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Canadian GP: Post Race press conference


Track Interviews - Conducted by Jenson Button

Congratulations, Max yet another victory from the lights to the flag. How are you feeling?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, of course I'm very happy right now. It was not a very straightforward race because the tyres were not really getting in their window. It was very cold today compared to Friday and we were sliding around quite a bit. But yeah, we made it work and yeah to win again, today to win the 100th Grand Prix for the team, that's incredible.

Yeah, you must have a pretty special feeling about that. You've worked with this team for many years. Hundredth win, how does that feel to take that for the team here?
MV: It's amazing. I mean, I never expected to be on these kinds of numbers myself as well, you know. So, yeah, we keep enjoying, we keep working hard. But today has been a great day again.

Did you expect a bigger challenge from Aston or Mercedes here? Or is this is pretty much what you expected here in Montreal?
MV: Firstly, I expected more or less what we had today, but it was, like I said, really difficult to just keep the grip, the temperature into the tyres, because the grip was disappearing very quickly. That's why maybe the gap was not that big. But yeah, we had a few Safety Cars here and there. But yeah, overall, we won, that's the most important.

And lastly, this is always a very special race to come to. A lot of fans here for the sport. They've been through a lot this weekend with the weather. Have you got a message for them?
MV: Yeah, I mean, they're so passionate about the sport. Also, yesterday with the rain, they were just hanging in there, so that was great to see. And yeah, we love coming here. And hopefully we can do this for a long time.

You've got a few fans here, Fernando. Was that the race you expected?
Fernando Alonso: Probably yes. I think we were hoping to challenge a little more the Red Bull. But we lost a place at the start with Lewis and then yeah, it was a battle with the Mercedes and Lewis was pushing all the race, so I didn't have one lap where I could relax a little bit. So it was an amazing battle.

It was lovely watching three multiple World Champions going at it. And you had a good little tussle with Lewis out there as well.
FA: I mean, at the beginning, I had a little bit more pace. At the end I think Lewis had a bit more pace. Yeah, it was tough. It was a very demanding race, you know, all 70 laps of qualifying today.

We heard you had a few issues. You had to do a little bit of lift and coast. It's always frustrating because you want to push to the maximum. Was that a fuel issue? Or was that a rear brake issue?
FA: I don't really know. They didn't tell me so maybe it was not to make me worry too much. But I don't know. I felt the car was OK. But I was just following the instructions. So yeah, hopefully that means that we have a little bit more pace. So next one, putting more pressure on Max.

I feel like I don't need to ask you a question. These guys are doing it for us and a lot of support here for F1 and a lot of support here for you, Lewis. This has always been a pretty special track for you. Not the result you want, entirely, but you're working hard out there.
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, honestly it's been a great weekend for us. I think we are slowly chipping away. I think the Astons took a little bit of a step ahead this weekend when they added the upgrades but we're working on bringing some more moving forwards. But to just have this consistency and to be up on the podium here in Montreal, which is such an incredible city and we've got such a great crowd here every single year without fail. So big thank you to everyone here.

You seem to be in a really good place. You know, there's progress being made with the team, you yourself giving it your all. It's such a pleasure for us all to see it on track. What are the areas you still think you need to improve to really take it to Aston and then finally Red Bull?
LH: Yeah, I mean, well, firstly, quite an honour to be up there with two world champions. I was really excited to be third and just trying to be in that mix. But unfortunately, we didn't have the pace today. I think where we struggle... I mean, we knew that this weekend, this wouldn't be our strongest circuit, as we struggle in the lower-speed corners particularly. And that's really where I was losing to Fernando and to Max, just on traction out of Turn 2, out of pretty much every corner. We've got a lot of work to do just to add rear downforce to the car and a little bit more efficiency, but we're chipping away as I said, and I do believe we will get there at some stage. Max was a little bit gone, but I think our pace is a little bit closer today, so we are going in the right direction.

Press Conference

Max, very well done, another brilliant victory by you, you led every lap from pole position. Did the race play out as you expected?
MV: Well, to be honest, I didn't really know what to expect because of the track in general. So it had nothing to do with competitors or whatever. But just for myself as well. Because also we changed the car quite a bit. We changed the car around quite a bit compared to Friday, so I didn't really know how it would feel today. But yeah, luckily, it went in the right direction. But I think it was quite tough today to keep the tyres in the right window, they were always running quite cold. So we had to push actually quite hard on the tyre. And then with low grip, low rubber, it was not the easiest or most straightforward. But yeah, everything went well, just the hard tyre. Probably that stint was a bit of a limitation, because of the harder compound, even harder to keep the tyre temps. And I think we know that our car normally is very good when there's high deg compared to other cars. And today probably you would have needed a car which is a bit harder on the tyre, to keep the temperatures in, you know. So it's probably not been our best race today. But still, to win by nine seconds, I think shows that we have a great car.

