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Chinese GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
15/04/2012

Nico, well done. You join an exclusive club of drivers who've turned their maiden pole into their maiden win. How do you feel?
Nico Rosberg: Thank you very much. Well, it's an unbelievable feeling: very, very cool. I'm very happy, very excited. It's been a long time coming for me, and for the team as well over the past two years and a bit. Now, it's finally here. It's just amazing and it's just nice to see how quickly we are now progressing. I didn't expect to be that fast today. I expected that we had a good chance to be in front, but I was very happy today with the pace I was able to go in the race.

Jenson, a three-stop strategy for you today, but the third stop really cost you big time didn't it?
Jenson Button: Yeah, it did. But before that our race pace was good, especially on the harder of the two tyres. I had some really good battles out there. And then in my last stop, I stopped on the marks and we had a problem with the rear of the car, so I was stuck there for nine or ten seconds I think it was. It was a pity because when I exited the pits I had four cars in front of me; cars that I wouldn't have been racing, and I would have had a nice clear track to hopefully hunt down Nico. It was a big gap but you've got to give it a go. But, all in all, a fun day. I really enjoyed today. It was a good race, some good overtaking out there and nice to eventually come away with some good points and second place.

Lewis, you started seventh and finished third. Were you surprised by Nico's pace today?
Lewis Hamilton: We knew that all weekend they had been quick and if we let these people get away it would be hard to catch him, so fantastic for him, congratulations. Your first pole and your first win is an incredible feeling. But I'm very happy to have made it up to the podium. As I said, I wanted to just go forwards and the team did a great job with the pit stops and with strategy. I think it was one of the best races so far this season, just because there was a lot of overtaking and there was a train of us - I think seven cars or something - it was incredible. Yeah, fantastic day.

Nico, there were a lot of questions marks about Mercedes' race pace going into this race. What have you done to the car to improve it so much?
NR: Big thanks to the whole team, because all the engineers especially in the past few weeks have been working very, very hard also, as everybody else has also, just improving the set-up, because we really struggled in the first two races with race pace. Today it all came good. It's great to see just how quickly we managed to progress. It's just fantastic.

Jenson, a key moment for you was obviously the start, you went up from fifth place to third place. Tell us about it?
JB: Yeah, I got a good start. I think all year, so far, we've had very good starts, if not the best starts and [that's] promising when you don't qualify so well. Great job by the whole team for sorting out a special start out for me and great to get up into P3. But I think lastly for me, I'd like to congratulate Nico. We all know how special it is, your first win, and I'm sure there will be many more, just hopefully not too many more this year.

For you Lewis, a lot of battles throughout the race but a very exciting one at the end with Sebastian Vettel. Tell us about it?
LH: It wasn't just with him. It was with everyone really. They [Red Bull] were massively quick on the straight, even when we had the DRS engaged. You had to use all your KERS to get right up behind and obviously you get to the DRS zone and try to use the DRS to catapult past. Finally, I got close enough to do so. I guess he was out a bit longer on his tyres. Nonetheless, he put up a good fight. So did all of them really. I think we lost a little bit of time behind, I think, maybe Pérez. But nevertheless it was still exciting racing.

Finally, back to you Nico. Your father Keke, of course, a grand prix winner and a world champion. What are you going to say on the phone to your dad tonight?
NR: We'll see. Hopefully he's very happy too and I look forward to speaking to him.

Press Conference

Nico, a bit of a packed weekend for you, what with setting records with Mercedes, your first pole, your first win etc. It's all come at once!
NR: Yeah, I know. It's been the perfect weekend. Everything's gone [well]. It couldn't be better. Very happy. It was a great race. It was impressive to see really how we've managed to progress so quickly. We've really had some difficult times in the races, the first two, but we've made a lot of changes, worked hard at it and all of a sudden it's come good. That's been fantastic to see today. I'm just so happy for all of us and I really look forward now to spending some time with the team later on.

Was everything perfect in the car as well, throughout the race?
NR: Perfect? Well, it's never perfect but it definitely felt very good out there.

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