Drivers: Fernando Alonso
(Ferrari), Kimi Raikkonen
(Lotus) and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes).
Three former Ferrari
world champions on the podium but Fernando this is a pretty good weekend to be a Spanish sportsman called Alonso. A fabulous victory for yourself.
Yeah. It's difficult to express in words what is the feeling now. Winning a home grand prix is something unique – a very special feeling. I had the opportunity to do this in Barcelona in 2006 with Renault
and I still remember that day perfectly. And now I did the same here in Valencia, with this special team, Ferrari, with all the grandstand full of red colour and Spanish flags. Here now, with the Euro football championship also, there is a lot of Spanish atmosphere inside all of us. Feeling very proud to be a Spanish sportsman at the moment and winning in Spain this race is probably the best victory I ever felt in terms of emotions. Nothing maybe compares to this one.
You joined in the celebrations a little early Fernando. Why did you stop your car, just to take part in the party?
No, no. We had a problem with the car and we stopped it. It was the right place maybe because we had two grandstands there. It took a little bit of time for the medical car to arrive and we had eight or 10 minutes of all the people saying things about me, saying congratulations. They want me to jump. You know, fun and games and we enjoy a little bit those minutes.
Kimi, it's a third podium position of the season for you. Was a victory possible for you today or were the tyres just not there at the end?
I think everybody had quite old tyres at that point. I just didn't have enough tyres. I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton on I think it was the second-last or third-last lap. We didn't really have the speed to challenge for the win. I think on the start already I got a good start but got blocked by Maldonado in the first right-hander and lost quite a few places because of that. I was a bit behind already at that point. We made a good recovery from that position. I had quite a hard fight with people and overtaking and then second place. It's OK of course, but not what we wanted.
Michael, they say you can't overtake on this track but your saw your fair share today. Welcome back to the podium. At what stage did you think this podium was a possibility?
I didn't actually think about a podium at all at the end of the race. It was crossing the line that I asked my guys 'where did we finish?' I saw Webber's pit board and close to the end it showed him eighth and seventh and I knew I was one place ahead of that one. And then boys told me 'that's third, that's podium'. I can't believe that! It's something I didn't really expect. You sort of lose count, because I was pretty busy in the last stages of the race, plus Maldonado and Hamilton had their issue. Probably normally one minus one would give us the three but I lose count at that stage.
It's moments like these that brought you back to the sport I'm sure.
Yeah, it's those moments that definitely you enjoy deeply. It's just a wonderful feeling to back after such a long time. We were a couple of times close to it. It happened in a pretty spectacular way on a track where it is difficult to pass but due to various strategies and differences on track it was pretty exciting and that's obviously the best way, if you manage the way I did today to jump the podium unexpectedly makes you extra happy.
Finally, back to you Fernando. You described this as your best victory. After the disappointment of qualifying to the euphoria or today. How do you explain that, or is it just Formula One in 2012?