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Monaco GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
28/05/2017

Podium Interviews - Conducted by Nico Rosberg

Sebastian, great weekend, first Ferrari win in 16 years, how does it feel?
Sebastian Vettel: Unbelievable. I think it was a very intense race. I was hoping at the start to have a bit of a better launch but Kimi had a good start. I had nowhere to go, so I had to be patient. Then, there was a phase in the first stint that was really tricky, The tyres started to slide, I think you remember how that feels, it was quite uncomfortable. I think Valtteri and the pack was catching up a bit; we were facing some traffic. But then I had a... I don't know, a second attempt, a second set of tyres. I had a couple of laps where the car was really, really good. I pushed, everything I had, because I knew if there is a chance to win then that's it. So I was able to use that window and came out ahead, so at that point I could control the race. After the restart it was really tricky with the cold tyres. I think every one of us was really struggling, Daniel said he brushed the wall in Turn 1 first lap. So it was really difficult but after a couple of laps I was able again to control the gap to behind, so fantastic job, the team has done really well, so great thanks to them and a fantastic weekend for Ferrari.

Was that planned, that when Kimi comes in, you stay out a bit longer?
SV: No, not really. I don't think there... we couldn't plan much. The plan was to try and pull away, which we did. Then, Valtteri had really good pace. I think we were struggling a little bit, both, with our rears and at that point the window opened. So as soon as Valtteri pitted, Kimi responded. For me, I think I still had a bit of a gap, nothing to lose in P2, so I tried to push as hard as possible and within two laps I was surprised myself to be able to pull a gap to be able to come out in front.

Congrats. Kimi, I think it's fair to say the whole F1 community would have been very happy as well to see you get that win today. What are your thoughts? You lost it during the pit stops of course, what are you thoughts on that?
Kimi Raikkonen: It's hard to say really. Obviously it's still second place, but it doesn't feel awful good but this is how it goes sometimes and we go for the next race and try to do better but it's one of those days that you wish you get a bit more.

I know how it feels. It is not a good feeling. But great result anyways. Daniel, a great recovery after a problem in qualifying. You're pleased with that?
Daniel Ricciardo: Yeah, happier today, for sure. Just yesterday I felt that we had so much more to offer and it was just a shame not to be able to really show our potential around here. I got my chance today when Max and Bottas pitted. I had the track to myself for a few laps and just managed to get some good times, good times in those tyres. I did some consistent laps and got in the overcut, so I was happy with that.

Turn 1 after the Safety Car looked like a bit of a hit, was it scary in the car?
DR: Yeah! I didn't enjoy that. I wasn't sure if I damaged anything and then I saw Bottas trying to get inside me. These tyres, man, when you get a Safety Car they're like driving on ice. It was hard. That was not a fun moment, but happy to hold it.

Sebastian, back to you, the Ferrari car is looking good at the moment, do you think you are going to be able to keep it up for Canada?
SV: We hope so. Canada is a completely different track but to be honest, for now I am just going to enjoy the win here. You know yourself, it's very, very special to win here. I think we'll have a fun night and then we have enough time to prepare for Canada.

Where's the party?
SV: I don't know, you tell me! You won more times than me here!

Press Conference

Sebastian, there are wins and there are big wins. First Ferrari Monaco victory for 16 years, as Nico was saying, first Ferrari one-two since 2010 and more importantly perhaps a 25-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship, so what does today mean to you?
SV: If you want the honest answer, I think it's most important that we had a very, very good day, a win. A supreme day for Ferrari; it's been a long time. Yeah, I think it means an awful lot to the team. I will not find the right words but for me it was a pretty special race. At some point I was thinking, "there must be a Safety Car" and then it came at the end when I didn't really need it but fine. I dreamt all night about how to get ahead of the start because I knew that would probably be the only chance I would get. It didn't work. Kimi had a good start, mine was OK, so I couldn't really go anywhere. Then, I think in the first stint I was just trying to pace myself, trying to stay within range. At some point I was really uncomfortable with the rear tyres, they were sliding quite a bit. I think when the gap opened again that's when Kimi pitted. I knew that if I have any chance that might be it until I get the call because Valtteri was on fresh tyres so it's likely that he will go quicker, so I just tried to push as hard as I can and wait for the call to box. When it came and then when I came out ahead of Kimi even, I was surprised myself. But for sure I take it. It's a great win. Those couple of laps were really crucial, I was pushing flat out. I had better laps than in quali today in the race. I was very happy with how the race went. The car was great. So to sum it up, it's just been fantastic, a fantastic weekend for the team and a great reward. This team is working very hard. Obviously this year is very different to last year but the people are the same, the spirit is the same, so it's important that we keep pushing, improving the car. We had again a couple of new bits for this race. Yeah, the next race will be completely different but I don't really care now, just looking forward to tonight.

