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Hungarian GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
26/07/2014

Congratulations Nico. It was a dramatic qualifying session wasn't it, what with the rain, going off at the first corner etc. What was it like from the cockpit?
Nico Rosberg: Yeah, quali three was really a big challenge, because the track was just changing all the time in the beginning and especially starting the lap with that first set of options, I was the first one to arrive in the first corner. It was just difficult to judge: how much risk can I take, how late can I brake? It was very, very wet, so I did take it a bit easy and managed to avoid crashing. For Kevin? I guess... It was just massively difficult down there and unpredictable. That can happen. From then on it was easier. It just started drying again and especially my last lap, I really managed to nail it.

And a really big margin as well. Well done. Sebastian, at one point it looked as though you nearly had him, you looked as though you were nearly going to be on pole. Where has the speed come from this weekend?
Sebastian Vettel: I think probably the nature of the track suits us a bit more - less straights. I think historically we've always had a competitive car around here. It seems that we are a little bit closer but obviously Nico's final lap was very good so the gap was again quite big - bigger than we were hoping for, because as you mentioned if we get everything perfect and Nico maybe has a bit of a wobble, we can have a crack, but it didn't happen. They did a god job. Obviously Q3 was a mixed bag, it could have been anything, so therefore with the more dry conditions at the end to get second was the optimum.

Well done, thank you. Valtteri, once again in the top three. You weren't expecting to be quite so quick at this circuit. Is this a bit of a surprise? Well done by the way.
Valtteri Bottas: Thank you, yeah. I think maybe a little bit of a surprise. We knew that Red Bull are going to be really quick here and also Ferrari and obviously Mercedes like always. Like Seb said the nature of the track in theory is not the best for us, but we've been able to work well as a team to bring some updates, which really worked well. Obviously we're still missing some grip compared to some other cars but today was, I think, a really good day from us. Third and sixth, we have a good chance also here to get some really good points.

Now Nico, tomorrow in the race itself, there's the possibility of rain again, your main championship rival and team-mate starts right at the back, what are your thoughts?
NR: Yeah, that's been a pity for the team. Not a good thing definitely and we need to keep on working on that. That's reliability. Also, I would be prefer to be out there battling with Lewis. That would give me the maximum adrenalin rush. Like this... of course, I'm very, very happy but it wasn't a gloves off battle with Lewis and that takes away a little bit of the ecstatic happiness. But anyway, tomorrow's still going to be a long race and a challenging race, especially with the weather coming, so still all to play for.

Press Conference

Nico, yesterday you said you were a bit surprised you were so quick, and you needed to find the time. Did the track come to you or did you managed to find the time, basically, through adjustments, modifications to the car...
NR: That was two opposing statements there... 'you were quick but you needed to find the time...'

That's what you said... you were surprised you were so quick but you still needed to find the time. This is a quote!
NR: Never believe what the newspapers are writing!

This is from your own press release...
NR: Oh, OK, never believe what the press officers are writing! No. I've been surprised that we've been able to be so quick this weekend. I think our engine is definitely very, very strong and here the engine doesn't come into play so much, so maybe the gap would be a little bit smaller but in fact it's as big as anywhere really here and that's been great to see. Really cool. It just goes to show how good our car is also.

Did you change much overnight?
NR: It's been an ongoing process, yeah. I mean, with FRIC not being on the car it's still finding my way and finding our way because it does impact the car a lot, especially on a track like here in Budapest. A lot of long corners and fast, flowing corners - but really got there and I'm pleased with where we are now.

Sebastian, tomorrow, can you take the fight to Mercedes? I guess that's the question everyone wants to know.
SV: It depends. I think we are here to fight, we want to do that. If it rains, I think we definitely have a better chance than in normal, standard dry conditions but even then, I think we were closer this weekend. Long run pace, yeah, looked a lot better on Friday compared to them. Obviously hard to judge how much they were sandbagging or running different modes on Friday. So, it should be closer than in the last couple of races, definitely. I think we can have a good fight with the Williams, which seems to be out of reach the last couple of races.

So the question is to Valtteri, can you be second? Can you even be first?
VB: I think, y'know, if nothing special is going to happen, first is really difficult. Still Mercedes is ahead - but you never know. We need to aim for that, always, and aiming for that we can get good results. Obviously here, tomorrow, it's going to be a really close fight, like Seb said, with Red Bull and us. So we need to see how the pace is. If it's enough, keeping them behind, at least one of them, that would be good.

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