Q: Well done, congratulations. Sebastian, congratulations on your podium, your first podium here, but I guess this is a reflective moment as we see Lewis Hamilton celebrating his championship. You pushed him hard all year but in the end it just didn’t work out.
Sebastian VETTEL: No. Yeah, obviously not an easy day, but well deserved, congrats to him and his team, they did a superb job all year, so I think we need to stand there, accept that and say congratulations. Obviously I would loved to hang in there in a little bit longer, but it wasn’t the case.
Q: You had the car at various points this year; you had some fantastic victories, where do you think championship started to slip away?
SV: Oh David, I don’t know if I answer that question now. Let me say congratulations to Lewis.
PRESS CONFERENCE – TOP THREE DRIVERS
Q: (Francisco Alcala – Global Com Group) What did you say to Lewis after the race?
SV: I’m not a big sharing person. I congratulated him, I think he drove superbly all year and was the better one of us two. So I told him well deserved and to enjoy it – number five is something incredible. Mainly congratulated him and asked him to keep pushing for next year, I need him at his best to fight him again
Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport-Magazin.com) A question for Seb. If I remember correctly last year, after the championship was decided here, you were really down, and today again, even if it was for us all a bit expected it was going to happen. Can you explain why you are down when the championship is decided?
SV: It’s a horrible moment. You put a lot of work in and OK, I get your point that you saw it coming. I did pay attention in maths so I could make the numbers, but still, you hang in there as long as you can. I’ve had three times now in my life that sort of disappointment, where you realise that you can’t win the championship any more and those are not happy days. You reflect not on one moment but the whole year: the work that goes in, the effort that goes in from the end of the last year until now and yeah, I think we had our chances. We used most of them, some we did not. But in the end we were not good enough.
Q: (Jens Nagler – Bild) A question for Seb. Is this a moment to let sink in the disappointment or is it already the first moment to bounce back?
SV: No. I don’t want to make a big deal about today. As with the question before, you could see it sort of coming, but for sure it’s different. I focus on my own, I focus on my car. It’s what you work for the whole year and when you are not anymore in control, it’s obviously not a great moment but I think it’s normal as well to have that moment of disappointment and that you are a bit down but I think I will be as strong as I can be in two weeks’ time heading to Brazil. Because that’s what my team deserves and that’s what all the guys at home in Maranello deserve and all on top all the people that have supported me, Kimi, myself and the whole team, all the tifosi all year. Maybe for now I’m not the happiest guy, but in two weeks’ time I’m allowed to step into the car that I always dreamt of driving, so plenty of things to be happy about.
Q: (Julien Billotte – AutoHebdo) Question to both Ferrari drivers. You’re still in for the Constructors’ Championship. Could it help you make up for the loss of the drivers title?
SV: Yeah, as I said, I think in two weeks time we have the possibility to show once again what we can do and obviously we race for the team and as long we keep on catching, that’s good. We need some more points but I think last weekend was good for us, this weekend was good for us – so hopefully we can continue the last two races like that.
Q: (Alfredo Lopez Ledesma – MomentoGP) Question for Seb. This 2018 has been your most difficult year in Formula One?
SV: Maybe. I don’t know. I need to think about it but in some regards, definitely yes. Yes it was definitely different to other years but nevertheless I think we shouldn’t neglect the fact that we had a very strong package, we were able to win races, we’re not in contention any more for the Drivers’ Championship but we can fight for the Constructors’. So, even if it has been a difficult year, I think still it’s been a good year for us as a team. We’re still improving – but certainly there were also things that became apparent, needs addressing, needs fixing in order to do that final step that we are looking for.
Q: (Victor Macin Serrano – ESPN) Question for Seb. Germany or Monza? Which moment is, in your opinion, is the defining moment of the season?
SV: None of the two, to be honest. For me it was more Singapore. I think, yeah, from Singapore onwards we just didn’t have the pace to keep up with Mercedes for a couple of races and then obviously some other things happened on top that didn’t help and we couldn’t score the points due to mistakes that we did, mistakes that I did. So it didn’t help. I can’t be too hard on myself with what happened in Germany because it’s not like… I’ve done much bigger mistakes this year but obviously it was the most costly one. Unfortunately it’s part of racing: when you push you might be sometimes pushing a little bit too hard. I chose the wrong corner as well. But anyway, it’s behind me and I’m not really thinking about that too much. I consider it part of racing and it happens to others as well. So, but yeah, seeing that struggled in the last couple of weeks, just for pace and speed was probably more defining than that.