Q: Sebastian, P3 today. I think we can say it’s not over, this weekend, but it’s very difficult from Ferrari’s point of view. Mercedes have come here with some upgrades and you just haven’t had the pace, have you?
Sebastian VETTEL: Not yet. We’ll see, maybe it happens tomorrow. Obviously it was important to get as close as possible to them, and then we’ll see. But it’s true that they have been very quick so we’ll see. Tomorrow is a long race, we’ve seen that the tyres are very important. For today, I think it should have been a bit closer, the gap, but not enough to be a threat. I had a tiny mistake in the last sector. But I knew that I had to improve by half a second, so I had to try. It didn’t work but I’m quite happy. The car felt alright, so that makes me quite positive for Sunday.
Q: It’s a long run down to Turn 2, which is the first braking zone. Do you think you can use the extra power you’ve normally got and equally is it your best chance of getting on top of these two?
SV: I hope so. I just spoke to Valtteri and reminded him of what happened here last year. Maybe we can turn it around; that would be nice. I think it depends on the start, the initial jump, that’s important. Then I think you know where you are and then we see what we can do for the first corner but after that, as I said, it’s a long race. Tricky one, but for sure if there’s a gap we’ll go for it.
Q: Seb, third place today and with the pace that Mercedes’ showed in FP2, FP3 and then earlier in qualifying as well, do you think Ferrari maximised its potential today?
Q: …and in that case, what’s the potential for tomorrow?
SV: Well, we go racing. You never know what’s going to happen. I think… I was joking with Valtteri earlier that he should remember what happened last year where he was third, I was on pole. But you never know. It depends on the start. It depends on so many things. So, we will see. As I said, we will go racing and try to do, obviously, our best. It’s been a bit of a tricky one for us. We didn’t have the pace by quite a big gap, which is a surprise but it is like this and we will fight as much as we can tomorrow.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Livio Oricchio – globoesporte.com) To Sebastian. What’s the main problem in your car? Your tyres don’t reach the temperature? They go over temperature? Or they are normal and you have understeer? Oversteer?
SV: To be honest, I was pretty happy. I think the car was pretty good. The balance was pretty good. I think it peaked in Q3 just the way it should so I think we got everything we could. I had a tiny bit of a mistake because I knew I had half a second to find, not just a couple of hundredths, so should have been two-tenths up on the last lap – but yeah, I was pretty happy with the car. It’s not like there’s a big issue with car balance. I think we reached out full potential today.
Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Question for all three drivers. We’ve seen that the track’s been resurfaced slightly on the approach to Turn One and that means the first row of the grid will definitely start on the new tarmac. Not sure if the second row of the grid gets it. How much has that come up with your discussions with the teams this weekend? Have you talked about it – and do you think it could make any difference off the start tomorrow?
SV: I don’t know. I thought P3 is also just in the range. If not, that’s not good. I think the grip should be a bit higher. I think it’s wrong to resurface just a bit, whether that’s positions one-two-three, or four-five-six, eight-nine-ten, it doesn’t matter. If you resurface something of the grid you should resurface everything. But it is what it is.
Q: And Seb, your thoughts on Ferrari’s form at Singapore compared to here?
SV: Well, I don’t think it’s too different. Obviously in Singapore I think we were looking a bit more competitive until qualifying. Then, for various reasons, we didn’t get a very good session but I think also on Sunday it was true that we didn’t have enough pace. I don’t think anything has happened, to be honest. I think the races that we’ve seen so far have been quite close. I don’t think there was a race where we had really that superior pace in the race. I think it was always a match on Sunday, at best for us. On Saturday I think it’s been one way or the other but yeah, for sure, yesterday we didn’t get a very good feeling but I think today the car was really good and I was quite happy in qualifying. I didn’t have much to complain about but we’re still not quick enough so I think it’s just what we saw today but tomorrow is the race and that’s what we focus on now.
Q: (Valery Kartashev – Racing News Agency) My question is not about qualifying. You know the current situation where we have only two seats available in Formula One and much more young drivers who would like to be a Formula One driver but have no opportunity to do this. And yesterday, Lando Norris actually said that the Formula Two car is quite fun to drive, so maybe they would like to continue to do GP3 or Formula Two but there is one problem. There are no more spectators in the grandstands, so what about if you, instead of giving all the interviews on Thursday, have one race in a Formula Two car so we could see you in the same cars and spectators go to the autodrome and the young drivers could use your result as a benchmark.
SV: Yeah, anything’s better than interviews! I think it would be fun. In the past racing drivers were a lot more all-rounders, they raced in different cars, different categories. Nowadays motor sport has changed, the sport has changed and everything has got more professional, more serious so there’s also not that much time maybe on hand but I think it would be nice to drive more often and talk less.