Parc Ferme Interviews - Conducted by David Coulthard
Lewis, you're a four-time world champion?
Lewis Hamilton: Viva Mexico!
Lewis we can see some battle scars on your car, you had to fight hard for this one, almost as hard as I'm fighting to get you to say something. Lewis, it wasn't the way you wanted to win the world championship, but you won this world championship. Tell us about the race and tell us about the emotion.
LH: I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that came out to support us. I hope we gave them a great race today. The Mexican fans are, I think, the best I've seen around the world. Honestly, you don't get to see this everywhere. We've got great fans around the world, but this is... you guys really create this atmosphere, so big thank you. I did everything I could. I had a good start. I don't really know what happened at Turn 3, but I gave him plenty of room. I tried my hardest to come back. Just a big thank you to my family, to my team - Mercedes have been incredible for the past five years and I'm so proud to be a part of it.
You've had time to think about this championship, does it mean than the previous three, now that you are in an elite club of only five men that have achieved that amazing record?
LH: Honestly, it doesn't feel real, man. Obviously that's not the kind of race that I want, when you're 40 seconds behind or something. But you know, I never gave up and that's really what's important, what's in my heart. I kept going right to the end. I'm grateful for today and I just want to lift it up to my family and to God and, as I said, my team.
Congratulations, Lewis Hamilton, our four-time world champion. Max, meanwhile, you won your third grand prix. Impeccable start to that race, that's really what made that opportunity. You won by a massive gap, you must be delighted?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, of course the start was very crucial, I went around the outside, so that worked out well. From there on I was just basically looking after the tyres and the car, which just performed brilliant in the race. Of course, a big thanks Red Bull, because of course without them this was not possible. After last week, this is a perfect race.
You don't even have a sweat on your brow, just how good was that race, controlling it out from the front?
MV: Yeah, I was cruising. It was great.
And the start, that was crucial. It was oh, so close. Behind you, you had multiple world champions all touching each other.
MV: yeah, that was good to see for me, and from there on I just pulled away.
Great stuff, Max, enjoy that victory. Valtteri, 20th podium, steady race, but it didn't really look like you had the car under you this afternoon, so what's going on in the cockpit?
Valtteri Bottas: Well, first of all, I would say big congrats to Lewis and massive congratulations to our team for winning both titles. It's been really nice to be part of it. And thank you Mexico. Red Bull was just too quick today. We tried everything we could, but we just couldn't match them and this was the result
Kimi, you're a model of consistency, this is your 90th podium. I know you don't really care about that, because you're all about victories but again the start compromised you and then it was just a question of damage limitation?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, actually the initial start wasn't too bad but then all the guys... I was next to, I think it was Valtteri... but all the guys behind me got a massive tow and I was kind of left alone, and then the people behind me managed to tow past me. It was a disaster after that. But I just had some patience and once the guys in front of us stopped we had enough speed to improve but obviously not a lot happened after that.
Max, the third win of your career, and your second win in the last four races. It seemed it was crucial on that run down to the first corner and what you managed to get done there. Just talk us through the opening 20 seconds of the race.
MV: Yeah, so initially, I don't know, with the pre-start limiter I was a bit too high and I almost touched the limit so my start was not great, but then actually because of that I was in a good position, because then I had a good slipstream from Sebastian. I went on the outside and I was like 'I'm going to try around the outside and see what happens". I just saw we had a little bit of a touch into Turn 2 but luckily nothing happened there. From there onwards I could do my own race. I was pulling away every single lap. The car had a great balance, I could look after the tyres and, yeah, I managed to bring it home like that. Very happy. I knew that the car was good but I didn't know that it was going to be this good in the race.
Any nervous moments? You were the only Renault-powered runner still going at the end of the grand prix?
MV: Well, I think Pierre was also still going, but I could see a lot of cars blowing up and retiring, so I was definitely a bit worried but we looked after our engine and everything seemed to work pretty well.
Well done to you Max. Valtteri, turning to you, you end a three-race streak without a podium, so how good was the Mercedes car in Mexico this afternoon?
VB: Well, in summary, I think it was not good enough. We couldn't keep up with Red Bull, with Max. We couldn't fight for the win today, which is unfortunate. Of course it was a pretty straightforward race, there were no safety cars or anything like that to help us, to give us any opportunity. Handling-wise, it was all not too bad, but just missing grip, sliding a bit around, lacking grip in the corners. I think that's where Red Bull is still at an advantage in places like this. But I really need to say at this point, massive congrats to Lewis for the world title. I think he really deserves it. And also big congrats for the team, winning both titles this year. Of course, for me it's unfortunate it's not me winning the drivers but it is good for Lewis and I'm happy for him.
Kimi, Valtteri says the Mercedes wasn't good enough here in Mexico, how was the performance of the Ferrari?
KR: I don't know really! It's hard to say, because I was on my own most of the race. Again, in the beginning I was stuck behind a Force India and I couldn't get past, but once he went to do his pit stop I had decent speed, but it was quite a handful the handling, it wasn't the nicest. But I don't really know as I was on my own since that point. The guys in front of me were so far [away], and behind there was not really anything. It's hard to say. It wasn't too bad but I kind of expected it after a difficult day yesterday. I think the biggest issue was not being very strong in the start. The initial start wasn't too bad but then I was side by side with Valtteri and then everybody in the front formed one line and I was outside of it and behind me guys were towing me and I was left kind of alone and then I had a pretty disastrous first two corners. Anyhow, it was what it was.
Can we just a few words from you on the achievement of Lewis Hamilton, now a four-time world champion?
KR: I think you have to go and talk to him.
We will do, but the achievement?
KR: Well, it's great for him, a lot of wins, a lot of championships. Good, but what can I say? I think...
MV: Basically, you don't care, right?
KR: No, I don't! Can we be happy about it? In a way yes, but...
MV: I think we'd prefer to be in that position, right?
KR: You can be happy for him but inside, you know, you...
Max, anything you can add about Hamilton's championship? I appreciate you have won the grand prix and your time will come I'm sure, but just your thoughts on Hamilton please.
MV: Well, I think in general this year he has been the strongest and also the car was the most reliable between Ferrari and Mercedes and if you combine those two things you can achieve great things and that's of course a world championship.
Check out our Sunday gallery from Mexico, here.