Track Interviews - Conducted by Nico Rosberg
Well, Carlos, what an incredible Formula 1 race we saw out there and especially also thanks to your defending. I mean that was just unbelievable. How hard was that out there?
Carlos Sainz: Very tough, very tough. It's cannot get any tougher than what it was today. Honestly, the whole race pushing very, very hard to keep the Red Bulls behind and that obviously made me use the rear tyres a lot, trying to keep up with them and trying to keep them behind. And in the end, I ended up paying a bit the price with the rear tyres, but I did everything I could to defend with all the cars that I could and, yeah, brought it home in P3, but it was a tough one for sure.
And that battle with your team-mate. Oh my goodness, that was close.
CS: It was tough. Tough, hard racing. It's always been a pleasure to race Charles whenever we've had the chance. And today was the same. Great racer, same as Max and Checo, you know, we had fun out there today and I hope you guys enjoyed it.
I think the Red Bull car was just too fast again today. So can you still be happy with that P3 here at Monza, the home race?
CS: I think we just need to keep working on our pace, on our tyres understanding. I think today it was obvious that we were wearing the tyres a bit more and we were just lacking a bit of pace. But it's definitely a big step forward compared to Zandvoort. This weekend we've been best of the rest, which is a good result for the team given the circumstances.
Checo, what a great to catch-up you did in that race. Can you be happy with P2?
Sergio Perez: I think it was basically the maximum we could have achieved today. It was so difficult to overtake, a lot harder than we really thought. I think we were lacking some straight-line speed. We were having some great exits out of Parabolica but still it was not enough. I was most of the time 0.2s, 0.3s [slower]. 0.2 would give me a chance, but 0.3 I would not even get close. So to get through Charles and then to get through Carlos it was pretty insane, because I had to use a lot my tyres.
I mean, you were trying everything and being creative, trying outside lines at Parabolica and everything. Did you at times think that this is not going to work?
SP: Yeah, I really thought that at times, especially in the beginning, you know, like, I couldn't get close to Charles because we were stuck in the DRS. I started to put the pressure on Charles and he lost the DRS from Carlos. And then yeah, it was also a lot of fighting with him and in then in the end we managed to get both of them.
Your pace in the race when you were clear was really looking good, all weekend. Do you think you're going to be able to find some progress now for the rest of the season to get closer to Max?
SP: Yeah, I think we've done a lot of progress on the set-up side. I am feeling a lot more comfortable in the car, so I do expect that we will see the best form in the next races.
Max Verstappen, unbelievable once again. Another record - 10 in a row. Does that mean something to you? Is that special?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, I mean, I never would have believed that that was possible. But we had to work for it today and that made it definitely a lot more fun.
Yeah, I mean, we're looking at one of those moments of battling with Carlos all the way through the beginning of the race. How hard was that?
MV: Yeah, we had good space and I think we were good on the tyres, but they had a lot of top speed and it was so hard to get close and get a move into Turn 1. So I had to force him into a mistake. And luckily, it came at some point, where he locked up, and then I had better traction, of course, out of Turn 2 and basically from there onwards we could do our own race.
Did you doubt at one point, like, 'oh man, maybe I'm not going to be able to win this today'?
MV: I was just trying to stay patient. It was still a very long race. I could see them struggling a lot with the rear tyres, so I just had to pick my moment.
And after that, just awesome car, felt great, yeah?
MV: Everything felt good. We had to nurse a little issue at the end but we had luckily the gap behind, so I could easily back off.
Max, very well done. Ten wins in a row. No one has ever done that before. What does this record mean to you?
MV: Yeah, I think, of course, it's something you don't expect to happen. I never thought at the beginning of the season that something like this was possible. So yeah, very proud. But also just very happy with the race. In general, we had good pace again, we could look after our tyres. It was quite an interesting little battle in the beginning, you know, to try and get a move into Turn 1, but we just didn't have the top speed to do so. So I had to wait for a tiny mistake or tiny lock-up or whatever. And, at one point, you know, Carlos had a little lock-up, which then made me have a good run out of Turn 2 and once I got in the lead, yeah, I could just focus on my own pace. And yeah, the car felt really nice to drive.
Max, I'm sorry to drag you back to this record. But other drivers have won races, other drivers have won World Championships, but no one has done what you've just done.
MV: That's correct! Honestly, I'm just very proud also, you know, of the whole team effort, the whole year already. I mean, what we are doing at the moment, winning every race this year, is something that we definitely are enjoying, because I don't think these kinds of seasons come around very often. And that's the same, of course, with winning 10 in a row.
Any messages from Sebastian Vettel prior to the race or even since the race?
MV: No. I mean, I've haven't had my phone yet. So we'll check later.
Now, bringing it back to the race, then. We saw some really good racing today. Better than we've seen other race tracks. Why do you think that was?
MV: I think, in general, it's still hard to pass around here. I think, up at the front it was also because we were behind them, so we were faster and we had to pass. So I don't know. I don't think it's track-specific. Also, you know, here in Qualifying, sometimes you can maybe jump one or two places, but then in the race drop back. So that naturally, of course, creates more overtaking or at least a chance of possible fights. So I don't think it's always the track.
OK, final one from me. You said earlier that you were nursing a little issue at the end. Can you tell us any more about that?
MV: I haven't spoken to the team yet about that issue. Or what the issue was really. So yeah, they just told me what I had to do and I did that to the end. Luckily, of course, we had the gap behind, so I could just take it quite easy to the end.
Singapore next. How do you see that race?
MV: A little bit more difficult, I think for us. But we'll see. We'll do our best and of course we'll try to go in there and try to win it again. But it's not, let's say, going to be the strongest weekend for us.
SP: Yeah, it was, all the way through fighting, basically. First getting through George, which wasn't very easy. Had to take the escape road into Turn Two a few times. Once I managed to clear him, the team told me to box but at the same lap, Carlos boxed, so I decided to stay out, thinking that we can extend a little bit more, to build a little bit more of a tyre delta, but then we were in the risk of undercut to George and we ended-up behind the Ferraris. And once Charles had the DRS from Carlos, it was very hard to put him under pressure. Towards 10, 11 laps, he lost the DRS from Carlos and that really made my race, you know? When I was able to pass I had some contacts, like, I think into Turn Four, I had no space, and ended-up touching. Luckily there was no damage for any of us. And then with Carlos as well. It was another very tight fight but that's expected for those positions.
You came into the weekend wanting to have a clean weekend. You've come away with a podium. Just how pleased are you with how it's all gone.
SP: Very pleased - but we had a terrible Saturday in terms of the issues we had in FP3 with the car that really put us back in Qualifying. So, I think we could have a better starting position, which definitely will have put us a lot closer in the fight for victory. But certainly, we made a lot of progress, which is a positive thing. I think we've done very good set of directions, and then some work with the suspension as well. And I'm able to feel quite a lot more comfortable.
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