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Monaco GP - Post Race Press conference

NEWS STORY
22/05/2005

Kimi, a win from pole on a one-stop strategy, from start to finish. It was a sweet day for you.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, it was very nice. Actually, I was a bit worried when the safety car came out because I missed the pit lane because I wasn’t sure that the team was saying the safety car was not out even though the boards were there and then just after I came past the pit entry they told me to come in I said ‘no, its too late’ but they just told me I needed to get a 20-second or something lead before my pit stop. I wasn’t sure, so I pushed as hard as I could and about halfway before my pitstop I noticed I would have easily the lead, so I didn’t need to go 100 percent, and then just after the pit stop I was just driving around and trying to keep some pace because if you slow down too much with the tyres we have now, when you lose the heat on the tyres it is more difficult so it is not so easy to drive slowly any more. It was a bit difficult in some places but quite easy in the end.

You mentioned that you quite easily pulled out that 20-second lead, it was a devastating pace in the race, just demoralising for your opposition, just talk us through that. When the safety car came in you were just so quick.
KR: Yeah, it took the first two laps to try to get some heat because the pressure was so low the car was bottoming out all the time and it was not very easy. But I noticed I was pulling away already then I waited until the tyres warmed up and then I went as quickly as I could. That was actually the crucial point of the race and it went well for us. I think the car has been working well all weekend, we had a good tyre choice, the tyres worked pretty well. Looking afterwards at the other cars’ tyres I think we were a lot better than the rest. The team did a great job, everything worked well, and I am very happy to be here.

So, what are your emotions and thoughts now you have won the Monaco Grand Prix?
KR: It is of course a special race. A few years ago I got so close but I couldn’t get past Montoya at that time but now finally it happened so I am very happy. It is just the same, you get ten points from this race, but this is a special place and everyone looks in a slightly different way when you win in Monaco. For sure, we will have a good party tonight.

Nick, your best-ever Formula One finish. Great pitwork from the team when you both came in when the safety car came out and, of course, you were behind Mark at that point.
Nick Heidfeld: Exactly, I got by a Renault at this stage. Actually, I saw the safety car board and I asked the team if I should pit but similar to what Kimi said, I had the answer to the question for that when I was past, so it was too late, and I had to wait slightly behind Mark but the team did a very good job.

And your breakthrough came when you were able to come in just before Mark and do that lap to get ahead when Mark was stuck behind Fernando.
NH: Yeah, I think I was just lucky then. I mean, we decided to take me in a bit earlier, we were running into traffic and Alonso had big problems with his tyres and I had the advantage then.

And your car, your package, it looked a very good race car today.
NH: Yeah, it was very good. I had a good start, nearly got by Mark, actually I think we just touched slightly but that is what racing is about, thankfully nothing was damaged later on when we were stuck behind people trying to save fuel, trying to save the engine, and just when Alonso got his problem I wound up the engine again and then when I was stuck behind him I thought I would wait a few laps because the tyres were going to just get worse and worse and just when he caught a backmarker I saw that’s my chance and managed to overtake.

Mark, congratulations to you, a podium finish, you have finally done it!
Mark Webber: Yeah, it is not a bad day for the team today. Both of us on the podium is a fantastic effort for BMW and Williams, considering the start of the season hasn’t been easy. We set very hard goals on ourselves and we have come here, I did a lot of testing last week with Antonio (Pizzonia), I think we picked the right tyre, together with Michelin, a lot of other people were obviously kidding themselves in the race what they could probably run so luckily we have made the right decision. I think Kimi was the class of the field but we were definitely much stronger than everyone else. The start was a joke, it was very frustrating that I didn’t get away at all, the clutch didn’t really work at all, so that was a shame. Then I spent the first lap behind Jarno, but like everyone else the safety car was out and the guys said pit, and I was on the start-finish straight, so I had to do another lap, and I was sort of pacing myself behind Jarno whether to save fuel or to come into the pits, and I nearly jumped Fernando, the guys were fairly close but Fernando just got me, then he had massive warm-up problems with his tyres because he was pretty much gone already, so I just stayed behind him, it was very hard to keep the pressure on the tyres when it was slow. It was not easy to overtake, the tunnel today was very tricky and everyone was struggling for grip in the tunnel. But anyway, could have been better for me but great for the team.

Spectacular passing moves with Fernando there, you got past in the end.
MW: Yeah, it is tricky to follow in the tunnel and, like Nick said, he had a backmarker and I was half thinking of having a look at Nick somewhere but it would have been very, very risky for both Fernando and us. Nick was doing his best to get past Fernando so of course both of us were miles faster than him but Fernando did a good job with the tyres he had to finish fourth, so it was a good drive from him.

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