In today's Press Conference, Sebastian spoke about his earliest memories of the German Grand Prix, racing at home and the stadium section of the Hockenheim track while Mark told the press what it means to him to have resigned with us, maintaining motivation and visiting the Jim Clark memorial.
Sebastian, major memories? Were you a spectator here?
Sebastian: Yeah, I remember the first time I came here was with my father in I think 1992. I was five years old and we came on a Friday, it was raining like crazy, on the old track. We waited for the cars to come, for Michael to come, but they only did the installation lap but that was already enough because just to hear the cars, the sound, see them, see the spray was unique. So that’s a nice memory. A couple of years later I watched again a Formula One Grand Prix, from the main grandstand and it was very hot. I remember they sold water for 10 Deutsche Marks, which was really expensive at the time and later on when we left we found out that they had just refilled the water bottles from the tap, so that was quite a good business. After that, through Formula BMW and Formula 3, similar to the two Nico's, a lot of racing here. It’s not far away from where I was born, where I grew up, therefore it’s obviously special to come here.
Mark, after 99 grands prix with Red Bull Racing, you’ve re-signed with the team. What does that mean to you to re-sign for them next year?
Mark: Yeah, it’s been a long relationship and yeah we're going to be working together again next year, which is very exciting, to continue the challenge to stay at the front. This year’s obviously going pretty well and there’s a big reason to keep the focus on for that as well but the continuation of that moving on to next year is also helpful.
Sebastian, a very strange statistic that someone’s come up with: you’ve never won in July – and yet you really want to win this grand prix, obviously. Talk to us about that.
Sebastian: My goodness! Then if it doesn’t work this year then we move it to August. Or June! I don’t know. Yeah, obviously it would be very special to win here, I think first of all to have the chance to race in your home country is something that’s very special, and being able to win would be incredible. We try again – but I don’t believe in a bad month or a bad date in that regard.
A driver’s career is full of highs and lows; I was wondering if you could tell me how you keep your motivation, how you keep your focus in the low periods, so that you can get back up to the highs?
Mark: Adversity comes with the territory. If you have a very low ambition and set your goals very conservative then it might be a bit more stable but when you want to achieve great things or special things, there’s going to be some adversity along the way and getting back up from the canvas is part of the rules and sometimes our failure is part of success: we need to have that [failure] to be successful.
Michael touched on the stadium section of the track; I was wondering if you could talk about how it feels to come into that section with the fans around there?
Sebastian: I think it's one of the best sections we have in the whole calendar, because it's packed full of people. In the past, you were somewhere racing in the woods all by yourself and then you came back to the paddock area, to the motor home where the people were. I think it's still incredible today: to turn right and then all of a sudden drive into a kind of stadium makes it very special for us. Hopefully we will see a lot of German flags this weekend and have a great atmosphere.
There's lots of history at this circuit; I was wondering if any of you guys has been out to the Jim Clark Memorial at what was the old turn two/three/four?
Mark: Yeah, I went out to the memorial when I raced in F3000 in 2000. Yeah, he was obviously an amazing driver with amazing respect for all the people who watched him race. I went out to pay my respects. It was amazing in those days. Obviously they raced different categories, not just in Formula One; they did other categories in between the main championship if you like. It was a sad way for him to go, but obviously a lot of great men lost their lives in those days. It was an amazing circuit out the back there too, obviously very high speed, very risky for all of us. Yeah, I've been out there to check it out.
Join us at 10am local time tomorrow for the start of the weekend’s on track action which kicks off then with Free Practice 1.