Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Suzuka and I have a special relationship

Over the last few months there have been mutterings about Sebastian Vettel’s self confidence and he was even labelled a ‘crash kid’. But on Sunday at Suzuka, Vettel silenced his critics, notching up pole position and a dominant victory all in one day. The Red Bull driver reviews his performance…

Q: Sebastian, a great day for you...
Sebastian Vettel: Yes, today was really, really special for me. To have qualifying and race on one day and ending both occasions at the top of the sheet is quite something! My second victory on this track seems to suggest that the track and I have a special relationship. When the car became lighter towards the end of the race it was just sheer fun to drive. To ‘fly’ up the hill and see the fans left and right - awesome.

Q: How would you analyze the race?
SV: I think the start was crucial. Then came the safety-car phase and after the safety car pulled in it was more of a controlled race - I was always looking to keep the gap to Mark (Webber). My reasoning was that a forward escape would be the wrong thing to do, as if there was another safety car you would have needed an extra bit from the tyres and then you stand there empty handed. With no further incident my plan worked out perfectly!

Q: Did you feel pressure from Webber?
SV: He was running in second and trying to put me under pressure, but for me it was basically about nursing the car and the tyres because until the first stop it was not certain when the tyres would fall off and we made the stop at just the right time. Yes, you could have gone for a couple of more laps. After that we were behind Jenson so I was not pushing at all and just waiting for him to pit. Then I was putting in a couple of fast laps and then I was just carrying the car around. It was not an easy day, but it was nice and controlled.

Q: Suzuka seems to be a lucky place for you. How about a town partnership between Suzuka and your hometown of Heppenheim?
SV: Why not? The saying goes three times lucky - so let’s wait for next year! But coming back to the track, it is a fantastic place to race and if you have such a car - it’s even more fantastic! I have to thank the team and the guys back home in the factory - today this track was ours!

Q: What does your win mean for your championship ambitions?
SV: Well, it never looked better than today so of course the ambitions are there. There is a clear upward trend and if I could win all three remaining races then everything would have worked out perfectly. (Laughs) So there you have a clear direction to go and be assured that we will all do our best to get there.

Q: You must be pretty satisfied with your performance…
SV: Well, there have been attempts to meddle with my self-confidence but you build it up for yourself and it was never in any danger. I guess that with all that happened I had the least amount of problems. Of course you never have to bank on anything and you work hard all season long - only then do success and self-confidence come together.


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