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GP Week : Issue 111
Two from two might suggest it’s going to be a runaway for the German – but as he explains, it – and racing – now isn’t quite that simple 5 Minutes with ... sebastiAn vettel GPWEEK: Sebastian, what a start to the season. It’s four wins in a row if we count last year as well... SEBASTIAN VETTEL: don’t know. I don’t count. I think it is better not to. Yeah, very good result. I was very pleased with yesterday’s result especially as we knew going into qualifying it will be tight and we expected similar in the race so the start was very important. Again thanks to the boys, thanks to the team. I think it shows how – I mean we had some bad experience two years ago so we don’t need to do that again –important KERS is and it saved our life today at the start. The only time you did seem to lose a little bit of time was to Lewis in the second stint. Did you have a problem with the tyres? Not really. He pitted earlier than Nick and earlier than us and I think he went to another set of options after his first stop. I think we were stopping at the right time in the first stint but tried to push probably a bit longer for the rain whereas he came in and that one lap can make three to four seconds difference. Naturally he caught up and then I was just trying to look after the tyres and look after the gap. He was closing in three-tenths a lap at this stage but we again tried to push that stint as far as we could so I wasn’t worried when he was catching up these couple of laps. Halfway through the race, your engineer asked you not to use KERS any more. First of all, what was the problem and secondly it seemed from that moment on you were half a second quicker per lap? That didn’t work, then! Yes, correct, at some stage he told me not to use KERS, then we activated it again. I don’t know what was the problem. I think it’s very difficult to read the true pace. At some stage, in the third stint, I think, so my last stint on options, I was lapping a second a lap quicker than Lewis for two or three laps, I think. At that stage, I don’t think I used KERS, I think that’s the time you are talking about. But surely, I can assure you that not running KERS, for us, is a disadvantage. With so much chopping and changing in the order, due to the new tyres, it was hard to follow what was going on... Racing has changed. I think the big secret is to be on top of your tyres all the time. If you told everyone that on lap 11 or lap nine for instance, please go as fast as you can, it would probably look a little bit different. On the other hand, you try naturally togoasfastasyoucanbutalsoat the same time try to look after your tyres, trying to predict what is going to happen. Obviously, you know strategy- wise what is your sort of plan, how many laps you need to achieve etc etc. There are a lot of tactics going on. Sometimes you’re holding back, other times you’re pushing flat out, so, therefore, I think the gaps between the cars, how quick people go, who’s quickest on whatever lap might change quicker than what we are used to seeing. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons, from my point of view. Your fortunes seem to have changed from the beginning of last year. Does that change your approach going into the third round? No difference. Obviously, there’s a long, long way to go. I don’t have to tell you, from the experience that I have: ask Jenson, two years ago, how important it is to have a good start to the season. Ask Michael. I think he had a couple of good starts to the season. Every point you can take on board is important and how important, we’ve seen the last couple of years where the championship has been decided by not much, only a few points, so every point you can take, the better it is. For what we did in Australia, and what we did here, we can be very proud. We have worked very hard and we have a very strong package, but that’s it. Tomorrow, we focus on the next race. I’m sure the boys are very happy but they are already packing up and getting ready for the next one so step by step: there’s a long long way to go, a lot of things can change. We’ve seen within 10 days how the pace can vary. It was much tighter here than in Australia. Some people were already talking of brutal dominance or whatever. I tried not to read anything and we came here and it was completely different. That’s just two races in. I don’t think I need to explain how many things can change. Look at last year. I think Fernando is a very good example. People wrote him out of the championship, he came back, then they wrote him off again, he came back and he was the favourite going into the last race. It will be very similar this year, I guess. 18