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Austrian GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
09/07/2017

Podium Interviews - Conducted by Martin Brundle

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, what a cliffhanger of a race that was, wasn't it? I hope you enjoyed it. And your three stars of today are up here on the podium. Valtteri, that was a tough one. This man was catching you at the end but you kept your head, you kept your tyres. It looked like you had it under control at the beginning but it ended up very close indeed.
Valtteri Bottas: Yeah, I had a bit of a déjà vu in the end, what happened in Russia. He was catching up but the problem in the last stint was that I had a massive blister in the rear left since lap five or so; that made it quite tricky. In the beginning I could control the pace but in the end the backmarkers made it quite tricky but I'm really happy. It's only my second win in my career. Thank you guys for the support and a massive thank you to the team (for) making this possible so thank you guys.

I've just seen a piece of paper from your start. You were right on the edge of the perfect start almost to a few milliseconds. You got away with that one! You took off well, didn't you?
VB: Yeah, I think that was the start of my life. I was just really on it today so it was good.

Good stuff. Second victory for you, third consecutive podium, you're on a roll.
VB: Yeah, there's still a long year ahead. We're not even at halfway so this makes good for the points but it's still early days and we're still developing as a team.

OK, moving on to Sebastian. Well, you're twenty points ahead now in the World Championship, second today, a lot of people out there very happy about that. How do you feel about the race?
Sebastian Vettel: Well, how would you feel if you were just shy of half a second behind the winner. It was very close. Yeah, I was told he was in trouble; I was pushing anyway. I felt much happier in the second stint, second part of the race. In the first part of the race I was struggling a little bit to feel the car but then as soon as we put (on) the supersoft tyre, the car came alive and I had really good pace. I was catching little by little but then he obviously struggled so the last laps it was getting really close. I think I had Perez which cost me a bit of time with lapped cars. I think I needed one more lap because he was really struggling to get up the hill but yeah, obviously (I) wanted to win but nevertheless it was a good result.

You were on the radio, talking about the start. You felt it was a bit keen, did you?
SV: No, I don't think he... I was pretty sure he jumped it. Ask Daniel about it.

Yeah, because Daniel was on the radio... I will do exactly that. Daniel Ricciardo, fifth consecutive time on the podium and once again Daniel, it was a mega-overtake that was the key for the race for you, down into Turn 3 at the start. You got your elbows out against Kimi.
Daniel Ricciardo: Yeah, it was a fun race, some decisive moments at the start and then defending from Lewis the last couple of laps. It got pretty close but I just stuck to my braking points and when I thought the limit was and held (him) off. Five in a row is awesome, but to get it here in Austria... You know Max got the home podium last year and I was a bit envious, so it's nice to be up here this year. It's nice to see all the Red Bull and F1 fans here.

And Lewis was homing in as well. You were pretty under pressure at the end.
DR: Yeah. I think the second last lap was the tightest. He got the DRS and he got a good exit out of (turn) one; mine wasn't so good and he got close but yeah, nice to hold it off and I was very pleased to see the chequered flag.

He had a run down the outside into turn four; I thought he might have you there.
DR: Yeah... I wasn't going to brake if I didn't need to but yeah, I thought it was clean and fair so that's good.

Now I haven't been up on the podium since you started the shoey stuff, so I hope you're not going to deny me the honour... as long as I can keep it, as long as I can keep it for charity as well. I think we need four shoes though. I think it would be good to have some other shoes as well. Valtteri's not up for... Valtteri, I need one more word with you.
DR: I didn't start this! I didn't start this!

Valtteri, you were Driver of the Day, the fans voted you Driver of the Day, so congratulations on that, and I also believe, as I'm sure you do - thank you very much, you've got to do it quickly, haven't you? This is going for charity. Thank you very much. You've got to finish it off if you don't mind. This is the world expert at shoe-eys. That's how you do it. Valtteri, you're now a contender for the World Championship. You're now really bringing yourself into play.
VB: Yeah, we're not even at the halfway of the year so I definitely believe - and the team believes - so it's still a long year ahead and like I said, we are still developing so I'm just loving every moment and it's very good.

Press Conference

Congratulations to the top three finishers of the Austrian Grand Prix, our winner Valtteri Bottas, second place Sebastian Vettel, and third place Daniel Ricciardo. Well Valtteri, second win, how does this one compare to Russia, your first?
VB: Well, the first one is obviously very special but it is only the second in my career, so that is also very special. It is important in the championship, at the moment, to get closer to the guys in front, Seb and Lewis. So it feels very good, very happy and we really had a strong car today and for me it was like the perfect weekend: pole position and a win so it's really good to continue from here.

Just about the start; you said on podium it was the perfect start but were you a little bit nervous on those opening laps; did you think you might have over-cooked it?
VB: No, when the car was moving, the lights were off so that was the main thing, so probably one of my best starts, maybe even quite risky, I think, but there's not much more to gain at the start and I knew I had to make a good one.

Sebastian, talking of starts, how good was yours?
SV: I think it was OK. Obviously, it's always distracting... from my point of view he jumped the start but... obviously I was sure that he did; it looked like it from the inside of the car but it's not for me to judge at the end of the day so I probably was a bit late because it's quite tricky then to keep standing still but yeah, I think it was OK. I had a bit of wheelslip later on but overall I thought it was a good start.

Valtteri's reaction time: 0.201s.
SV: Don't believe that.

OK. A few comments please about the end of the race; the supersoft tyre was marking up quite a lot. Just how much of a handful was it?
SV: Marking up?

Blisters and...
SV: Well, not for us. I think obviously Valtteri was more in trouble than us. For us, I think it was OK. I struggled a bit on the qualies... sorry, on the ultrasoft tyre. Yeah, second stint it was much better. I preferred the car, just not enough time, like Russia, I ran out of time.

Half on eye on the championship today, you've extended that gap to Hamilton.
SV: I wanted to win. It's been a race where the last couple of years it wasn't really going in my direction so I'm happy to be on the podium, I think it's a really nice trophy. The race here means a lot. Obviously I have a bit of a background with Austria so yeah, I really wanted to win so probably not entirely happy because I didn't.

Daniel, you seemed particularly elated on the podium and on the slow-down lap. What does this one mean to you?
DR: Yeah, quite a lot. It's, for us as a team, as a brand, y'know, Red Bull, this weekend's always a big one. On paper it's not our strongest circuit and yeah, if it was a dry race we didn't really... probably expect a podium if all the top guys finished. We knew Lewis had his grid penalty but yeah, we thought he was going to come through the field quicker, I guess quicker than he did. So, it was a race where we had good pace. I was surprised that we were able to... I could see Seb for most of the race in the distance and he could see Valtteri, so just impressed with the pace that we had. And then Lewis has putting on a charge at the end. I think he was on the ultra-soft and yet he was really able to get some pace out of it. The second-last lap I didn't get the best exit out of Turn One and he got a good run, so I defended into Three, and then I knew he had DRS so I had to defend in Four and yeah, I was just going to do all I could, basically, to keep the podium and I knew it wouldn't be easy but I'm happy to have held that and, good for the team, good for the fans.

Your fifth consecutive podium. Do you feel you're here on pace now? Legitimate pace. Do you feel you're an equal to Mercedes and Ferrari?
DR: Yeah, I think that's probably the biggest satisfaction with today. Don't get me wrong, the kind of relief over the finish line was for sure for the podium but I'd say the biggest happiness for today is that we had raw pace. Obviously Baku was a victory, but things happen in the race. Today we earned a podium on a circuit which for sure isn't our strength. The car is certainly getting there and it's all I can ask for.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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