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Italian GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
12/09/2010

Fernando, you said pole yesterday was special, so what does that make today's win on Ferrari's home soil?
Fernando Alonso: Well, something only we can compare with the feeling I had in 2006 winning in Barcelona my home grand prix. It was a very special moment that one and this is a very special moment this one as well. Fantastic feeling. Very tough race. Very strong opposition today with fantastic drive from Jenson and we tried to put both Ferraris in the first two positions. After the start it was difficult with Jenson's good start and good pace. But the team did a fantastic job again with a fantastic spit stop and thanks to them we are sitting here. We made the overtake in the garage.

What were you thinking when you saw Jenson peel into the pit lane? Did you think it was Christmas?
FA: No, we were thinking at that time to be honest about the possibility of coming in. The possibilities were two, coming in one lap earlier or one lap later. We had to find the right choice and the right moment. When we saw Jenson coming it was one of the two possibilities we had. There was one lap to push and rely on the mechanics. I think the lap was more or less okay, nothing special, but the pit stop was superb.

Jenson, you soaked up all this pressure with Fernando and then you blinked first in the pit stops. What happened?
Jenson Button: Yeah, the start was good. Fernando came over quite a bit at the start but I had enough room to squeeze up the inside into turn one. Then the rest of the first lap was pretty tough as the straightline speed these guys have compared to me because I am running high downforce made it very tricky to hold off the challenges. I spent most of the race looking in my mirrors and making sure that Fernando wasn't close enough. It is so difficult around here to know whether the car is right up behind you or not, so I was watching from the TV screens to see the distance he was behind. A lot of pressure. I don't think we quite had the pace today compared to these guys. But it was all going pretty well. I was pretty happy with the car but then we decided to pit one lap earlier than Fernando. For me when I exited the pits I had very little grip on the prime tyre. Lots of shuddering which means the tyre isn't working, so little bit disappointing to find myself in that position and Fernando coming out of the pits in front. But we had a good weekend and to come away with a second is a great result. You want the top step but some good points and for all three of us here we have done very well for our championship hopes, so it is good heading out of Europe with a good points finish.

Tell us about the start in a bit more detail. Just how close it got with the two Ferraris into the first corner.
JB: I couldn't see Felipe. I got a very good start and I could just see Fernando. He was able to brake very late into the first corner which surprised me a little bit. But I was able to hold him off. I got a good exit out of the second corner, the second part of the chicane which was always my worry. Getting a bad exit there and Fernando could come out of my tail and then turn me into turn four. It didn't happen. It was all looking very good but quite a tough race mentally to have Fernando behind me for most of it. But I came home second which is one off being perfect, so I am pretty happy and just looking forward to the rest of the season.

Felipe, tell us about your start and battling very hard with Fernando into the first few corners and then the contact with Lewis Hamilton.
Felipe Massa: I had a very good start. Not as good as Jenson as I think his start was maybe the best. Then I saw them braking very late at turn one and I was looking at my wheels as well trying to be the same direction at the first corner. Then I saw Fernando a little bit wide, so I tried to go to the outside and then on the exit of the second corner he had a little bit better traction, so he was able to be slightly in front of me and then he was on a good side for turn four. I was completely on the left, so when I saw him go into the corner I went as well and then I felt something on my back and that was Lewis. He was just behind Fernando on the inside. I was a little bit on the outside, so we touched. I didn't see to be honest what happened but just felt something on my back.

You stayed out longer than the other two before you made your first pit stop. Did you think you might be able to jump them?
FM: Well, it was a good idea to stay out longer but I expected the hard tyres after one lap, the out lap, to be stronger than the soft. I pitted and then I struggled like Jenson massively on the out lap. But then the hard improved and it was quicker than the soft. But anyway it was a good race. The team did a good job. I think I lost a little bit of time in the pit stop as well. Maybe that was something to fight for the positions in the front. But it was a great race especially to come here and see all these people on the main straight. You don't see the asphalt. You just see people all around. It is just fantastic. It is a great feeling being on the podium here in Monza. It is a fantastic feeling for us.

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