Q: Keep your head up man. From everyone that sees from the outside you did an outstanding job. Sebastian, you didn’t have an answer to Mercedes today, but the team did a very good reaction and strategy and you managed to get in front of Lewis and he very quickly retook the position.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, well it was tricky, obviously you saw they worked very good together and at the start I had nowhere to go, no tow. Then I think we surprised them with a very good out lap and managed to jump Lewis but at the same time Valtteri was backing off a bit, and then I was struggling in the last sector, so Lewis was close and then had a run into Turn 2. I managed to cover and then I didn’t see him through the left-hander, I wasn’t really sure where he was. I saw that he was somewhere on the outside but then I think you also need to be at some stage fair enough and give room, even if I didn’t want to, but I had to, to make sure that it remains fair, tough or hard but fair, but then he obviously got past. Then, yeah, I think everybody more or less the same pace. I think we were better with the tyres but probably not better in terms of pace. I tried my best then to put pressure on Valtteri but, yeah, I couldn’t get close enough.
Q: Do you think it was the mistake down at Turn 13 that allowed Lewis to get a run on you later in the lap?
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, as I said, obviously Valtteri, as soon as he saw that I was behind, he backed off and I lost like 1.5 seconds to make me run into him, which I didn’t mind initially because I thought I could sneak DRS. But I had a tiny lock-up there and then, as I said, the last two corners were in particular difficult, so Lewis was close and he was on really new tyres, mine were just a lap old but not new. Anyway, it was a good race. I think we were closer today but obviously not the result we wanted.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: Sebastian, your view on the racing with Lewis?
SV: Which part? I think obviously we undercut him which was good. Then I think it was clear that Valtteri was dropping back to make life difficult, I guess, so they played well together as a team. Yeah, then I had a bit of a wobble into 13, lock up and Lewis was quite close so he got DRS down the straight. I saw him coming, it was very difficult to see with the mirrors but I thought I moved before the braking, so I wanted to make sure I covered the inside. Didn’t mean to be – how do you say? – an irritation at any point.
LH: I don’t feel anything… in the heat of the moment, it always feels one way. I’m sure if we watch afterwards you might watch it and say yes, I moved twice.
SV: Then, obviously I had a compromised run out of the second corner, defending my position. Then it was very difficult to see where he was. I couldn’t see him for a very very long time and then just saw his tyres and I knew that he was then somewhere there and I didn’t want to be a complete arse by pushing him into the dirt and potentially into the wall so I wasn’t quite sure where he was and then at some point I had to give in. I thought I could maybe get it back out of turn four but I had to give him the entrance otherwise, you know, at some stage it just becomes silly. Obviously I wasn’t happy when I lost the position but I think we did what we could today. We tried to push very hard, obviously and made the undercut but unfortunately lost the position. After that it was very very difficult. I thought I was a bit faster than Valtteri at certain stages in the race but not enough to get close and at the end of the race I had a lapped car which lost (me) 1.5s and then the gap was too big so there was not much point for two laps, I can’t close three seconds in two laps, not if you are within the same tenth so that was that.
Q: (Rebecca Clancy – The Times) Sebastian, the maths in this championship aren’t in your favour. There are only five races to go. Do you feel this championship is slipping away at all?
SV: To be honest, I go race by race. Obviously I’m clever enough – I wasn’t a genius in maths – but I was clever enough to pay attention to make it up myself but it’s not getting easier if we lose points. Well done to both of them, they played very well together as a team. In their defence, all the questions… obviously I know that you guys love controversy and therefore ask some naughty questions to them as individuals but I think in the position they were in it was a no-brainer what they did today so maybe not all the questions are justified. For us, obviously we tried our maximum. I think there was a slim chance to finish ahead of Lewis. I went through the racing bit this afternoon, so we have to be third and settle with that for today. I still believe in our chances; yes, obviously it’s not getting bigger, as I said, if you finish behind but who knows, it takes one DNF and then all of a sudden things look different – ideally two! – which I’m not wishing on Lewis but you never know what happens, so we need to stay on top of our game which maybe we haven’t been completely this weekend: make sure that from where we are now we focus on winning the last races.
Q: (Leonid Khayremdinov – Red Star) Sebastian, how could you explain the extreme tyre choice of your team for your next race in Japan? You will have ten sets of supersoft; even Mercedes will have only seven. Do you think it’s risky?
SV: We need to push. No I don’t think so. We will see when we get there whether we are right or they are right but I think the last races for us have been quite positive with the choices we made, no regrets really. You should bear in mind that when you make the choice, you are like half a year from the actual race event. I think we should be fine.