Podium Interview - Conducted by Brian Johnson
What a race! Lewis, what's it like to win the 900th Formula One grand prix?
Lewis Hamilton: It's great to see that we have such a great crowd. It's the first time we've had a night race here. I'm so grateful to the team for working so hard to get us up here. It's my first time winning here in Bahrain, it's taken me a long, long time, so I'm really proud.
But what a race, probably one of the most exciting Formula One races for a long time, would you agree?
LH: Yeah, it was exciting. Nico drove fantastically well throughout the race; very fair and it was very, very hard to keep him behind, particularly at the end. I had built a gap, that was OK, but he was very fast on the option time so I was on the knife edge the whole time and a real relief when I got across the line.
Congratulations, mate, fantastic race. Nico, you got the fastest lap and you helped to make it one of the most exciting grands prix I've seen for a couple of seasons, would you agree?
Nico Rosberg: I strongly dislike coming second to Lewis, that's really not something I enjoy doing but on the other hand it was definitely the most exciting race I've ever done in my whole career. I hope we were able to give all of you fantastic racing in front of the TV. Today was a day for the sport. We put on a massive show as team Silver Arrows so I hope you had a lot of fun in front of the TV and I'll be back next race to take the win.
Sergio, what was it like following these two guys and what's it like being back on the podium again? You're enjoying this aren't you?
Sergio Perez: Yeah, I mean, it's been a while since my last podium. This podium is very special for me guys, I told you already on the radio. This is only my third race for the team and it was a really, really good one. The strategy was really close for us. It was looking a lot easier until the safety car came because when the safety car came in we were going on two stops so the people behind, the Red Bulls, they were on there stops but we managed to keep it just to the end; one more lap I couldn't manage to keep him back.
Lewis a great battle with Nico, no other way to describe it. Just tell us how tough it is to race with a team-mate that hard and not go off and what it means to you to win it?
LH: Well, this weekend started off well and then I seemed to lose pace while Nico picked up his pace. Today, I knew I needed to get a good start and things generally went my way, except when the pace car came out. I've never won here. I won I think in Formula 3 back in 2004, so it's been a long, long time coming. The safety car came out, we had different tyres. It was one of the most difficult races… I think the last time I had a race like that would probably be Indianapolis, 2007. So, a long, long time. Nico drove fantastically well. When you're with you're team-mate it's very, very hard to make the right decisions of where to put your car, where to brake, all these different things, but yeah, it was great.
And Nico? Your side of the story. Obviously at the start, the outside at Turn Four and then later on you attacked him around Lap 18 and 19, again wheel to wheel for a couple of laps. At the end you had a go at it. Is it going to be like this all year?
NR: Yeah. I didn't have the best of starts. It was still good but Lewis had a little of a better one and that's the way it went. And then, yeah, I was quicker today, which I was pleased about and gave it a run. Tried to overtake at the end of the first stint, couldn't make it stick. And then we tried to invert the strategies, just to give me a shot at the end, again to overtake. That was the plan before the race so that worked out well and I tried to keep a good pace on the Prime, knowing that I'll have a shot again at the end with the Option. It was a good battle again but unfortunately couldn't make it happen today. Lewis did a good job defending but, y'know, it was a massive fight out there and that's what I'm here for. For racing like that. I think it was a good day for the sport, which is important, because of recent little bits of criticism. I think they're all going to be rather quiet tomorrow - which is a very good thing. It's good that us as Silver Arrows, we made it happen - but of course I am very unhappy with second.
Sergio, it's been, let's face it, quite a tough period for you since the last time you were at the podium towards the end of 2012. What does this mean to you today?
SP: It means a lot. It's a very special podium for myself. As you say, I had a really tough time, my time in McLaren where I was basically quite far… I never have a chance to fight for a podium in all my year. Really, coming into Force India and being able to, only in my third race, to be able to qualify fourth and then straight away being able to fight for the podium was a great feeling. An amazing podium. The Safety Car makes things really hard for me. It was looking quite comfortable before the Safety Car came in and once it came it was really difficult also to switch the Prime tyre on. It was extremely hard as we had a Safety Car for a long period. So I arrive into Turn One after the restart with my team-mate… just couldn't stop the car, locked the front wheels. Tried my best to keep the position and we managed and then we had the Red Bull coming really quick at the end. Fortunately we managed to keep the podium.