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Italian GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
10/09/2011

Sebastian, pole number 10 this year but by half-a-second in the end after it had looked like it might be a little closer than that.
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, we thought it would be much closer than that. I had a bit of an improvement in the first run for my second lap. We weren't sure whether the tyres worked best in the first lap or second lap, but then I did a bit of a mistake and we stayed out and focussed only on the last run we had. I knew I had a bit more time in the car. The first lap I did on my own without anybody and on the second run I think I had one or two cars ahead down the road, which always helps you in Monza. But we would not have thought of going on pole by that big margin today on a track which, to be fair, the last two years did not suit us. This year I have to say the car is very good here. The balance is perfect even though for most of the people except these two [the McLarens] we don't carry a lot of wing around and on low downforce it is very slippery, but still we are quite quick in all three sectors and I was able to put it together. I am very happy today also considering that we have quite a racy approach so I am very pleased with today.

Lewis, the final run didn't work out for you after it had seemed very close up until then. Was this the one that got away today?
Lewis Hamilton: I don't think so. I didn't have another half-a-second in the bag. I think we perhaps could have got another couple of tenths out of the car. Firstly, the guys did a fantastic job to bring the new components to the circuit and clearly we are very competitive. Both me and Jenson were able to be up here so that's a great step, but no, Sebastian was mega quick today. It looked like we would be quite competitive throughout the weekend but today in that last lap, that was untouchable for me.

Jenson, strong result here last year. How do you see tomorrow's race shaping up from the position you are starting in?
Jenson Button: Well third is normally a pretty good place to start. But here you just can't get past the front two if they are side by side so it is tricky. But looking at today I totally agree with Lewis. Even if we had got a little bit more out of the car we were never going to challenge Seb. They were very fast today. The strange thing is that these guys don't look like they were carrying a lot of wing but they are sort of half-a-second quicker than us in the last sector which is the high speed corner so difficult to understand. That is something we will have to look at, but not at the moment. I think we have got to concentrate on tomorrow now and look forward to a good race. We are both in a great position and I think we can both score some good points here. It is not so important to be on pole here like previous years as you have the DRS so we will see.

So Sebastian, what are you doing. Where are you getting all this downforce?
SV: It is not just wings. We know we have a good car. The last two years here we weren't that competitive even though we had very little wing on the car. But this year I think the most important thing apart from the wing level which always helps you go around corners is to have the balance and we are very good on that this year. I felt very comfortable gong into qualifying and then throughout I could feel the track getting quicker and just simply went with the track so that is the secret if there is any.

Press Conference

Sebastian, pole of nearly half-a-second and everyone is asking where does it come from?
SV: I think there is no secret. I think we just got everything out of ourselves and even though carrying around quite a little wing I think the balance is very good this year and the car is behaving great. I think we have been working hard knowing that this is usually not our best circuit if it is dry so it is nice to be back. I like this track. There are a lot of straights but carrying that little downforce around and still managing to get the car into the corners is not always that easy so all in all I am very pleased with the result. As I said the gap, I don't know whether Lewis and Jenson's lap was entirely perfect. I saw one of them aborting their second run so not sure, haven't seen what happened but for us we can be very happy and I felt I got everything out of the car today.

The team had a late night last night. Was there a lot of work on your car?
SV: No, I think Mark [Webber] had a problem. They were able to fix it and I don't think it affected him today. I don't know why he only did one run in Q3. With only 10 minutes in Q3 there is not a lot of time we spend in the garage. Usually we just change tyres and go out again.

You had a couple of moments on your first set of tyres?
SV: Yeah, a little bit out of Lesmo 2 but it was still okay but then I lost it in Ascari on the second lap. The first lap was fine, but then the second lap I think the tyres started to go off a little bit and I was getting closer to another car, but I knew I had a little bit left for the last run and it turned out to be a couple of tenths so I was very pleased. As I said I had the feeling I got everything together which isn't always easy here when you arrive at such high speed to hit the braking point perfectly and to get the car through the chicanes, not asking too much, but on the other hand not too little. Don't leave lap time on the ground, so very happy.

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