Fair to say Ferrari ran a disappointing race in Austin and also failed to live up to expectations in practice, and the rumours that the Italians had ‘dialed back’ their engines in response to a directive from the FIA were clearly nourishing the rumours.
“Actually, I’d rather not say anything about that. Just that much – some comments and statements were very immature. We can give the best answer here on the race track.” responds Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in response to the rumours during the first pressers in Brazil.
When asked whether Vettel addresses a statement like Max Verstappen’s (“That happens when you don’t cheat anymore”), Sebastian says: “No, I ignore that. I’m ignoring it because it’s not relevant to us.”
“Maybe it’s a sign of our time that a lot of people talk a lot. The difference from the past is that today they are also heard. He may think that about us, but we have a different opinion.
“Nobody at Ferrari really took that seriously. And I don’t want to start a ping-pong game in which I’ll go into these accusations for even longer.”
“I don’t think we have to silence anybody here, but I guess if we go back to the usual level here, we should be capable of winning. That’s more important to me than silence. Live and let live, in the end he can do and let and say what he wants”.
“People always talk about the engine, but we don’t have the worst car on top of that. I don’t know if we have the best engine, but I can see what work is being done at Ferrari, and if we have the most powerful engine in the meantime, then that can only be right with me.”
“As for Austin: I didn’t feel anything about the allegedly less powerful engine. But we drove with more downforce than usual. It turned out that we’re not as fast on the straights anymore, but we lose less to our direct rivals in the corners than usual. One thing is connected with the other.
“In the race I was quickly out because of the suspension, but the moderate performance of Leclerc was due to other factors than the engine. We have to tackle the reasons for that.”
Questions were also posed to Vettel asking to reflect on how he went to congratulate Hamilton on his title, yet again.
“That was clear to me, I mean he had a fabulous year. And I didn’t have much to do after my early retirement in Texas. It was clear that he would drive the title home, so I immediately knew I wanted to congratulate him.”
“We’re not quite sure yet why we weren’t as strong as we hoped in Austin. But we also believe that we can find our way back to the old form here in Brazil.”
“The lap here used to be much longer, but this race has that certain something. Almost every year something unpredictable happens, and the Brazilian fans also create a great atmosphere, their passion is contagious. The place here simply has a penchant for drama.”
“This not only makes it more interesting for the fans, but also for us drivers. I had some Grands Prix here, which became very long because so much happened. That makes it exciting, and as a driver I find it more interesting when I’m at the start and don’t know what’s going to happen”.
“If I had a problem, then the GP circuit used to be much longer. I would have liked to have driven on the old track.”
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