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Monaco GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
23/05/2021

Today's post-race press conference with Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

Track Interviews - Conducted by David Coulthard

Q: Lando, I saw you with the team and I can see the joy and happiness in your eyes. Brilliant first podium here in Monaco. Tell us about it?
Lando Norris: I don't know what to say. I didn't think I would be here today. It's down to these guys. It's always a dream to be on the podium here. It's extra special. I didn't think it was going to happen. A bit of luck and I want to say some good driving and a good car all weekend. We've had a strong weekend. So thanks to the boys and girls, this one is for them.

Q: You have had a brilliant start to this season and you are really charging in this championship but the podium here in Monaco is something a little bit extra special?
LN: It is, especially...

Carlos Sainz: Come on!

Q: Great to see the brotherhood there. Now either Carlos wants to hurry your interview up...
LN: He can wait for one minute! This is my glory.

CS: For once I'm happy you are (inaudible).

LN: Yeah, congrats to this guy as well and to Max. It's special here, so I'll cherish it. Beautiful trophy boxes and I'm very much looking forward to that as well, so cheers.

Q: Carlos, you were quick all weekend. You were a little bit frustrated that you didn't get the final lap in quali but this is a great result today?
CS: Yeah, it is a good result. If you would have told me before coming to Monaco I would finish second I would definitely have taken it. It's just the circumstances of the weekend - having Charles on pole, me missing out in quali yesterday on a good lap - it just maybe doesn't taste as good as it should but I'm sure when I reflect back on the weekend I will be very happy and proud of the weekend and I think Ferrari as a team they need to be proud about the car and the step they have done this year.

Q: Well, I think they can be very proud of how humble you are, because mixed emotions, Charles with the disappointment ahead of the race. Was that in your mind at all during the grand prix?
CS: It is. When you see the other car not starting from pole, all of a sudden the responsibility obviously falls to you to salvage a bit the weekend. One car is out, starting from pole, and you want to give the team at least a podium. It was all about getting the start right and then around the pit stops there was a lot of traffic and we were lapping the cars very quickly and obviously Valtteri had the pit stop but even without that I was feeling really good with the car today and I felt like the team at least deserved a podium this weekend.

Q: How fit are you, you're not even sweating! Your hair is dry!
CS: No, man. It's easy when you train. Maybe you don't do that so much, but we are fit!

Q: Congratulations, you've got plenty of energy for the party tonight. Max, your first victory in Monaco. The first but I'm sure it won't be the last. You said before the race it's only 25 points for a win but it's so much more here in Monaco?
Max Verstappen: It's so special around here to win. Also for me the first time on the podium here. An amazing race. It's a lot of laps around here and you really have to keep your focus but yeah, it's really cool.

Q: You know it's traditional around here, you have his Serene Highness Prince Albert up there on the podium. You're supposed to curtsy or bow or something. You're getting the wave from Prince Albert, so you'll be joining him soon. At any point in this race were you concerned or once you got off the start and managed to close down Valtteri it was plain sailing or how difficult was the race?
MV: You never know what's going to happen but it was all about just looking after your tyres and finding a good stop gap of course. The others went earlier and that made it a bit easier for me but I was pretty much in control.

Q: Max, final words, Monaco Grand Prix winner. We saw you with the entire team, we saw you with your partner Kelly. The emotions must be running high. Only your mother and father and your sister to look in the eye and know that you are a winner.
MV: Yeah, of course you always want to win this grand prix. I remember when I was little already watching this grand prix. When you are standing here of course I'm very proud, but I'm also thinking ahead. It's still a very long season, but of course this is a great way to continue.

Press Conference

Q: Max, what a sensational day for you. You've never previously had a top three finish here and now you've won the race.
MV: Yeah, it's been an amazing day of course. I think once we had the lead in Turn 1 from there onwards we could manage the pace quite well and look after the tyres, because I mean around here it's all about just keeping them alive and trying to go as long as you can and find a pit gap. Of course Valtteri at one point was struggling a bit with his tyres and had to pit. Of course it always looks like it's going quite smoothly but around here keeping the concentration for so long is not easy but overall supper happy to win here.

Q: Can we talk a little bit more about the start? You left Valtteri in no doubt about your intentions. Can you tell us about your launch and the run down to Turn 1?
MV: You know that it's very hard to pass here around Monaco so you need to of course stay in your position in the start and that's what I tried to make sure.

Q: One of your main rivals was taken out of the race before it had even started. Can you describe your feeling when you heard that Charles wouldn't be taking the start?
MV: Of course it's sad for Charles, starting from pole here at his home grand prix, so it's never nice to not even do the start. But I think quite quickly you have to shift the focus to yourself and focus on your race. Of course we still had to start in second, which I didn't think was a great spot to start, on the outside, for me. I thought it was going to be good but I had a bit of wheel spin, so I had to cut across and luckily I stayed in first but the grip wasn't amazing.

Q: Final one from me. Can we talk about the championship, because this is a significant day? You are leading the world championship for the first time in your career, by four points. Of course, there's still a long way to go but can you tell us how it feels to see your name at the top of the standings?
MV: If it's there at the end of the season, that would be great. Like you said, there is a long way to go. Of course it's great to bounce back after the last two races where the gap got bigger. Yeah, we still have to work hard, because we know that Mercedes on normal tracks are the ones to beat. But a good, smooth weekend overall I think and this is a great boost for the whole team going forward.

Q: Carlos, coming to you, many congratulations. Your first podium for Ferrari and, to do it here at Monaco as well.
CS: It's a good feeling. Of course today in particular with starting P4 also - P3, sorry - to finish P2 is a good result. I think the team deserves to at least get a podium this weekend. But yeah, the bittersweet feeling is still there because I've had the pace to put it on pole or at least to win this weekend and the fact that, in the end we didn't quite manage it is not great. Also, I feel for Charles. I feel for the team, that they didn't manage to start the day from pole. It's a strange day - but at the same time on a personal level I have to be happy with P2 because it was the maximum that we could achieve today.

Q: Can we talk a little bit more about the pace of the car? I mean, if we were to wind the clock back to the start of the week, how confident were you coming into the Monaco weekend?
CS: Probably if you had told me on Wednesday that I would not be 100% happy about P2, I would have not believed it, to be honest, because we are not normally fighting for this position this year. But then, after the pace of Thursday, I genuinely thought we could win. I was so comfortable in the car and so fast on Thursday and Saturday morning, and through qualifying, I genuinely felt like, OK, I can put it on pole and win my first-ever grand prix in Monaco. Then, obviously, we all know what happened on Saturday and today I had to reset myself. Today I had to change a bit my expectations. I knew that starting fourth, one of the best things that could happen was to finish on the podium. And in the end it was a P2. So, in general, that's why today I'm happy: in general with the whole weekend, I'm still missing the possibility to win.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monaco, here.

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