Sebastian Vettel Q&A: We can't expect miracles

20 Apr 2012

Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull RB8 he calls ‘Abbey’ are slowly but steadily raising their game. The relationship may be taking a bit longer to blossom than in previous years, but perhaps that’s good in the long term. The fact is that Vettel has far from given up on this year’s championship - despite his poor start to the season - and, as always, the reigning champion will do anything in his power to avoid losing this weekend…

Q: Sebastian, what do you expect from this race?

Sebastian Vettel: Since this is a back-to-back race with China, we can certainly not expect miracles, but it is a different track with different conditions. We hope to be able to make a step forward in qualifying, as this is for sure a weak point for us at this stage. With the race pace we are not so far off compared to the other top teams.

Q: How would you rate the difference between last year’s car and this year’s, and the difference in your start to the season?

SV: Generally I would say that I did not get the best start into this season. I was not happy with how the car felt, it was pretty nervous to drive. I think Mark (Webber) also had a similar feeling, as we talk about these things. Especially in qualifying I did not feel as confident as I did last year. So there I see a big weakness that we need to work on. It is not as simple as finding a better set-up for Saturday, as there is much more to it, for example the DRS. We need to improve the car as a whole and then we will be better in qualifying as well. After the Bahrain GP we have a little bit of time before the race in Spain - and also a test in Mugello - and these weeks will be crucial for us in terms of which way we will be going.

Q: Can you explain how Nico Rosberg must feel now after winning his first Formula One Grand Prix?

SV: Of course your first Formula One victory is something special and also a big relief, although all of us drivers have won races before in other series, the result of which was stepping up into Formula One. I was lucky that back when I won my first race with Toro Rosso in Monza I realized that it was not natural to win with a not too competitive car. Back then I was happy to jump back into the car and try it again at the next race.

Q: What was your feeling after today’s two practice sessions?

SV: In general we have done the programme that we planned to do. You cannot compare this to last weekend’s situation in China, as the conditions are so very different, although all the data that we have collected from the Shanghai race helps us a lot to understand our car better. Due to the much higher ambient temperature the tyres are quite slippery, especially if you are on a heavy fuel load. It will be very interesting to see how many times we will have to pit on Sunday.

Q: Today you had a small incident with Michael Schumacher. What happened there?

SV: It was a bit unfortunate, because generally you try to run your laps just by yourself to get a better feeling for the car and then also for the set-up. The result was that both of us threw two laps into the garbage bin, which of course was a shame, but these things happen.

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