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

30 June 2013

Drivers: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).


Podium interviews
Conducted by Damon Hill


Q:
Nico, you've kept your cool when all around you were losing theirs. There were tyres going off, there were cars breaking down. Tell me, how do you feel to have won the British Grand Prix?

Nico Rosberg:
Fantastic! It's a very, very special day and I think what makes it more special is that our factory is so close, and our team has done such a fantastic job to come through during the season. We have such momentum going at the moment, progressing all the time. Really, really massively quick in qualifying, also getting faster and faster in the race. I think today we had equally the fastest race car as well. So, it's a very special day for me. And this goes out… this is for all of my team colleagues working in the factory. I hope many of them have been in the grandstands watching. This one is for all of you out there. Thank you very much.

Q:
It was a dramatic race. You had two guys in the front who you had to beat. We lost Lewis Hamilton early in the race, that was a big disappointment to the British fans and then you were charging, you were chasing after Sebastian and then the leader of the World Championship, his car failed right here. What did you feel when that happened?

Nico Rosberg:
With Lewis, definitely I feel sorry for all the British fans. It would have been a great race for Lewis here in front of his home crowd – that's always a massive disappointment, but that's racing sometimes. When Sebastian stopped, to be honest, I won't lie, I wasn't disappointed by that one. And then from then it was a great race to win.

Q:
Mark, what a storming drive. You must have thought it was all over, the start didn't go so well, tell us about it.

Mark Webber:
I didn't have a clue what happened off the line. We've had two or three good starts in the last few races and then the lights went out and we're back to our normal tactics. So, I'm not sure. We need to have a look at why they pop up every now and again. That was frustrating. Then I had, I think it was Grosjean, take the front wing in the first corner, so the first stint was compromised by that. The boys did a great job to put a fresh front wing on at the stop and then we started to get the race underway from there. Obviously there was a lot of people with issues with the tyres which helped a bit but we were lucky not to have any issues. It was a clean race, good strategy. I think that, yeah I would have liked a few more laps at Nico but he deserved the win. He was quick all day, obviously. Little bit of fortune but anyway you've got to be there to capitalise. I'm very happy with second, team have done a good job and thanks – last time here in Formula One in front of the British fans – thank you very much.

Q:
Fernando, you again drove a storming race. You really got caught out by the second safety car – you were down and had to charge back up through the field. Fantastic drive back into the podium.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, it was a good race for us. With the last safety car we lost six positions because of the safety car. But overall I think it has been a very lucky race for us. Looking at the problems with the tyres of some of the drivers, we fact we didn't any problem we have to consider lucky. And then with Sebastian's problem, as Nico touched on before, we've been also lucky to recover some points. At the end it was a very good Sunday and hopefully we put on a good show for the great, great fans. They've been here from Thursday to today, supporting all the teams, respecting all the teams. Thank you very much.

Q:
The championship, is it blown open now? Here you have a points gain on Sebastian.

Fernando Alonso:
Mixed feelings to be honest. Happy for the points, we've reduced the gap a little bit in this race but the pace we saw this weekend is not good enough. There were some other Sundays that we lost some points and maybe I was more optimistic. Today we recovered some points but we know there is a lot of work to do. But I trust the team, we are united, we have a difficult weekend, we put the cross and now we think of the next one.

Q:
What did you think before Sergio Pérez when his tyre blew? What was going through your mind there?

Fernando Alonso:
I've had two moments, that one with Sergio I was so scared and so lucky because I missed the contact by one centimetre. And also at the start into turn one. I locked the tyres and nearly lost the front wheel. As I said, some risky moments. All of them were fine for me today, so I just need to enjoy the result but from tomorrow working in Germany race because we need to raise our game.

Q:
Nico, now you're heading to Germany. Second grand prix victory this season and you have a German manufacturer in Mercedes. It's going to be a fantastic event in Germany isn't it, next week?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, for sure. Going from the team's home grand prix here to my second home grand prix – I already had one – fortunately for me I have two home grands prix, I managed to win that in Monaco. Second one coming up at Nürburgring. And it's very special. I'm very proud to be German, driving a Silver Arrow, going to the Nürburgring, the history there, and having that great car that I have at the moment, really looking forward to that.

