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Indian GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
30/10/2011

Sebastian, pole, you led every lap and set the fastest lap. Was this your most perfect win of the season do you think?
Sebastian Vettel: Obviously it was a very good race for us. I enjoyed the time in the lead very much. I had a little bit of a fight with Jenson. It was always around four seconds and strangely he kept closing in around the pit-stops. I don't know, I was pushing very hard into the box and out of the box but we seemed to lose a little bit there so we need to understand. But on the circuit it was crucial to manage the tyres, make sure that you have enough of them left in the end, so all in all it was a very smooth race. The car was very well balanced. I felt even a little bit more confident on the hard tyres at the end, but overall a fantastic performance. Thanks to the whole team. Thanks to Renault. I think exceptional job so far, the whole season without any problems but to be honest with you it is a little bit mixed emotions. On the one hand I am very, very happy. It is the first grand prix in India and I am very proud to be the first winner and I think we can be as a team but on the other hand looking back to last weekend we lost two of our mates. I didn't know Dan Wheldon but he was a big name in motorsport. I got to know this year Marco Simoncelli and out thoughts are with them. Yes, we are ready to take certain risks when we jump into the car but we obviously pray that every time nothing happens but sometimes you get reminded and it is the last thing that we want to see. So, as I said, it is a bit mixed emotions and our thoughts are with them at this moment.

Jenson, your engineer said at one point 'we can race Vettel' but I guess it just proved a little bit too difficult today?
Jenson Button: Yeah, it was. The last race I really struggled on the first lap and lost a lot of places so I wanted to redeem myself here. Got a good start and was able to get up to second by Turn Four and then it was basically trying to hang on to Sebastian. His pace was very good, he didn't seem to make any mistakes and every time through the pit stops we gained a little bit. I don't know if it was the stop itself or if it was after the stop, but on tyres when I came out of the box I felt very good. I felt very competitive and that was when I could really close the gap down. But as soon as Seb got into a rhythm I couldn't do anything about it really – but all in all for the team I think we have done a perfect job today. We couldn't have done anything else. Yesterday was a disaster for me in qualifying but I think we have put it right here so a good race but, as Seb said, it is a tough weekend for everyone in motorsport. The last two weekends have been very, very difficult. We have had two fatalities so it is very difficult especially with Dan. I knew Dan from a very early age, he was the guy we always had to beat in the early formulas so very sad also so I think we should dedicate this first Indian race to Dan and obviously Marco, another super talented youngster. He was the most amazing guy to watch on a bike so I think we should dedicate this to them.

Fernando, your battle was with Mark Webber and you got him at the second round of pit-stops. Tell us about your race.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah, we didn't make the perfect start today. To be on a very new circuit and starting on the clean side I think we didn't have the grip that we were expecting and the other side of the grid they started a little better than us and we lost a couple of positions there. Then we race with Mark until the second pit-stop where, a little bit surprisingly, he decided to stop and we did two extra laps so we were able to overtake him so extremely happy to win the podium in this first race here in India. To have this feeling and to taste the champagne is always nice in a first race in a new country. As Sebastian and Jenson said, mixed feelings this weekend with sad weeks for motorsport with the two accidents. I think we all raced for them today and try to go ahead but always remember these two fantastic people.

Sebastian, you have set a new record today for the most laps led in a Formula One season, taking over from Nigel Mansell. I bet you just don't want this year to end?
SV: No, I don't mind. I think we can continue. The car is fantastic. The team is enjoying and we are on a run basically since the beginning of the season and it is great. We enjoy every race. The great thing is you walk into the garage every morning and you see the guys and they are flat out. They are pushing very hard and there is no sign of getting lazy and not paying attention to detail. It is really enjoyable to see that knowing that we have already achieved a lot this year, but we are still hungry so we are not lacking motivation at any stage. All the people come back with their questions but we seem to give them the right answers. I love what I do. I think we all do so it is great and in a way we don't want this to end.

Jenson, tell us about your start briefly. You got past Fernando and Mark. Exciting times?
JB: It was. The start off the line didn't feel that good but I think there is such low grip off the start line. Then I was able to get Fernando into Turn One. I think he went a little bit deep and I knew I had to get a good exit out of Turn Three. It is such a long straight. Got a good exit, was in Mark's tow and when you are in that situation where there is a car behind you can't do anything about it. He covered the inside, did the right thing, but I had enough speed to go around the outside and carry the speed. It was an exciting part of the race. Then I had Mark behind me for about eight laps, pushing me really very hard. He tried to get down the outside of me into turn four, we both braked very, very late and both ran wide almost off the circuit but kept the position and then I was able to pull away. I think he damaged his tyres quite a bit. But it was a fun race. A little bit frustrating that I couldn't catch up with Seb, but we did a good job this weekend and that's the important thing. Pace isn't quite there, but hopefully in the last two races we can make that little step.

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