Vettel and Rosberg engage in banter in press conference

© F1 Pulse, 15 March 2015
© AP Photo/Andy Brownbill

Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel managed to step on the podium at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday and although the German duo would have liked better results, the two didn't see any reason to frown. In the post-race press conference the two engaged with each other as they faced the media, with some worthwhile moments.

Excerpts.

© AP Photo/Andy Brownbill

Q: Question to both Lewis (Hamilton) and Nico. We've seen dominance in qualifying, dominance in the race today. Is this it for the season? A two-horse race between you two for the title or can you envisage any of your rivals making in-roads into your supremacy?

Lewis Hamilton: I didn't see the times or anything but I think the Ferraris have taken a huge step forward. It's clear they’ve made one of the biggest steps. So we definitely cannot back off because I'm sure they're going to be pushing. And I anticipate we might have a good fight with them at some stage this year...

Nico?

© AP Photo/Andy Brownbill

Nico Rosberg: I hope we can have a good fight. That would be awesome. I think the next couple of races we're going to be leading the way for sure, and we're going to try and keep it that way, but we know it would be good if they can come a bit closer, as long as they don't come too close...

Sebastian Vettel: Be honest. Do you really hope so? Seriously? You finished 30 seconds ahead of us and you hope it's going to be closer? So you hope you slow down? Is that what you're saying?

Nico Rosberg: I hope that you can give us a challenge! Because it's important for the sport and for the fans. And I do think about the show. Half of me – or a part of me – thinks about the show because I want to give people a great time at home watching on TV or at the track. If you do come a bit closer, that would be awesome for everybody.

Sebastian Vettel: First suggestion, if you don't mind, I think your garage becomes public for (the next race in) Malaysia and everyone can have a look. No? I'm joking.

Nico Rosberg: You can come if you want, we can invite you…

Sebastian Vettel: OK, thank you for the invite, I'll come.

Nico Rosberg: Friday Malaysia, OK.

Sebastian Vettel: Engineers' room? Debrief, I'll be there.

Q: So Sebastian, you, then, think it is a two horse race for the championship between these two guys

Sebastian Vettel: Well, first of all, they (Mercedes) don't have a horse on their car, they have a star so it's a big difference, as I learned.

Q: Sebastian, among the races to come, which one do you feel will be the one that is easier for you, for Ferrari to catch up to the Mercedes? I think Malaysia will be difficult but what about Bahrain or Shanghai?

Sebastian Vettel: Easy, for us? I think if you look at the gap, nowhere is going to be easy. I think we have to focus on ourselves, make sure that what we learned this weekend we're able to take into the next races. The most important thing now is that if we finish – we did finish right behind Mercedes today. We need to confirm that in the next race, that's the priority number one, so we need to make sure that I was not just a one-off. We improve reliability. Kimi (Raikkonen) didn't finish, which is a shame. We could have scored a lot more points today.

Nico Rosberg: ...that you find it a shame that your teammate didn't finish?

© Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel: Yes. I don't know how much you (and Hamilton) like each other but Kimi and myself we get along, so I think it is a shame.

Nico Rosberg: I though as a racing driver you might like it that you have a couple of points advantage over him now. I don't want to get you off the foot there, sorry. Oops. Look at him, look at him go...

Sebastian Vettel: I can see your point. No, no. I can see that at the moment, where we are, we want to make sure we catch you guys and to do that we both need to score. Yes, I honestly think so and I honestly didn't want to see the second car not finishing today.

Nico Rosberg: Because I'm ready for it now, you caught me a bit off guard before but now I'm ready for it!

 

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