(Conducted by Martin Brundle)
Q: Congratulations Sebastian, your 52nd victory in Formula 1, moving you ahead of the great Alain Prost, and a very important victory. Take us through the first lap, that crazy first lap, up to Les Combes.
Sebastian VETTEL: Well… yeah, I mean… more wins than Alain. I think… wow. Sorry. First lap: yeah, I had a great start and then I’m not sure Lewis saw me. He pushed me quite far to the left, but I knew my chance would be later on, up the hill. I think I timed it quite well. Obviously last year I was always ending up short, so yeah, it seems like it was better this year. Obviously we had a little bit less wing. Timing is crucial and I managed that perfectly I thought but then the Force India came as well, so… But as soon as I was ahead I was quite relieved. Obviously with the safety car it was the other way round. So I thought ‘well, I got that done, and now I get the safety car’. But I had a very good re-start; I had a very good exit out of the first corner, kept it clean, it was tricky with the tail wind braking for the first turn. After that a very smooth race. Lewis pushed very hard, especially in the first stint, towards the end he was very fast. In the second stint I could turn everything down a little bit and control the pace. But yeah, a great weekend.
Q: I love your answers; they’re like an essay!
SV: Isn’t that what you asked for!
Q: They’re perfect. Thank you! But then you had the pace after that to just hold him where you needed to.
SV: Yeah, also going through traffic I think I was a bit fortunate; I got them on the straights, so I didn’t lose much time. But I could see he wasn’t really pushing the last 15 laps, so I could relax a little bit more. It was quite tricky. I really enjoyed the race. To get a lot of time on this track is always very nice, in a great car even better, so now obviously looking forward to next week.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
And Seb, is it just engine performance?
SV: Well, I hope so. I hope we have more power. That’s what we’re working for. If that’s the case then obviously well done to our engine guys. I think we’ve been making progress, especially the last two years, so, that’s good news. I think this feels pretty straightforward. We ran a little bit less wing, were faster in sector one, sector three and sector two was a little bit slower. But I wouldn’t disagree that this year in terms of power we are a lot closer than we were last year. I think last year we didn’t have a chance here, despite maybe running less wing – or more wing. It’s good to see that we’re making progress.
Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Lewis and Sebastian, obviously the restart presented different challenges for the pair of you: Lewis’s chance of attack, Seb you needed to worry about defending. Can you just talk us through the sort of approach mentally to that restart and then how you handled it, obviously into La Source and down the Kemmel straight?
SV: Yeah, I think it was one of my worst restarts initially to surprise Lewis. I think he was sharp and obviously I knew that I had nothing to fear because the safety car lane or where the race basically restarts is not braking for turn 18. Also, when I realised the initial bit that it’s not great, also caught some wheelspin that I didn’t want, but I didn’t want to slow down again to then surprise him again or get a second chance because I don’t think that’s fair. Then I focused on the last corner, the last pair and that worked really well plus turn one where we had some tail wind the whole race so I was making sure I knew where the wind was going and again, got it really right and had a great exit and once I was told the gap, which was around 0.9s exit of turn one, I knew that I should be safe but then you never know with a little bit of headwind up that long straight and obviously looked in the mirror, tried to see him when I could and saw that he wasn’t a threat so I was happy when I went into turn five and stayed ahead.