Well, nine seconds is the closest the gap has been at the flag all season. Do you feel Aston Martin have closed the gap here? Or do you think just it was a whole bunch of circumstances that just didn't suit you so well?
MV: Well, from our side, like I said, I don't think it was our best day, because of the tyre temps and stuff. So that doesn't help. But I also know that with their updates, they naturally of course improved. So, for sure, they got closer to us.

Now this win pulls you level with the late, great Ayrton Senna, on 41 wins. Senna is a legend of our sport. What does this milestone mean to you?
MV: Yeah, I mean, I hate to compare different generations. From my side, the only thing I can say is that when I was a little kid driving in go-karting, I was dreaming about being a Formula 1 driver and I would have never imagined to win 41 Grands Prix. So of course, to tie with Ayrton is something incredible. And of course, I'm proud of that, but of course, I hope it's not stopping here. You know, I hope that we can keep on winning more races.

And Max, just give us a few thoughts on your contribution to Red Bull's 100 wins in Formula 1.
MV: Yeah, I mean, I've won 41 of them! But, yeah, we'll talk about maybe a new contract because of that! No, honestly, it's a great achievement for the team. We knew that this was the first opportunity, of course, to do so. And I'm happy that's done. We've won 100. But again, I hope we win more than 100. So the new target is 200.

Alright, very well done to you. Thank you, Max. Fernando, coming to you now. Given that you were nursing a problem today, how satisfying is it to cross the line just nine seconds behind Max?
FA: Very, very. I think it has been a tough race from the beginning, you know, when we lost a place at the start I thought that maybe that was already gone, P2, and I would have to concentrate on the guys behind, George and the Ferraris maybe. But then, yeah, we were able to overtake Lewis and we had a little bit more pace in that part of the race. And I was quite OK, until the last 20 or 25 laps, that Lewis was coming very fast and I had to push again to the limit. So yeah, all in all, it was 70 laps of qualifying. So there was no time to rest. And I loved it.

You've just referenced losing a place to Lewis at the start, just tell us what happened?
FA: I didn't know you know. With all these procedures, we go to the podium, then to the TV pen and now here and I still don't know anything that happened to the lift and coast that I had to do, or the start. So maybe we need to reduce the media time and give us a little bit of time with the engineers and maybe we come here with more info.

But how did it feel inside the car? Just the first five seconds.
FA: Slow!

In terms of your reaction time, do you feel you...
FA: My reactions are still very good! No, I don't think... I need to check, I don't know if the guys starting on that side of the grid, they started good or not. Because I only sure Max and Lewis, obviously, but George didn't overtake me, so maybe it was just the wrong side of the grid. Yeah, I cannot answer now.

Strategic question from me now, you use the hard tyre for the last stint, whereas Max and Lewis were on the Medium. Just talk us through why you did that.
FA: We didn't have another Medium. So that is something that you need to decide before Qualifying, the tyre allocation for Qualifying and the race, sometimes you decide to go for one Medium, one Hard because you think it's enough; sometimes two Hard, sometimes two Mediums. And obviously with the very limited practice that we did on Friday, it was just a guess. I'm happy with the decision: for us the Hard was not a bad tyre at all and we were able to extend the stints, and in our car, it was a good tyre.

Final one from me. You're only nine points behind Sergio Perez in the Championship now. Do you think you can beat him?
FA: Yes.

Lewis coming to you now. Very well done, your third podium of 2023, your second in a row. How much satisfaction did this afternoon give you?
LH: It's been a great weekend. Very difficult with the conditions but loving being in the car now with the car in a better window and a bit more on the right track. And for us to be up there, having battles with Fernando in the Aston, and being just on the second row, it's been great. And to be on the podium, two races in a row is really, really fantastic for us. We were also running fourth in Monaco, so we're definitely getting closer. And it's going to be a battle of development, I guess, over the rest of the season. I reckon Max's team are already working on next year's car, so we need to take our eye a little bit off the ball and focus on next year also but yeah, happy to be up there.

Tell us a little bit more about your battle with Fernando. Having followed the Aston up close for so many laps, where were the differences in your cars?
LH: Low speed, rear end. His rear end... I mean, I got to experience being behind Max and his rear is very strong. His rear end doesn't move and he pulls ten car lengths probably on me just coming out of the corners. I think Fernando's very, very strong on the brakes, and particularly very quick through Turn 10 and Turn 2. Those places, he was taking huge chunks out of me.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Montreal here.


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