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Bahrain GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
13/03/2010

Sebastian, the testing did not tell us very much. You have picked up where you left off but how big a surprise is pole position to you?
Sebastian Vettel: A big surprise. I mean in winter testing no-one really knew where we were. Of course it was clear that there were four teams pretty strong, but close to each other. To be honest yesterday it was a very tough day for us and we had not as much running as we were hoping for. Another long night especially for the mechanics, not a lot of sleep, some tired faces, but everyone was still keen this morning to push. I knew we had a great car but first of all you have to get it together. I have to say practice this morning and qualifying went pretty smoothly. Obviously I am very, very happy to be on pole, so thanks to the team. As I said the boys didn't get much sleep in the last month with a lot of testing in a short amount of time. To come here first time everyone really shows how strong they are and to be on top is definitely a very, very nice feeling.

Felipe, what comeback for you from injury. Tell us about how you feel today about your journey back here and your performance today.
Felipe Massa: Well, first of all congratulations to Sebastian he did a great job for the first race of the season. I think it is very nice to be back here racing competitively and in a good direction. I feel very happy to be back after such a difficult time. I was watching the races on television and was pretty excited but it is much better to be sat in the car. I prepared myself in a good direction, testing, driving go-karts, everything was great to be back in the car for racing and if you look at what happened last season with us I think it is a good start to the season for us. After a difficult season where we finished in the last race and where we are starting the season in the first race is always great for the team, great for the guys who did a very tough job inside the factory since a long time, so I feel really positive to start on the first race second. We are second and third and for the team that is really great and we will see how we doing in the race. Red Bull and also some other teams are really strong, so the race will be very difficult but I am very happy to be here fighting for the top.

Fernando, the margins at the end of qualifying were quite a bit bigger than they were at the beginning. What do you put that down to and how do you feel about where you have ended up?
Fernando Alonso: Well, I think the difference is difficult to read. With such a long lap like this one and with the conditions we were facing, with this very warm temperature, I think it is very difficult to complete that long lap with no mistakes and not any problems. I think the times are related to how the gap was as well and about the competitiveness of the car. I think in different parts of the weekend we saw times that were very tight and times that were split like they are now but I think it is okay. From our point of view we are obviously extremely happy with the result of this weekend so far. The race is tomorrow. We cannot forget this but so far everything has been great and we will keep going as we did all winter testing with a very strong car and I think competitive in all conditions, qualifying and race, and to be second and third as Felipe said is a great achievement for everybody in the factory at Maranello and the job they did from November last year until now was flat out every day and every night and the first result of the season is very, very positive, so this is a big boost for the team to carry on.

Sebastian, you start the race on the same tyres you qualified on. Just give us a bit of inkling into your thinking on that?
SV: I think we all don‘t know really what will happen tomorrow. It could be exciting. It could be very boring. That is what I hope for. That is what all of us like to be more or less where we start. I think it is a very difficult situation to be in. The first part of the race will be crucial but on the other hand it is not a big secret that you need to take care of your tyres and the question mark is what you do with your strategy. A lot of things unknown I have to say, so all of us we don't know what to expect tomorrow.

Felipe, how do you feel about the race performance of the Ferrari compared to what you can do over a single lap in qualifying? Are you stronger in the race, do you think?
FM: I think we did a good job yesterday to prepare the long distance in both tyres. We also swapped. I was on one tyre and Fernando was on the different tyres to do the long run. I think we are in the right direction, so let's see how the first race is going to be. It is the first race of the season and we need to understand so many things which will happen in the race, on the strategies, let's wait and see but I am really optimistic.

Fernando, it's a long season but is this how you expect it to start?
FA: Well, you never know how a new championship will start with a big change in the regulations. For me, also changing teams, you never know, but obviously at the moment everything has been perfect and this is a very good start and I think now in equal conditions, let's say as quali with low fuel these days show the potential of the cars, so for both Ferraris to be in the top three means we have a nice car. But it is a very long championship, 10 months of developing the car, but it is very important to start scoring points from the first race. If not you are always behind and you need to close the gap and this is not ideal if you want to fight for the world championship and we are here to fight for the World Championship and this is the first step, so let's see what happens tomorrow.

Press Conference

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