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FIA post-qualifying press conference - Japanese GP

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Drivers: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 1m 30.785s; 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 1m 30.853s; 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), 1m 31.169s.
Q: Sebastian, a great lap and after seeing a Ferrari on pole for the last two races I guess this must feel pretty good.
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, it is good to change the colours again...

The last two races were a little bit difficult for us but all in all I think we could improve the performance of the car. We came here with quite some confidence. Obviously this track is kind of made for us, especially the first sector. Not too many straights which we do like, so all in all after the confusion yesterday with the weather and the horrible conditions it is good that the sun came out and obviously a great start to the day but the most important bit is yet to come. 

Q: Mark, it is the seventh front row lock-out of the season for Red Bull Racing and it is your best Suzuka qualifying performance. Just 0.068 of pole. Again, a great job.
Mark Webber: Thanks. No, it was a good tussle with Seb. The boys did a good job getting the cars ready after a lot of standing around yesterday. A changed programme today with a busy day for everyone but off to a good start with starting on the front row and ready to go from there.

Q: Top three for every Japanese Grand Prix you have ever contested but a five place grid penalty means you will start the race from eighth. A lot of work overnight by the team changing the rear wing on the car. Is this the best position you could have hoped for?
Lewis Hamilton: I think so, considering the speed of the Red Bulls. We knew this weekend that they would be very competitive. It has not been the best of weekends for us. I must say that the guys back at the factory have been working so hard to bring updates this weekend. Unfortunately one of them we weren’t able to use today which would have given us a little bit more time but I think fantastic job either way just to get the updates here. Again unfortunately the gearbox we had to change after the last race with the collision I had with Mark. Damaged the drive-shaft of the diff. Unfortunately we hadn’t noticed that and it caused us to have a gearbox change. But nonetheless the guys did a fantastic job last night, stayed up as late as they could to make sure the car was good. It was difficult for me to come here today. Obviously only having like five or six laps on the track through Friday and Saturday. I feel very happy to come this far. I am starting eighth but from there hopefully we can have a good race.

Q: Sebastian, last year you started from pole and won the race. In just a few hours time the race will start. This weekend just gets crazier and crazier, doesn’t it?
SV: Yeah, indeed. Obviously it is a new situation for most of us to do both qualifying and the race in one day, so it is a tough day. But I think I had a good sleep last night and hoping for the same result as last year. As I said the car is really fantastic around here. The running on Friday was very useful. I had quite a good long run, so I am confident for the race. The start should be fine, starting from the clean side, so we will see.


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2012 Race Drivers

Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso
Felipe Massa
Michael Schumacher
Nico Rosberg
Kimi Räikkönen
Romain Grosjean
Paul di Resta
Nico Hulkenberg
Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Perez
Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Eric Vergne
Pastor Maldonado
Bruno Senna
Heikki Kovalainen
Vitaly Petrov
Pedro de la Rosa
Narain Karthikeyan
Timo Glock
Charles Pic

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