Q & A with Sebastian Vettel
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, September 6th 2008, 09:21 GMT|
Q. How do you rate your performance so far this weekend?
Sebastian Vettel: Friday was an interesting day I would say. Obviously the weather was the most important factor. They said that it was going to rain in the afternoon and they forecast quite big rain. We have only seen a few drops. The circuit was a bit slippery and it was quite hard to drive but it was drying quickly.
Fortunately we had a couple of laps in the dry because in the morning I was not 100 percent comfortable in the car. But then we made some changes and therefore it was good to have some laps in the dry in the afternoon as well, so I felt much better towards the end of the session.
Q. Do you think top ten in qualifying is possible?
SV: It is going to be very tough and very tight. Obviously Spa is a circuit that demands a good driver and a good car, so you need to have a good package and do a very good job. I think the big teams may have an advantage because they have quite a competitive car, but to be there in the top ten is not a lot of positions to fight for in the end. We are trying hard; we had a good and successful day on Friday.
We have to analyse what the others did and then roughly we know how our chances are for qualifying. Anything close to the top ten or in the top ten would be great - but for sure the big question mark remains, the weather conditions change every hour here so it will be difficult to forecast what conditions we will face in qualifying.
Q. But you drive so well in the wet?
SV: I am always trying to do my best. I cannot promise to be fast enough but I can promise that I will push like hell.
Q. Do you feel as on top of the set-up as you did in Valencia?
SV: Obviously Valencia is special because it is a street circuit. We started there with low grip also yesterday, but obviously it was a totally new experience for everybody. I had the opportunity in the afternoon to do a few laps in the dry and made some changes, not big ones, but they made a big difference.
It is a lot about confidence, once you feel confident you feel the car, get rhythm and the change in lap time is very big - either in the right direction or the wrong direction. I am quite happy because we found an improvement and we will see. In Valencia I was happy as well, we cannot always expect results like Valencia but we are trying hard to repeat or even top them.
Q. Has Valencia given the team a lift and confidence?
SV: Yes. I think so, but not only Valencia. Also other races this year. We had a bad start. Since Monaco I think we are doing a great job, the team has made a big progress – especially when I look at the team from last year and this year. We are more or less the same people.
I think everybody is now extremely motivated, the atmosphere is fantastic and they are trying to achieve something. It is not just that we are here to take part, we want to achieve something and we don't have to hide any more. That is the biggest difference.
Q. Was the introduction of the new car a critical thing?
SV: Monaco was very special with the conditions there. It was a wet race, it was all about staying on the circuit, we didn't know the car as well – or as good as we do now, but for sure that kind of result in Monaco gave us a big boost for the next couple of races. Since Monaco we have made quite a few steps, we had some new parts for Magny-Cours, and we are finding our way with the car. There is no real secret, no big change since Magny-Cours. We just know how to play with it.
Q. Toro Rosso gives the impression of a very close-knit team that is able to react quickly. How important is that, and how big a role does Giorgio Ascanelli play in that?
SV: Giorgio is a key person in the whole structure, as well as Franz (Tost) and Gerhard (Berger). He is taking a lot of decisions and he has quite some experience, that helps us as a young team a lot, and me as a young driver. I learned quite a lot and there is still a lot to learn from him. I think we can say we are able to address the problems much more precise than in the past.
Q. You are testing the Red Bull later this month. What is the aim of that test, and how much are you thinking of next year?
SV: I don't know yet 100 percent, but I think I will have a day in the Toro Rosso there too, before going to Singapore. That is quite important. It will be the first touch with Red Bull, working with the guys and we will see. Obviously my focus is all on this year, which is why I wanted to have a last day in Jerez to shakedown in our car again with our boys before launching for the last couple of races.