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Italian GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
11/09/2011

Sebastian, a great win made possible by that overtake on Fernando early on, and then some tears from you on the podium as well?
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, very emotional. I mean this circuit means a lot to me and has been very special. Obviously, I got my first win here, so when I crossed the line I remembered every single bit and the podium is unbelievable. When you stand up there you feel so blessed. It doesn't happen to many people. So many people underneath and coming all the way, even from Curva Grande, all the way. It is filled with people. It is just unbelievable. A circuit that has been tough for us to be competitive at the last two years and [we] come back this year and, really, the car was amazing. In qualifying yesterday and in the race even better. It was crucial. The start wasn't that good. Fernando [Alonso], I don't know where he was coming from but it took me a while to actually understand we were three alongside going into turn one. I kept second then after the restart I was able to pass him. He didn't give me much room there. I don't know if he still believed I was on that side. I was half-way on the grass but it was just enough. So very enjoyable and after that the car was fantastic. A great race for us and a very special win, 150 years of Italy makes it special for all the people here as well, so thanks for all the fans. Last time all the Italian people were cheering a bit more but still it is very special for me to be at that place here again.

Jenson, you reprised your battle with Fernando from last year but this time you came out in front.
Jenson Button: Yeah, it was a really fun race fighting with Lewis [Hamilton], with Michael [Schumacher] and with Fernando. It was a good race. It wasn't for the lead, which was a shame but it was always to be difficult when we were down in seventh at one point and sixth after the start. A tough start to the race but a lot of fun and the atmosphere here is fantastic, just electric. Another good race. I think we have got to get everything together on race weekends and hopefully we will be challenging Red Bull and Seb. So great job by the whole team. It is just little things we need to work on.

Fernando, you said before the race that the start was going to be crucial. Have you ever done a better start than that?
Fernando Alonso: Well, we have been doing something with the starts in the last couple of grands prix, but always starting fifth or sixth it is not enough room to overtake. But here in Monza we knew that if the car was in the same feeling of the good starts you have enough space and enough run into the first corner to overtake people, so we maximised the potential in our start and were leading the race for a couple of laps. But obviously we were not competitive enough to fight for the victory, so we tried to manage the podium possibility. It was very close with Lewis at the end but it was a fantastic race, fantastic feeling on the podium. As Sebastian mentioned I think here in Monza it is very, very passionate what the fans at the podium are giving you. Big emotions. Well done to the whole team. It was a stressful weekend, with a lot of pressure here in Italy for them and we managed the race in the best situation possible. No mistakes and I think being on the podium with Mark [Webber] retiring from the race and Lewis behind us, so one Red Bull and one McLaren behind us, I think it is a great achievement.

Sebastian, I think before the race all the talk was of the gamble that you'd taken on the gearing. You must have been a little concerned when you found yourself behind Fernando.
SV: Not really. I don't think we took any gamble today. I think we took the gamble yesterday in qualifying. All the people saw our top speed wasn't very high, so gears were probably shorter than the rest of the field, so we were not that optimistic in qualifying as we can't use the speed with the wing open. But for the race we were pretty confident and we were not afraid of the DRS zones if we had to battle other people. I think it worked fantastically well. I was able to pass Fernando without DRS, but with DRS it would have been maybe a bit more comfortable a lap later, but all in all I think we did the right thing. Great race car, great speed all the way through and I think the gearing was just right.

Jenson, tell us about that decisive pass on your team-mate and also Michael Schumacher on lap 17.
JB: I think Lewis got a bad run out of turn two and I used the KERS. I think I passed him on turn two. Used the KERS to my advantage, then got a good run on Michael down into Ascari. I saw Lewis tried a few times on the outside but it didn't work but gave it a go and braked a late as I could and the pass came off. Pretty good pass. Probably one of my best so very happy with that. And again with Fernando I think he made a bit of a mistake out of turn two and now we have KERS as soon as someone makes a mistake you can pounce and make the pass.

Fernando, Sebastian said a minute ago you didn't give him very much room. What's your analysis of the situation” Hard but fair? Lot of pride to defend here in Italy I guess?
FA: Yeah, we have nothing to lose in the battles with Sebastian. He is leading the championship by 100 points I think, so when we have to defend we will be a little bit harder with him. Sorry.

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