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Monaco GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
24/05/2009

Jenson, you didn't even wait for the car to the podium ceremony. You just sprinted to the ceremony.
Jenson Button: Yeah, I mean the race was pretty tough but with the helmet on when you run you realise how long the pit lane is. I got off the line clean with Rubens behind and Rubens had problems with his rear tyres and I got a gap and it really didn't change from there. I had the normal Monaco thing when the walls seem to get closer and closer the further you get into the race. But, yeah, an outstanding weekend and I think we have proven this weekend that our package works. I think we are looking very strong for the next few races. This victory is massive for us, I think, at this point of the season.

When the tyre covers came off on the grid the Brawn cars were on the soft tyre unlike some of your major competitors. In some ways that is where you won the race with everybody else having trouble.
JB: Well, yeah I was surprised when the covers came off and most people were on the prime tyres, the harder of the two. We never thought twice really about running the option tyre and at the end of the stint I did start struggling with a little bit of oversteer but not quite as bad as Rubens did. But I started struggling and my times were not quite good enough and that is why they called me in and I stuck the prime tyres on. The prime tyres worked really well here. But the prime tyre was the race tyre.

Those last 15 laps in Monaco when you are so near victory but things can go wrong. Talk us through your mindset at that point.
JB: Yeah, it is a very strange feeling because you start backing off a little bit and in reality, as has been said many times before, that is the worst thing to do as you start thinking about if I get this to the end I am going to win Monaco. That is the worst thing to do. I started backing off and there was so much going through my mind. It is not that you are not thinking about driving but there is a part of your mind that is thinking about something else. I had to really concentrate and the last two laps were very enjoyable as I had a big enough gap and you know nothing can go wrong with the car. I could drive at my steady pace and just enjoy the moment as it is a very special moment winning here in Monaco.

Rubens, a great start which defined your race. But you had a problem with the seat belt in stint two.
Rubens Barrichello: Yeah, once again just like Barcelona I had a great start and I was able to have a run on Kimi. I was running at tremendous pace. But possibly I was just too close to Jenson as losing that little bit of aerodynamic I was struggling a little bit more without the air in front and I grained the rear tyres. From 16s I started to do 20s and then Jenson was gaining like three or four seconds a lap and that defined the race pretty much. If you look back the race was defined yesterday as it is a great momentum going when you start from the front. I had a great weekend. The car was perfect the whole way through. It was a shame we had the graining. On the second stint my seat belts started to get looser and looser and I could hear them going clank, clank. I was just getting loose, so I had to start driving differently. I had to send brakes to the front as when you brake you are just moving and you get to the pedal and you lock rear wheels more. I had a great time, really. It was not as easy as it looks from the outside, so I am proud of what we achieved today.

Kimi, a great return to form for Ferrari. Talk about being beaten off the line by Rubens and then your day thereafter.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, it is not the first time when I have been in second place and always lose one position. The start seems to be very slippery on that side plus they were on the softer tyres, so it definitely helped at the start. It was not nice to see as we were faster than Rubens but there was no way past him. We lost a lot of time at the beginning and that was the only chance to try and stay behind Jenson. Then I had a little bit longer second stint. I don't know what happened at the pit stop but we lost a lot of time and Rubens was still a long way ahead of me when I came out. We still have work to do to be where we want to be and fight for the first place. But many small things changed this weekend as yesterday being first place probably would have given us a better chance. We need to be happy after a very difficult start to the season. The people have been working very hard at the factory and here at the circuit, so we improved the car very quickly once we realised we can do something different with the rules. We need to be very happy with what we achieved today. Third and fourth is not bad. We should get some new package again for next race and it should help. I am disappointed, definitely, but in this situation we need to be a bit happier. I am not happy with third place but for the team it is still a good result.

Jenson, some final thoughts on winning the Monaco Grand Prix. It is the Blue Riband race event of the FIA Formula One World Championship and it must have been a long held ambition of yours. Talk us through that and your immediate thoughts as you crossed the line and the emotions you felt.
JB: Well, before the weekend I said that this grand prix doesn't mean anything different to any other grand prix. I think that was more to stop the pressure on myself but we all know the truth. To win here was fantastic. This circuit is very different to anything else. I struggled at the start of the week and for me that makes it even better to come away with the victory. As I crossed the line I shouted on the radio to my engineers, ‘we have got Monaco, baby.' We have got the victory in Monaco and that means a lot and a one-two finish for Brawn is exceptional. It is definitely going to go down in history, the performance of the team this year. It has been staggering. It is a great moment and I can't wait to see all the boys. It is nice to get off the podium and see them but both of us, I am sure Rubens feels the same, to go and see the boys they are all going to be very emotional at the moment, so well done to them.

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