2015 Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying Press Conference
Transcript of the press conference organised by the FIA
1 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)
2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)
3 – Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes)
Lewis, to say the least a dramatic session and obviously all about timing at the end, but your first lap on the intermediate tyres – did that just push the bar too high for everyone else?
Lewis HAMILTON: I don’t know. I think the first lap was quite good. It’s always quote good because you go out and none of us have driven this weekend in the wet, so the first lap is always kind of just the unknown. You don’t want to take too much risk so that you don’t get the lap but you need a banker. My lap was feeling pretty good. I was pushing. And then the next one was up at one stage but just lost a little bit on the lap but generally a fantastic job for the team to have us both up here again.
Very well done. Coming to you Sebastian, first time for 10 races I believe that we haven’t had a Mercedes front-row lockout. The timing again was everything for you but what can you do from here?
Sebastian VETTEL: You never know, just look outside. Obviously when it starts to rain to here, which there is always a high chance, then it can mix up things, so… I think it was an interesting qualifying session. The car felt good in both dry and in damp or wet conditions at the end, so reasonably happy. Also, the long runs looked good on practice day so we should be in good shape. But we know they are difficult to beat but ultimately that’s why everyone turns up, trying to win and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow. Maybe it looks like we are a little bit closer here but we will have to wait and see I guess.
Very well done. Coming to you Nico, you had a go right at the very end on the intermediate tyres but it wasn’t to be. Where do you think it got away from you today?
Nico ROSBERG: I just didn’t drive well enough, so that’s why. I’m annoyed by that. Third place is not good for tomorrow, but that’s the way it is. It was quite interesting conditions out there, because there was so much grip it was unbelievable. I’ve seldom had so much grip in wet conditions, so it was very unusual. It was good to drive but not quick enough. For tomorrow, third place, it’s on the clean side of the grid, so maybe… or that should definitely help me to get by Sebastian tomorrow in the start.
Coming back to you Lewis, on your final run you caught up with Nico at a slightly awkward place on the turn-in to a corner. Did that cause you any problems?
LH: I don’t really remember, so obviously not.
Q: Lewis, interesting strategy by both of you in Q1: you went out on the medium tyre whereas a lot of your competitors including Sebastian went with the harder tyres. Obviously you were thinking about tomorrow’s Grand Prix. Do you see it being quite an interesting race, an open race from a strategic point of view?
LH: It generally always is here. Last year we had a three stop, it’s very very tough on the tyres here, so particularly with these hot temperatures plus the race has come earlier so it’s even earlier if it is dry. Yeah, it’s going to be a real challenge for everyone including the car but also with the tyres and the strategy.
Q: Sebastian, obviously one of the big changes for Ferrari this year is the straightline speed which has been very strong. You’re losing time to these guys in the middle sector which is the kind of thing you used to do in your Red Bull days and sacrifice a bit of speed on the straights, but how do you see it from that point of view, driving the Ferrari tomorrow?
SV: Well, we should have a good car anyway. I think we had a decent Friday, I think we should have done our homework. Obviously now we see what we can do to prepare the race. Obviously we can’t touch the cars but the balance was pretty good in qualifying and as I said, on Friday it was pretty solid. We seem to be looking after the tyres. I know that this race can be a difficult one just as mentioned before, on tyres plus you never know with the rain, there’s always a chance so it could mix things around. Starting where we do, I think we have a decent chance to do well tomorrow and could be up for anything.
Q: Nico, I think it’s the second longest run of the whole season down to turn one and obviously the way it goes right and then left, we often see quite a big shift in field position as a result. That’s one opportunity for you, strategy the other. What is your thinking about the Grand Prix tomorrow?
NR: Well, definitely looking forward to it because we have such a great car. I had a good run on Friday so race pace is good. Starting on the clean side so hopefully I can attack Sebastian and get behind Lewis and then race Lewis from there.
QUESTION FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Nico, could you clarify please the radio message at the end, when you were talking about the lines on the track? Who were you referring to, please?
NR: Because it was an unusual condition out there which we haven’t practised, I was just interested to hear what the guy who was first did in terms of lines and I didn’t know it was Lewis, so I just asked what lines was he doing. Was he doing normal dry lines or more towards wet, but that information is banned, so I got a reply ‘can’t tell you.