Posted 28 November 2010 - 13:52
Some excerpts I translated:
You didn’t congratulate Vettel and see what happened…
I did congratulate him several times in every interview I gave at the end of the race at Abu Dhabi. I always said the same thing, as I do now here. I have not met him personally, and probably not every one of the 24 drivers will have congratulated him, but that is a question you are asked: Did Fernando congratulate you? In fact, he did not. And something that should be nothing but a side remark in an interview, suddenly hits the headlines around the world, because now with internet everything gets worldwide diffusion. And the same thing will happen with this interview: if I say something bad, it will probably be in the news tomorrow everywhere.
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Do you take comfort in Paul Monaghan, your ex-engineer at Renault, who is now at Red Bull, saying that you were kicking RBR ass all year long with a worse car?
Not really. Sometimes they say something good about you, some times they say something bad, but neither good nor bad things get under your skin. We know there were races in which we were disadvantaged, mechanically, but the team knew how to react and develop good strategies that allowed us to be still in the chase at Abu Dhabi.
Then, the race there is the one everybody remembers, because it was the last one and it got the attention of the world. Now there are rumours that some heads are going to roll, or that lots of personnel changes are needed, but it should be remembered that that very people were the ones that allowed us to be fighting for the title at the last race of the season. We have to approach this in a calm way, we all want to improve but, in general terms, I believe that, thanks to Ferrari and to the fact that it is the best team, we were in conditions of mounting a proper challenge with resources that were, oftentimes, worse than our rivals’.
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Did Fernando deserve this championship more than anybody else?
At the end of the day, the one who has more points is the one who deserves it the most. I believe Webber deserved it, he had a sizeable advantage during the whole year and he lost the leadership three races before the end, and eventually, he ended third in the ranking, so his season has been brilliant.
We also had our opportunities with our comeback, and it would have been a well deserved championship, somehow. And Vettel, who is actually the champion, does deserve it, because he has more points than we do, and he was always the fastest driver on the track. He managed to get 10 poles, and although he could not always finish off his weekends with a win, often for mechanical problems for which he is not to blame, the fact remains that at the end of the season, he won three of the last four races, and he could have won the four races, had it been not for the Korea engine failure, so he is a deserved champion.
* * *
Is it increasingly difficult to make magic in F1?
Making a difference is harder than ever, because teams are basically handcuffed in terms of imagination and creativity. Rear-wing has to be this high, wide and long, diffuser has to be this wide, tyres are the same for everybody, you do not get enough tyres for testing, there are no in season tests anymore… So you cannot make great improvements in the car. Even engine development is forbidden...
Truth is that restrictions are extreme; that may be necessary to reduce costs, I won’t say otherwise, but it is hard to make a difference as perhaps Ferrari did, back at the time when they could make the most of their greatness. Now there are more technical restrictions than we would like. For the driver, as we drive today, with cars as levelled as they are now, with so little room to make improvements, it is very hard to develop cars, to set a direction for car development.