Kimi, coming to you, obviously you lost the race in the pit stops. The normal wisdom in Monaco is that when you're leading you're not the first one to make a move. But just before you made your stop we heard a radio message exchange with your engineer in which you were asking about pitting. So to be clear, were you asking for the stop or did they call it?
KR: No, I was called in and that's about it.

How do you feel about the first one to move?
KR: I don't know, obviously it didn't work out very well for me. But apart from that, I have no idea. I mean... that's about as much as I can say about it right now. I got the bad end of the story today. I mean it's still second place but obviously it doesn't count a lot in my books at least.

Thanks for that. Daniel, the story today was that the overcut was more effective: Hamilton gained six places, Sebastian got the win because of it, and you picked up two place spectacularly through that pit stop sequence. Extremely fast once you got some clean air. Tell us about your approach today?
DR: Yeah I'm really pleased to be up here. You don't often start fifth and get a podium here. It's hard to make any positions. I was just frustrated yesterday because I knew we had so much more to offer here, so much more to give than what we showed. I felt like I didn't really also get to show my pace around here. It was how the pit stops worked, the two cars pitting before me and that allowing me to show a bit more my pace. That was perfect and we got into a realty good rhythm, I think we were doing 16 dead, 16 dead and at the time I think that pace was really strong and I was able to do a good overcut. It was a good combination of obviously the lap times coming from me and the team leaving me out there and allowing me to run in clean air. That was fun. That definitely made my race. The Safety Car nearly ruined my race. At the restart I hit the wall in Turn 1. I hit it pretty hard, so I thought I had damage. I assumed I would have damage. And then I saw Valtteri. You don't see much in these mirrors. I know Jenson has talked about it. Obviously he hasn't been in the cars this year, but he has been vocal about it. You certainly see it here and I knew Valtteri was kind of there, in my blind spot but I just managed to hold on at the restart and then I was quite happy to see the chequered because the tyres after restarts are so tricky to get going.

Questions From The Floor

(Viktor Bognar - Magyarszo) Kimi, do you think it would have been possible to cover Sebastian if you are stopping later?
KR: I don't know. Obviously, this is what we got today. The end results. And obviously for the team it's a great result. Who knows? This is really the end, we can say 'if' as much as we want but it doesn't change anything.

(Andrew Benson - BBC Sport) Kimi, when you pitted you came out behind some traffic and Bottas was also behind Sainz at the time. Have you had an explanation as to why they pitted you at that point?
KR: I don't know. Obviously, I have just finished the race. I have no idea. Obviously they have reasons for whatever we did do. It doesn't matter here or any other race. It's not up to me to answer that.

(Ben Anderson - Autosport) Kimi, in the first stint, you seemed to have really strong pace in the early part and then from about lap 20 your pace dropped off quite substantially. Was there an explanation for that? Were you struggling with something in the car?
KR: Not really. I think the worst place was when we had lapped cars and got stuck behind them on quite a few laps but apart from that the car was behaving well. Not really having any issues. I think we had to take it a little bit easier here and there but nothing to complain really. The most lap time we lost behind the lapped traffic but that's about it.

