Q: Sebastian, right at the very end of the grand prix. I know these guys had a lonely race at the front but always satisfying to pass your team-mate, you did something different on strategy, and to sign off what is going to be a difficult break for you guys to bounce back?
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I mean obviously I was sitting in P4 and had nothing to lose so we stayed out very long in the first stint and then just hoped that the soft would last until the end, and it did. I think it was the fastest tyre at the end so we were able to close the gap. We had one opportunity, which I took, so happy to get some champagne now and to cool down. Yeah, we couldn’t go the pace with these two; that was quite clear the whole weekend, so lots of work ahead of us. I think it’s good now for everyone to get a break, the guys have been working very, very hard. We need maybe to charge our batteries and then the battle continues. There will be tracks that we will be better for us but still, overall we need to get stronger.
Q: With Spa and Monza coming up after the summer break you guys have got to be favourites for that with your straight-line speed.
SV: Yeah, I don’t know what other people will do in terms of updates on power unit and the engine side, so we’ll see. Obviously on paper they look better of for us. But yeah, still we know we have margin with the car. As you said it will be a busy break for us. I don’t think anyone’s mind can rest in the two weeks, so maybe we come up with some good ideas for the second half.
Q: Sebastian, strategy played a significant part in your race as well. How tough was it to get the distance on that first set of medium tyres?
SV: Very tough. I think they were in very poor condition at the end. I was happy we tried. Obviously we tried to hang in there. I think we stayed out another 10 or 15 laps after Charles pitted, just to try to do something different, maybe hope for a safety car, but to be honest by then obviously the top two were sort of gone anyways. It was really for the sake of trying something different, which looked very distant to ideal when we had the stop and I came out but then I just tried everything I had and got one chance in the end. In the end it’s not a big deal, third or fourth for the team, it’s still the same. The big picture for today is that we were not quick enough and not able to follow them right from two laps into the race.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriera della Sera) Sebastian, given the hotter temperature did you expect from your car. Is it now a step back in the performances?
SV: No, I think the temperatures were fine. It was quite warm, the track was near 50 degrees as well so I don’t think so. I think we saw our limits yesterday. We got a confirmation today, so I don’t think it’s a step back, we had some bits, it was a small step forward but what it shows is that it’s not enough. It’s important that the mood inside the team remains positive, which is the case. I think everybody knows what we are lacking. Obviously we are very competitive on the straights – yesterday 6 or 7kph faster at the end of the straight compared to Red Bull and also Mercedes – but obviously we are losing quite a lot in the corners. There were some tracks where efficiency is more important, this is a track where inefficiency pays off, so whatever you have in terms of downforce is positive. That’s where we are lacking performance and in the race I think it shows even more because you are sliding and then I think we are going through the tyres faster. So not to our advantage. We have seen that as well in recent weeks, so in a way not a surprise but as I said we need to keep our head down and do the work.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – F1.com) Max, at the beginning you were only two-tenths on average slower than Lewis. Then from lap 61, 62, 63 more than 2s. So the tyre disappeared completely? And Sebastian, in spite of what you said to us, that you didn’t expect much from the team here, before coming – did you expect more than sixty seconds the difference between you and the winner?
SV: I think some tracks you know maybe suit you, some maybe less. Despite that I think I was fairly open-minded and you know, you don’t want to accept that. So I tried everything to prove the opposite. But looking now, after yesterday, we simply didn’t have the pace of those two in particular. So there’s obviously work for us to be done. We have room to improve, in the corners is where we’re lacking. With that obviously comes the advantage on the straight, one goes with the other. But, for sure, if we could make a trade, then we would go for it. We’ve been adding small bits to the car this weekend. They were working but obviously not big enough to really get close on a track like this. There might be tracks coming up next, especially with Spa and Monza that might be better for us – but in the end our ambition is to really force things to happen, be in control of the race. Where we are now, we’re quite far away from that. So, yeah, I think the spirit is good though. The team is willing to give everything they have, continue to give everything they have. And that’s all we can do right now.
Q: (Tom Jackson – City Press) Question for all three of you. The lack of meaningful running we saw on Friday afternoon went some way to us seeing the variation in strategy that we did today that allowed you to put on fresh tyres and go for the win and things like that. Would you, in the future, be happy to have less running earlier in the weekend, as drivers getting less track time, if it meant we got more unpredictability later on Sunday?
SV: No, I actually like driving, so it would be quite bad to get rid of some. I don’t think it’s a lot of driving anyway. We do a lot of races but overall I don’t think we drive very much. So, it would be a pity, I think. If you want to address the racing then there’s other things to focus on other than adding or taking away a practice session.
Q: (Péter Vámosi – Racing Line) Sebastian, you will become a father again, and with maximum respect to your personal life, can you tell us if you’re waiting (inaudible) girl and if a boy, will you be happy if he would chose your job as a racing car driver?
SV: Well, I don’t like to talk about my private life so thank you, but I think we will leave it there.
Q: (Dániel Májer – GP Hirek.hu) Now the summer break has started, the first part of the season is over so could you please rate your own performance from one to ten, one is the worst, ten is the best and explain briefly why you give yourself that mark?
SV: Five, not happy with the first half. I think I struggled here and there to really get on top of the car. I think we’ve been trying a lot of things so fair enough. Obviously we wanted to squeeze out more so you’re always looking for more but I feel I can do a better job in the second half. And five is my number, so take five.
LH: So that’s the first half of the season, yeah? I’d say like 8.9, 8.8.
SV: Go ten, man. Go for it, who cares?
LH: If it wasn’t for the last one, the last race, it would be a little bit higher. I think the good thing is always to score yourself a little bit lower so you’ve more to work on. For sure, it’s been the best start of the season that I think we’ve ever had as a team and I think it’s one of the best seasons that I’ve had personally to start off, but there are areas that we can continue to work on. That’s the great thing about this sport, you know, no matter how many years and days you race there are always areas you can improve on. So let’s see if we can try and up that into the nines or try to get to the tens in the second half of the season.
MV: I don’t rate myself in numbers.
SV: What do you do instead? Letters? Or…
MV: No, I hate putting a number on it because it reminds me of school as well, which is not that long ago. I’m always quite critical and I think it always can be better. I’ll never be satisfied. I think it’s been very positive and I’ve had good results but there are always things to work on.
SV: … a number man!
MV: No I don’t.
SV: We did it.
MV: Yeah, I know but… I don’t know, I think it’s… First of all, I cannot rate myself like that.
LH: Why not, you’ve done a good job man?
MV: I know, but… I don’t know. I find it a bit weird to say an eight or…
Q: Lewis, how would you rate Max if you gave him a number?
LH: I don’t remember all the races that you’ve done other than the last three or four. You could say he’s in the high nines over the last few races but I can’t remember how it went before.
MV: I’ve had a lot of fourths, P3 and then three times fourth. P5, P3… too many P3, P4.
LH: It’s easier to rate yourself because you often remember how many mistakes you’ve made, when you’ve done good, when you’ve kind of been under par and he’ll know whether he’s been on par or below par. I think today he drove exceptionally as he has particularly in the past three or four races so if that continues he’s going to continue to operate in the high nines towards tens.
MV: Nobody’s perfect. No, it’s never perfect…
LH: It’s like an impossible number to get.
LH: It’s a hard one to get to.
Q: Sebastian, final thoughts on Fernando? Would you like to see him back?
SV: I don’t mind. I don’t know why… I don’t think he never really liked me. I don’t think we really had a… I don’t mind him. I respect him for what he achieved and for what he can do on track. I don’t know. I guess he’s bored if he has time to write these things. So bring him back, I don’t mind.