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On the Grid with F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel: Yokohama

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Oct. 9 – Yokohama - Infiniti Red Bull Triple Champion Sebastian Vettel is closing in on a fourth consecutive Formula 1 Drivers title, which may be won at this weekend’s Grand Prix at Suzuka.

The 26-year-old German, also Infiniti‘s Director of Performance, is also advancing on a number of records on the track, while helping the premium brand by offering feedback on vehicle development and appearing at events such as the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Vettel took time ahead of the weekend race at Suzuka to speak with the Global Media Center.

Global Media Center:

Coming off very convincing F1 wins in Singapore and Korea with a strong lead in the Drivers’ Championship heading to Suzuka, how are you and the team approaching the Japan race, which could be another world championship?

Sebastian Vettel:

Yes, it could be, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the case. It’s a very strong position we’re in, but basically I’m just looking forward to the weekend, as the Japanese Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the season. The fans are very passionate about racing, so I’m really looking forward to Suzuka and being in touch with the fans, going out on the track, as it’s one of the best tracks in the world. That’s really where the focus is. Everything else is not really in our hands.

Global Media Center:

You have enjoyed tremendous success on the Japanese circuit, which two years ago saw you clinch the Championship. How does the Suzuka race and fan experience compare to other F1 venues?

Sebastian Vettel:

It’s a fantastic track, one of the most challenging ones. You have a lot of high-speed corners, especially the first sector up the hill – just incredible, every single lap. You enjoy a lot as a driver when you feel in control of the car, so it’s important to set up the car accordingly. We all look forward to racing on that track because it is something special. Also, it’s very physical through the high-speed corners – the loads are extremely high, so it’s very tough inside the car. You would do that any day – it’s the joy you get from driving around is great.

Global Media Center:

A few years ago we spoke about the records out there – namely Michael Schumacher’s. How do you eye numbers such as consecutive championships or total wins and what facet of driving history do you consider the most important?

Sebastian Vettel:

Not really, there’s no number in my head. I’m having a very good time, I love what I do, I enjoy driving, and that’s what it should be about. Obviously, if you succeed, if you have great results, success on top of that is nice, but as long as you enjoy that’s where you belong.

Global Media Center:

You had a really busy year as Infiniti’s Director of Performance. Tell us about some of the projects you have been working on?

Sebastian Vettel:

It’s pretty interesting, obviously different from the work in Formula One, so I’m taking care of the Performance – basically, test-driving the cars, we had some projects with the Q50 and now for the future with Q30, starting from very early days. Going through the process together and trying to make the car perform well – I try to give my feedback on things I feel are important for it to meet the interests of all the potential customers, so it’s not that easy. Also, with road cars it’s a long process, it takes a lot of time, but it’s interesting to do something different from Formula One where everything happens very quick and more or less overnight.

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