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Post-race press conference - Japanese GP - Pt.1

Drivers: Jenson Button (McLaren), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
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Jenson, coming into this weekend you said all you wanted from the rest of the season was to take another grand prix victory. Job done. Congratulations.

Jenson Button:
Thank you very much. I think this circuit is very special to all of us. We love this place, so to get a victory here in front of such an amazing Japanese crowd really does mean a lot. I need to say a big thanks to the team for the improvements we have had over the last few races and today they have been impeccable. Congratulations to them and congratulations to the fans. I think we put on a good show for them today.

Fernando, a brilliant podium, a great strategic race and a fabulous battle with Sebastian. It looked like a lot of fun.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, first of all, congratulations to Sebastian. World Champion in this race. It was a fun race. From the start we didn't overtake any car but then the strategy was quite important, with a lot of tyre degradation, so we picked the right moment to stop and we had the pace today to fight with McLaren and Red Bull and finally, a fantastic podium. I think it is a good thing for the team after difficult races where we were not so competitive that we came back to a good level here, and this podium means a lot for the team, a lot of motivation for the remaining races of this year and, for sure, a big boost for next year's motivation.

Sebastian, probably not the result you were hoping for today but you came into this weekend needing one point and with a podium you have done it.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yes, it is difficult to know where to start. Such a long year. We had a fantastic year. The good thing is it is not over yet. Today's race was not so easy. I think we weren't that quick on the soft tyres as we hoped to be and then it was difficult. We lost two positions. In the end, I think we had a very good car. It was difficult to get past Fernando. I think I got my move of the year in Monza, so I don't think he is letting me through this way twice. But phenomenal, strong result again today. To win the championship here is fantastic. There are so many things you want to say at this moment but it's hard to remember all of them. I am just so thankful to everyone in the team. We have got so many people here at the track but also at Milton Keynes working day in day out. Not only Friday, Saturday, Sunday, but also Monday to Friday, every day, pushing hard to build those two cars and to fight for a lot of points and to fight for the championship. We found ourselves in a very, very strong position and it is great to achieve the goal we set ourselves going into this year already now. There are so many people it is hard to name them all to thank, but I think one person that really stands out this year is the person I spend most of my time with during the year. It's my trainer Tommi Parmakoski. Also, regards to his family. I think back in Finland they have a great son with a great heart. He was the one not allowing me at any stage this year to lose the grip, start to fly, or think about things that are not in our control. Congratulations to Jenson, congratulations to Fernando. I think today we saw that it is extremely tight. Tighter than maybe sometimes it looked this year. In the end, the top four cars were within not even ten seconds and it is great to know that it is so tight but that we can come so strong out of it. They also know how to drive as well and are doing a fantastic job, but I think this year we have always been just this one step ahead. It is down to people like Tommi and other individuals, every single one is pushing more than 100 per cent to do his job and keeps us on the right track. There is no secret. It is step-by-step. I think in a way the hardest thing is after winning last year… we won the championship it was so close and we were so excited. To go out and do it again, even though you know how to do it, it doesn't allow you to forget all these little steps and as I said I could not have done this alone. I needed all the support I could get from the team, from Mark [Webber], from everyone outside the team working for me, so it is just as confusing as the first one I have to say. It is hard to find the right words.

Jenson, everyone knows the affinity you have with Japan and its people. What's it like to win here on this incredible circuit with these fabulous fans and how much motivation does that give you going into the last few races of the year?

Jenson Button:
It gives us, as a team, a lot of motivation. It is good, as Sebastian said, to see three different cars within, I think, about three seconds. It shows how competitive Formula One is at the moment. There are a lot of fans here. They are so supportive of the sport that we are in and I think we have all tried to do a little bit to help them, to plant a good memory in their mind as this has been a tough year for Japan. This is a special race and a very special crowd. I think we need to thank them for supporting us. But, lastly, it should be Seb that we talk about, as this guy has done a great job this year. However hard we have tried we haven't been able to touch him in a lot of races so

Press conference

Jenson, a great race, and in the dry. Does that give you some satisfaction?

Jenson Button:
I can't believe you just said that! I have won other races in the dry! No, it was a great race. The start was very good, maybe too good, and I ended up on the grass, which lost me a bit of time. Very interesting race as tyre wear was massive. It was a very exciting race and it wasn't just down to being quick over one lap. You really had to think through the race. I really enjoyed it out there. It is always a very special place to race, Suzuka, a fast, flowing circuit and it is unforgiving, so one little mistake and it is game over. This is one of the most perfect circuits in grand prix racing and also with one of the most special crowds as well. The Japanese people here have been so supportive of us and it is great to see so many fans here supporting this weekend and hopefully we have planted a small, good memory in their heads as it has been a very difficult year for them. To get the win here is one of my most special victories as I don't think I have ever won a race on such a high-speed circuit, so it means a lot to me.

Going down into the first corner, over the radio, you thought maybe Sebastian should have had a penalty for that.

Jenson Button:
Yeah, I did at the time. I am not going to lie. From my point of view I felt that he kept coming when I wasn't alongside him but I had half my car up the inside. I thought he was coming across more than I expected and didn't give me any room and I was on the grass but I am sure when I watch it back on TV, or maybe when I watch it back on TV, I will have a different opinion. But at that moment in time, yes, I felt that it was a little bit more than was needed. But it was obviously fair, as the stewards said it was fair, so that's it. Sometimes, when you get a good start and the guy in front doesn't get such a good start these sort of things happen. If we all get off the line at the same speed it is not normally an issue. We will put that behind us. But a great weekend. I felt very strong in the car all weekend and this is promising for the next four races. I know Seb has wrapped it up today, which is pretty impressive with so many races to go, but there are still a few races left and there is a lot of fighting to be done and a lot of wins to fight for, which I am very excited about.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.10.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2011 F1 Champion and 3rd position in the race
09.10.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia 2nd position
09.10.2011- Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
09.10.2011- Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia 2nd position and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7, 2011 F1 Champion and 3rd position in the race
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40

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