(Conducted by Johnny Herbert)
Sebastian, you've got to be happy with the way it's gone? Perfect start, perfect race, third straight win, you've got to be happy with the way things are going?
Yeah, very pleased, fantastic, I'm very, very happy. I think it was a fantastic race. Obviously the foundation was to have a good start, which I wasn't sure because I was starting on the dirty side but I have to say I had reasonable grip and a very good launch. I think Mark had a little bit of wheel-slip and I was able to get even side-by- side. Even then it wasn't over because it's a long way. When I was up-shifting to seventh gear I could hear Mark coming, he was side-by-side and then I tried to use my KERS to defend and fortunately had a good exit after the third corner, so was able to stay ahead. And after that tried to push. It was quite close in the first stint, Mark was always on my toes but towards the end I felt I had a little bit more left in the tyres and could go a little bit longer. We had two brilliant pitstops. The only mistake I did was once I locked-up the front right quite badly into Turn Three, bit of a mistake from my side but fortunately by then we had quite a cushion to the cars behind and were able to control the gaps in the end. I think we were all a bit worried about the front tyres because we've seen a lot of people locking up wheels and overshooting the apexes. So, really, really happy. I have to thank the boys on this one. The mechanics in the garage because they have been flat-out, arriving here obviously there's not much break from Japan to here, flat-out every night and working very hard on the car. I think we have done another step and that is exactly what we need and hopefully we can carry that momentum through to the next races.
Mark, second place. Pole position was obviously a good start for you - unfortunately on that start you just didn't get off the line – but what was the race like for you? What difficulties did you have, if any?
The start wasn't sensational. I'll have to look into it but yeah, probably the initial getaway wasn't too great but after that it was... everyone wants… it's not the best corner to lead off so I thought, OK, we won't risk too much in the first corner, and then we got a good slipstream off Sebastian but it was just neck-and-neck for us along the back straight. After that I just tried to hang in there as best I could. But then it was just about tyres, looking after the front right. And at the end of each stint it was difficult to keep the front right alive. Yeah, the first two stints were quite tricky for me and then the last stint I was much happier with the balance but it was all too late then. So, good drive for Seb, great day for the team, the guys did a great job. Of course I'm disappointed but I'm happy to get a good result in the other side as well. Thanks to all the fans for coming out today. Cheers.
And Fernando, well the championship battle is on now isn't it? You've led for so long in this championship, you're six points behind – I think you should be happy today because the car was quite competitive. Do you feel that? Do you feel there's more to come from you and Ferrari?
Yes, definitely. I think we have to be happy with the performance today, we finished third and fourth, just behind Red Bull
that at the moment are difficult to beat. So, it was a good day for the team, for Felipe, for me, and I think we also overtook McLaren
in the Constructors' Championship, which is something that maybe we didn't expect two or three races ago, so definitely we are moving in the right direction. We just need a little last step to be as competitive as Red Bull
and I think it will be a beautiful last four races to the end.
Seb, a last thing from you, obviously you're leading the championship finally, how are these guys, especially Fernando, going to be able to beat you? What are you going to do?
It's tough but that's what it is about. I'm looking forward to the next couple of races. We had a good last couple of races but y'know we've seen the championship is pretty much up and down, a lot of things can happen. What do we do? I think we have to focus on ourselves; we need to have our best possible results and then we go from there. I think at the end of the year if we have enough points there's a lot of people telling us so we don't have to do the mathematics ourselves.
Sebastian, well done. First of all, was it really all about the start, and then tyre management I guess?
Well, we didn't know! It's difficult to say. Obviously now we can say that the start was very important. In my case obviously we started from the dirty side. I think the right side generally we saw last year, usually is a bit better but I had a very good launch and yeah, could see that Mark was struggling a little bit in the first bit of the start and I was able to get side-by-side and obviously then had the inside into Turn One, which was very good for us. But it wasn't over at that stage because there's still a long straight and quite a big headwind all race from Turn Two to Turn Three. I could hear him coming and obviously he was side- by-side but fortunately I had the inside and after that I focussed on having a very good exit out of Turn Three, which fortunately I had and then I was able to stay ahead. I think it was then that Mark was side-by-side with Fernando, going into Turn Four. It was a perfect start for myself and after that a perfect first stint. I think towards the end I was able to pull away a little bit and open a gap to Mark which helped to stay out a little bit longer and I think after that we had a very good stop, a very strong second stint opening the gap again. Only at the end of the second stint I had a mistake, braking for Three, locking up the right front. I think a lot of people suffered issues with the front today so the last stint I tried to control a little bit more and I had more juice in the tyre until the end. Obviously we had the gap and were controlling that towards the end, but I think once you reach the point where the front tyres are gone, it's sudden death, so there's no point of return. We were talking a lot over the radio, trying to stay on top of the problem and manage the front tyres quite well, which I think we did until the end. Very happy with the result and have to say thanks again to the mechanics, the team, they have been working more than what we should ask them for. Every night, flat out, the whole team and I hope now they get a bit of a break, some sleep finally. But obviously it's a nice reward to finish first and second today for the guys in the garage. Really pleased with the result.