rain took qualifying a little bit away from you today?

SV: Maybe. We don’t know, we’ll never get the answer of Q3 in the dry, simply because it wasn’t dry. Like that, obviously it didn’t help. It was a bit strange, not easy to get your eye in and so on. It was a weird… it’s not rain, it’s not dry, it’s something in between. I knew that all of the laps don’t matter but the last one, so I was pushing, because you also don’t know whether you will have a red flag or somebody loses it in these conditions, very likely. So I stayed on track and everything was fine, but I never closed the lap but the last one. Obviously it was a bit chaotic and not great from a management point of view, I think. You don’t know how much it’s going to dry up and if there’s more rain coming, but I don’t feel we put everything together in the last lap. We ran out of battery and that was quite costly for nearly the whole lap and yeah, I just think it wasn’t a nice ending to a great qualifying up to that point. I mean, very exciting with these cars. Even in the damp conditions in the end it’s quite impressive, you know, you do Eau Rouge and you don’t have to downshift, you do it in eighth gear and it’s sort of flat even if it’s damp and you’re on intermediates. So great fun but obviously not very rewarding when you know that you could have done a bit better, but we start in second now, which puts us in a good place, and tomorrow we have a long race. We have a car to fight, a car to overtake so it should be good fun tomorrow.

Q: (Jerome Pugmire – AP) Question for Sebastian. You said moments after the qualifying “maybe I wasn’t as calm as I could be.” What was that referring to? Was it because of the rain or something to do with your mindset?

SV: No, I think we had a wobble, obviously, I guess everybody had in these conditions, swapping tyres. I think there was a bit of miscommunication, I was stuck in the pitlane for a while. In the end that didn’t matter but it was just not as calm as I think it could have been. After that, well, looking back it’s always easy in these sessions but as I said the lap that mattered was the last one. Before it was nearly irrelevant, other than keeping your tyres warm. But that you don’t know. You don’t know whether the rain increases again. The laps that I had before also I couldn’t close due to traffic. So, I knew that if I closed them the next lap will be compromised but the next lap will be drier… so what do you do? I think, as I said, it didn’t feel as if I got everything out for various reasons and therefore it was a bit of a scrappy session. But in the end, if it’s scrappy like that, you also saw the others not putting enough fuel in until the end, so it can be a lot worse and taking that into account, I think second is alright.

Q: (Christian Menath – Question for Seb. You said you ran out of battery in the last lap. It looked a bit like in the penultimate lap at the Bus Stop chicane you went a bit wide to have full throttle on the main straight, so usually you know when you run out of battery a bit earlier – so why did you do it and why didn’t you put it all for the penultimate lap then?

SV: If it’s that easy, maybe you should drive the car then you know everything! As I said, you try to close the lap before, you also try to get your eye in, stay on top of the track, and yeah, the way we set up normally it was fine to run until the end but I surprised myself when I crossed the line and saw that the battery was quite low – which then was very costly. But, y’know… You’re absolutely right, in the end we should have managed better as a team – but in these conditions, could have been a red flag in the last lap and then it doesn’t matter. I always try to open a gap in the last sector, last corner and slow down, charge the car – but obviously it wasn’t enough for the end, so we got caught up.

Seb, your thoughts on Esteban’s performance?

SV: Well, I think from the outside it’s always difficult to judge but I think he’s doing everything right. I think it’s very good for him to get this qualifying session under the belt and get the car in P3 where it doesn’t belong. I think that shows enough. Also, in a session like that where it can be quite chaotic and you can easily do a mistake, to keep your head together was crucial. That’s what he did. Then, I think, unfortunately it’s our times, a new guy comes in and he’s the superhero, then another guys comes in and he’s the superhero, then another guy comes in and then he’s the superhero, and then another guy comes in and he’s the new superhero. And by that time, the first guy is easily forgotten, even though he’s doing a very, very good job but not really considered any more, as in talked about and written about, so that’s why I think it’s good for him to have this result today, and he should get mentioned. Yeah, I think it’s his day and obviously for us, you sort-of expect to be there. We’ve got the cars and the consistency but, as I said, whatever the car is called he’s driving now, it doesn’t belong in P3 and he managed to do so, so well done, that should also be considered for someone signing him next year.

Q: (Bart Van Dooijeweert – To all of you: it will be the coldest Grand Prix of the year, temperature around 15 degrees. How will it influence the race and tyre strategy?

SV: Well, it’s a bit easier, it doesn’t get so hot in the cockpit but it’s still summer. I don’t know the weather forecast for tomorrow but what I heard it should be dry but then it’s Spa so anything can happen, a bit like Nurburgring, it’s not far from here. No, it doesn’t change much. As I say, it’s probably a bit nicer. It’s difficult to tell how it would this weekend with 30/35 degrees because we didn’t have it. I think it’s been like this the whole weekend.


Source: FIA 

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