(Dan Knutson - Auto Action / Speed Sport) Daniel, yesterday you told us maybe you'd go for the overcut but was that a decision on the fly by the team - and how did the team decide whether to pit you first or Max first?
DR: I'm not sure what position Max was in with the tyres at the time - I don't know if he wanted to make the pitstop and try to undercut Valtteri. I assume that was probably the thinking behind it. Obviously I was at the tail of that pack and we had pretty good communication with my engineer. We were going back and forth and I think he had a pretty good idea of what my pace was and what I could do. Yeah, then once we got clear air, I think probably a couple of laps before that I closed in a bit on Max who I think was closing in on Valtteri, so we seemed to bunch-up. And it looked like they were struggling more, probably, with the tyres at that time, from what I could see, so yeah, I was happy certainly to stay out there. Then it was pretty evident that I could keep going quicker and quicker. So, it was nice to push. Especially... if you don't start on pole here you're normally in traffic for a lot of the race and you can't really get a time to feel the car on the limit on Sunday - but it was good to get that block of laps in. Even though the tyres were sliding around a bit with the rear, it was still quite fun in that session of the race.

(Paul Johnson - Australian Associated Press) Daniel, obviously really encouraging performance with the pace you had today throughout the middle sector of the track. How encouraged are you moving forwards? Also, can you take us through exactly what happened coming out of the Safety Car into Turn One?
DR: Yeah. Today I felt like, particularly that point of the race where we had clear track and were able to show our speed, I felt that was more representative of what we could of probably done yesterday. It was nice to at least show something this weekend and now at least get a podium for it. After the Safety Car... I knew getting behind the Safety Car, I could see Kimi in front of me trying to warm the tyres - well, keep them warm. I was trying to do the same: doing burnouts and trying to scrub the front tyres and get them going. They just turned to concrete blocks. They're so slippery. So, I think we were all dreading the restart, to be honest. At one point you see it as an opportunity and I saw it as a potential opportunity to maybe jump Kimi but as the same time it's... you see it as a potential risk. Coming into Turn One I didn't feel like I came in hot at all - but as soon as I turned it, I just kept going straight and the wall got closer until I hit it. I think I hit it flush, which meant I avoided damage. Yeah, not fun.

(Mike Doodson - Honorary) A bit more about the same thing. There were several incidents at Turn One you may not have known about - several people, a couple of other people crashed there. The track was breaking up - did that contribute to your accident - or your smack of the wall?
DR: If I can use it as an excuse, sure! No, certainly not. It was in my control. The excuse I guess is just cold tyres. We can see the temperatures on our dash, so we're aware when they're cold. We can feel them, we don't always need to see the numbers but I could see they were very cold. They just lose temperature really quick. We're all aware of that but we'll see. Maybe in years to come we can have a super, super, supersoft tyre for Monaco. I think will that be not only more fun in quali but avoid scary moments like that in the race. I guess it keeps it exciting for everyone at home.

(Luigi Perna - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Question for Seb. Seb, you looked very emotional on the podium. What were you thinking about in those moments? And what does it mean to have 25 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton at this point in the season?
SV: It's a long way so I'm not really bothered about that. It was more the fact to stand up there and see the team. I think obviously, it's a small part that we have here at the track but thinking of everyone else back in Maranello in the factory. We got a lot of hard times last year and this year everything seems to be upside down - but the team is the same, the people are the same so it's really clear to them. I guess in these small moments you just realise that it's a special group of people. If things go well, we'll work hand in hand, we must make sure we keep the momentum up in the next couple of races - but I think we're just having a great time. Obviously, we wanted today to have the one-two and we got it. So for the team obviously it means a lot. It's been a long time - you know the numbers better than I do - since Ferrari won here and then to get a one-two is just fantastic. I think you can see when the guys are singing the Italian anthem. I think it's impossible not to get goosebumps and feel very special standing up there representing them. For me, I think that's what makes racing so special. I love driving, I loved driving today, I loved a couple of laps that I had where I could really, really push to the limit and I was so close to touch the wall, a couple of times I thought, 'OK, I'll lose the car' and I just managed to get it back, so that's obviously great fun. Big adrenaline around here because you don't have any room for error - but then to have the rewards, standing on the podium, just send a message to base, to the factory, is what it's made for.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monaco, here.

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