Q: Nico, it seemed that, particularly sectors one and two seemed to be your strong suit throughout. Why was it in particular that you managed to get those two quite different sectors so right?
NR: I think all sectors were OK – just sector three is a bit more variable because it’s just one corner and huge tow influence. So if you happen to have a guy in front it makes a huge different on lap time – so that’s why that sector’s just more variable. No, all three sectors felt good, I was happy with all of them.
Q: Coming back to you Lewis, picking up on the question I asked you earlier in the unilateral there, you were saying you weren’t concerned about qualifying as its gone basically in the last couple of months. Maybe you could just say a little about finding that qualifying rhythm – because you hit the ground running so hard this season, you were just completely dominant in qualifying throughout the year. Is there anything we should read into this last couple of months? Have you missed something, or…?
LH: Not really. I’ve had the most poles of the year and I’ve won the World Championship so there’s nothing really to read into it. You don’t always get it right; you can’t always get it perfect every single time, so…
Q: Sebastian, on the theme of qualifying, you’ve been in front of Mercedes during races and you’ve been able to stay there this year, so is qualifying pace the number one priority for you and Ferrari to find over this winter period to come back strong in 2016?
SV: Well, I think what you do in qualifying is you try to go as fast as possible, so it’s pace in general that we are still lacking – but, y’know, the season is coming to an end slowly. I think generally looking at the last couple of months we managed to get closer. Of course from race to race, from track to track the gap can vary a bit but overall I think things are heading in the right direction. Also, in-season, it is possible to bring updates – everyone is – but difficult to make really, really big changes to the car. So I think next year should give everyone the opportunity to refresh and renew a couple of things and hopefully we can be in a stronger position. But first of all, looking forward to tomorrow. As you said, we managed to get in front and stay there, so the first opportunity could be the start. Let’s see, it’s a long race here – usually crazy things happen. All eyes on tomorrow and we try our best.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L’Equipe) Question to the three of you. It’s not Formula One. How did you live the events of yesterday in Paris and are you planning to do something special tomorrow apart from the minute of silence?
NR: For sure what happened yesterday makes everything else relative, y’know? That’s real tragedy and today is really not important compared to that. With the media nowadays and Twitter and all of these things, when you look it takes you so close even though you’re so far, you’re so close to what’s going on, and that makes it all the more intense and just very shocking, very shocking. That’s the best way to describe it. Tomorrow on the grid we’re doing… not sure.
LH: I don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow. It’s not something I really want to comment on.
SV: I think it was a huge shock. I was in the car on the way back to the hotel, saw what happened. Obviously I think it was a strange feeling to fall asleep to. As Nico said, in the end our thoughts are with the victims and their families. In the end there is nothing really you can do to help. Very tragic.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globo Esporte) Nico, Lewis said that there is nothing that can really explain your five poles in a row, it’s just the result of competition. Did you change your approach for the weekend, set-up of the car, the way you organise yourself to explain these five poles in a row?
NR: You know, it was an area I had to work on so I have been working on it of course, through the season, but I don’t have a direct explanation of any precise thing that’s now different. So I’m just happy that it’s going that way, it’s better, better this way of course but I don’t know why.
Q: (Rodrigo Franca – VIP Magazine) Lewis, Formula One is a very competitive sport and environment and there are people that say that in order to be World Champion you can’t be Mr Nice Guy, especially on the track. Why do you think people get this impression?
LH: Erm, I don’t know, it’s competition and in competition that’s just how competition is. There’s one that’s more aggressive than the other one – that’s sports in general, whether it’s football, whether it’s tennis. I really don’t know the answer to it or the psychology to it but it’s because it’s fierce competiveness.
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and Speedsport magazines) Sebastian, you say that the gap has varied from track to track. There’s one more track to go, how do you think your car will go now in Abu Dhabi?
SV: I don’t know. I think we have reason to be confident, I think the car was working in general on all types of circuits, maybe some suit us less but I think Abu Dhabi should be alright for us. Looking at the nature of the track, there’s no real high speed corners. I think only the beginning or just the first sector, after that it’s fairly much stop and go, 90 degree corners. I think we’ve been reasonably competitive, also if you compare to maybe Singapore. Conditions will be very different but I think we have reason to be confident.
Q: (Vladimir Rogovets – Sb Belarus Segodnya) Mr Hamilton, you are already the champion but if we talk about tomorrow’s race, what would you prefer: to be first after the first lap and without problems to be first at the finish line, or to combat all race long with five or ten drivers and maybe to be first or second at the finish line? Which would you prefer?
LH: I would much prefer to be racing with five or ten drivers but it’s just not how Formula One is and how Formula One’s been for a long time but those races are for sure the most enjoyable ones. Starting from pole position or at the front and having a little battle with one person or leading the race is a great great thing but… One of the best races I had here was – I don’t know if it was 2009 or 2010, I think it was 2009, I think Jenson won the championship here maybe – I started 18th and I came through to third and those are the most enjoyable races, when you have to… you’re constantly challenged, coming up against another competitor and they have different skills and techniques and so you have to really use your skills and your driving vocabulary to understand the different dynamics that are happening while you are racing. That’s what I enjoy most but Formula One… it’s very rare that you see that, for whatever reason.