Sebastian, after such an incredible afternoon, has it sunk in yet that you're a three time World Champion?
No. I've hardly had any time for myself yet, really. It's very difficult to find the right words, especially after the race today. I think everything that could go wrong went wrong. As a matter of fact, though, I think we always kept believing. Instead of getting angry and frustrated about the situation, imagine yourself, you are the wrong way round at turn four. It looked exactly like that (what I can see now), I had a lot of cars coming and I was in the wrong way. Obviously, then I went off the brakes, because obviously everyone was going in this direction and to join them, I tried to roll down hill and avoid cars driving backwards and we kept the car damage to a limit. Obviously we could see in the dry conditions later on that the pace wasn't there and I was obviously slow down the straights, which made it very easy for others to pass us and very difficult for us to pass someone then we lost radio, we probably did the pit stop at the wrong time.
I went on another set of dries; a lap later it started to rain. Came in for inters, the inters weren't ready because we had no radio communication, they couldn't hear me. And then we obviously caught back up in the wet in intermediate conditions. Fortunately the pace was there because, as you know, you can make up for the loss of car pace that you have by probably driving a different line and trying to do something different to others. Then to limp home, under the safety car - obviously at that moment I didn't know if it was enough. I was told a couple of laps before that it should be fine, but then I didn't know. I saw the crash between Nico and Hamilton, obviously retiring, so Hulkenberg and Hamilton out of the race, and I knew that Fernando was ahead, and they were ahead of him at the time that I could see during the first safety car, so I didn't know.
Then, to get told (that I was ahead in the championship) was unbelievable. Unfortunately the guys couldn't hear my answer because the radio was broken. No, it's difficult to find the words right now. Obviously it's still full of adrenalin. Incredible race today, as I said. I think they tried everything to make it even harder for us, not just the others but also the circumstances: as I said, with the damage on the car, losing radio, in these conditions, when communication is so crucial, stopping just a lap too early, not having the tyres ready because communication wasn't there. Where do you start, really? I think you guys had your show and we had to really fight until the end.
You've broken all sorts of records by becoming a three time consecutive World Champion; what does it mean to you?
It's difficult to find the right words. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are only two guys who have done that before. Obviously you need to be in the right place at the right time but I also believe that you can create your own luck and work for what is coming up. I think that one of the great things about Formula One is that you can not necessarily compare only yourself but you can compare your time, your era if you like to ten, 20, 30, 40 years ago. Obviously times have change but I think they will keep changing because that's what we do.
I think if you look around the world there are a lot of things that have changed. People around the world learn not only in Formula One and in every other sport but also in everyday life. I don't know what to say. We are in Sao Paulo here, the place where Ayrton Senna was born and came from and the place where he was buried. To come here and win the Championship for the third time, I don't really know what to say. I have to say a big thanks to everyone in the team. Of course, this sounds like a bit of a standard phrase. Sometimes we get criticised for bringing up standard phrases like that but I really feel that as one of the guys in the team, I don't feel more important or less important. Of course I know I'm driving the car and of course I know that if I turn right in a straightline I hit the wall and that's it. It's pretty easy in that regard, but I really feel as one of them.
What we achieved today is not what happened today in the race. It's what we've been working for since I really joined the team. Together, everyone here at the track, back at the factory, it's a massive amount of work getting done throughout the whole year. Now, tomorrow the season is over and the guys are already flat out for the last couple of weeks preparing RB9 and next year. You cannot afford to lift. Obviously, I think I'm in a very very fortunate position, compared to many guys in the team, but I think you do this job - there might be some but all the guys in the garage and all the people I know in the factory - you do this job not because you really care what is written on the cheque you get at the end of the month. I think you do this job because you just love Formula One, you love motor sport, you love the excitement here.
I said to the guys yesterday: 'am I nervous? Yes.' I think if I wasn't nervous now, imagine, I would fail, what am I doing here? I have a great chance, I'm in a great position and I don't really care what's going on. So I said 'yes, I am nervous' but then again we are nervous every time. It's what we need to get us started, to get us in the groove so that we are present, we are sharp, as soon as the lights go off we are not sleeping, we react and we are there. And today we had many of these occasions where you can argue you have to be present otherwise it goes wrong. It was a very tough race but we were present all the time. We remained ourselves throughout the whole year, even though people did some things that we would never consider doing, trying to achieve our targets but it's not in our hands, and it's not our job to rate and to comment so much.