Sebastian, was that the sort of race you expected? Long periods when you just seemed out on your own, driving against a delta – or did you just expect it to be much more closely competitive than that?
Surely I did not expect that. I think, yeah, was pretty dominant today, as I said, certainly not the expectation. Yeah, in the beginning, obviously quite tight, wheel-to-wheel racing. I knew it would be crucial to get in the lead if I can because then you have a little bit of an advantage, looking after your tyres and managing the race from there. I could feel that I was able to pull away and the medium compound felt pretty strong but then obviously we had three sets of new hards and for us the car seemed to work very well on those tyres. Obviously I realised in the second stint that I was able to open a gap so I thought, 'right, I'll take my chance as much as I can to pull away.' Because you know it can only help at the end of the race, you don't know what is going to happen. It probably buys us some flexibility. Fortunately we never got into a pressure situation again. But a very strong race. We were able to look after the tyres and really manage every stint the best way we could. I have to say, big compliments to the guys at home, to the guys here, on the strategy side. Yesterday wasn't probably that straight forward but we decided to save the tyres that I mentioned and they seemed to work very good today and we had a very strong race, it all worked in our direction, so very pleased.
Speaking of strategy, Kimi, you said you wanted to make a two-stop strategy work. You felt that was the right way forward. But did you need to be five, six places further up on the grid? Was it qualifying that cost you a chance of the win today?
I think it didn't help but I think overall we would not have had the speed for beating Red Bull
in here this weekend. And even if yesterday we could have been a few places better but still we couldn't have challenged on speed whatever we would have done to the front. So, I mean, I don't think on the speedwise we could really have challenged for the win. But I would say then second was the best that we could achieve and also third for the team so a good result.
Romain, at the end you seemed awfully pleased with that third place, congratulations to be back on the podium. You say 'this is where we should be'. Do you also believe this is where you should be?
We've got a difficult start to the season. I think we've put in a lot of work and effort to understand what was exactly going on – and it wasn't easy to find out but basically I think we came back where we should be. Yesterday qualifying was a bit disappointing but never mind, we had a lot of new sets of tyres for today, which was good. At the start of the race… well after the first few laps there wasn't optimism because we have a lot of big debris coming into the radiator and the rear brakes and we had to pit it very early because the temperature was going up. So I knew that the two first stints would be normally quite long on hard tyres and then do short on mediums but we had to pit and change the tyres. But then the car was good. And I think it was one of the races where I had the most overtaking manoeuvres and fights on track. Easy, not so easy, and the last ten laps was pretty good because I had a Force India
in front of me. I knew I was much quicker but for how many laps is the medium because they start to lose pace? So I was trying to take care of them but at the same time pushing hard and finally back on the podium. The same podium as last year, so it's pretty good to be here.