Q: Sebastian, third place, I know you’re going to be disappointed with that. You’ve looked in very good shape all weekend, actually, and you were the king of the first sector but it looked like you struggled at the end of the lap?
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I had a mistake on my first run, so I was quite confident that in the second run I could make up for it. But unfortunately there was the double yellow so I had to slow down. So the lap was lost. But yeah, the car is good. Obviously I would have liked to be a bit further up, I think it was possible. But let’s see tomorrow. It’s a long race and I think we have the speed, as all weekend we have been quite quick.
Q: You optimised that in Russia, which was a long run to the first braking zone. Do you still think you can get the business and do well tomorrow?
SV: We’ll see. We hope to have a good start and then take it from there. Obviously it’s a long race, a tough one on brakes, cooling in general, so let’s see. Also with the tyres, I think it will be quite an adventure tomorrow. I think all top six cars opted to start on the medium tyre, so we will see who dares to go the longest. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Q: Sebastian, coming to you: on pole last time out in Suzuka, P3 today. How would you describe your session?
SV: Overall I think it was good. But unfortunately in Q3 on the first run I had a mistake and the second run I was caught out by the yellow flags, so yeah, not ideal. I didn’t peak when it was time to peak in the sessions, especially in Q3. But other than that, the car felt good. I think there was more in hand. Obviously Max was a fair bit faster than us but I think with a clean lap we could have challenged him.
Q: Looking ahead to the race, how big a factor will tyre management be?
SV: Yeah, it will be the most important part of the race. Obviously we’ll see how everything gets going. I think everybody opted to start on the medium tyres. We’ll take it from there. Obviously it’s a long race around here.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Fréd Ferret – l’Equipe) Question for all three of you. Do you think that the first straight line will be as at Sochi and how will you deal with the tow?
MV: Well, just look at the last tow year. I guess that says enough.
CL: Yeah, this time I won’t be starting on pole, second, so hopefully I can take the tow from Max and have an opportunity, but yeah, the start will be important for sure.
SV: Nothing to add.
MV: You will have a mega tow.
SV: We’ll see.
Q: (Abhishek Aggarwal – INDIAinF1.com) Sebastian, as we know at this track, in the whole calendar it’s at the highest elevation above sea-level – 2.5km – Do you think there could be something like the thin air changing strategy for tomorrow’s race – comparing it to other circuits?
SV: Well, it is a big challenge around here because obviously it’s a very demanding track for the car. First of all we lose a lot of downforce despite running all the downforce that we have. So, as Max was saying, the cars are sliding a lot, very difficult to drive. So, that obviously leads on to tyres and tyre management. It will be very difficult to get the tyres to work and make the tyres last. The other one, obviously, with such thin air up here is to make sure you cool all of your components such as brakes, engine, oil. A bit of everything.
Q: (Christian Menath – motorsport-magazin.com) Question for all three of you. Usually you all love the downforce, you all love the cornering speed here, it’s quite different. We will get a presentation of the new regulations next weekend. We don’t know exactly what we expect – but would you be happy to lose a bit of downforce in the future? Because for us as a TV viewer it looks quite spectacular to see the cars sliding a lot in the fast corners.
SV: I think as a one-off it’s nice, so obviously if we lose a lot of downforce for all the tracks it would mean that we lose a lot more up here as well. So, yeah, I think it’s always exciting to have fast cars. I think people also on the grandstand see if the cars are slow, hence, I think the trend to go towards faster cars with the regulations to go with faster cars from ’17 onwards – but I’m sure that we are all ready to go a little bit slower as long as it’s a step forward for all of us in terms of racing. If not, then obviously it’s not really what we want.
Q: Sebastian, do you think you’ll be closer to Red Bull in race trim?
SV: Well, I think we were very close today. Maybe closer than the stopwatch was telling. So, I think it was a match and I hope it’s… I’m quite confident it’s going to be a match as well. Obviously it depends on how the race unfolds but also I would not rule out Mercedes.