Q:
The tide's going to change a little bit, isn't it? You seem to have a car that's competitive during the race. The tyre degradation wasn't nearly as bad. Is there any chance, do you think, that this championship could be turning a tide here against Red Bull?

Nico Rosberg:
Well, I wouldn't talk about that just yet but definitely the team has done such a good job during the season. Already in the winter, to come up with such a quick car, which we've had all year in qualifying, and now also progressing with tyre management and getting that better and better to allow us to win races now, that's fantastic to see and really gives me… yeah, just very exciting.

Q:
Where you happy to continue racing when you were told about the tyre issue?

Nico Rosberg:
It's definitely something that needs to be looked into, yeah? Because too much of that today, that's for sure. I had one too – but got a bit lucky there with the safety car so that worked out great.


Press conference


Q:
Nico, congratulations, great win for Mercedes, based just a few kilometres down the road from this Silverstone circuit. What does this win mean to you, and to them?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, fantastic day definitely, and it's very special because it's the home grand prix of the team and the factory is ten minutes away. A lot of people, a lot of my fellow team members and colleagues are in the grandstands, watching today and it's very, very nice that I was able to give them such a great race and such a great result. They really deserve it – you really deserve it because you've worked so well all season. It's great to see the momentum we have in the team at the moment.

Q:
There was obviously some brilliant driving, some brilliant overtaking but no doubt the big story coming out of this obviously is the situation with the tyres. Your thoughts on what we've seen today.

Nico Rosberg:
Definitely that's a problem. Too many tyre failures and they must look into that and see what can be done.

Q:
Mark, you almost got him at the end. 0.7 seconds as you crossed the finish line of a race you've won twice – you obviously enjoy it very much here. Great recovery though, after a poor start. Just listening to the tone of your radio messages, is it tempting to say that you feel a win got away from you today?

Mark Webber:
Oh yes, it's easy to say that. With ten laps to go when you can see the win in sight. It is mixed feelings when you finish seven-tenths behind Nico for the win. But he's also out there doing his things, so he deserved the win. We did recover. I think we had a bit of luck after that but we've got to be there to capitalise on it. We had a good strategy, obviously I pushed very hard on the laps I had to do the business. The start… I don't know. I have no idea how we can get so good some weekends and then not at others. That was a big negative for us. And then Grosjean – someone, I think it was him – touched my front wing at turn one. I had to get that changes at the first stop. And then the race really reset from there. The safety cars obviously helped – although I didn't want them because of the reasons why they were happening. Obviously it's very nervous for all the drivers to see that happening. In the end, very, very good result for myself, for the team, still go something out of it, what was… looked like a pretty random weekend for everyone on race day. I want to thank all the English and British fans for the support that I've had over the years racing here – it's been a real highlight for me to race at this circuit. So, very much looking forward to the next race and hoping to challenge again. I was happy with my performance today.

Q:
You mentioned it's a nervous time for the drivers. Four left-rear tyre failures, one front-left tyre failure. Your thoughts on that – and what it feels like to know you've got to carry on and press in that situation.

Mark Webber:
Well the team are trying to keep us up to date as best they can. Obviously it's a little bit of a moving target for them as well. They are doing their job to inform us as much as they can. It's not a slow circuit, it's very quick, we're committed to the high-speed stuff here, 100 per cent most of the time. It's not December yet, so I'll stay quiet.

Q:
Fernando, a very quick call when Vettel retired there, to come in and make a stop. Dropped you down to eighth. I was wondering whether the team had made a mistake there but you managed to fight your way through some amazing overtakes. Did you think you might have blown it at that point? And your thoughts on the race.

Fernando Alonso:
No, obviously it was an unlucky situation. They called me in around Turn Five. So, Vettel was not having the problem yet at that point they call me. We were in this lap and we try to pass Webber and Kimi, they were slowing down a little bit in front of us, so we committed to stop before Sebastian's problem. And then yes, I go out of the pits and I see 'Safety Car Deployed.' Obviously it was the worst time possible to have a safety car, when you have just pitted, and we lost an extra five positions. I don't know how many overtakings I did all the whole race. The start was probably the worst start of years. Probably. I was fighting with Hülkenberg in Turn Three, Turn Four, and I remember he was not in the first positions on the grid so I realised I was quite far down there. After the start we recovered some positions, some safety car moments as we touch on, and then the last big push at the end as we try to get a podium. We did it, it's a fantastic result for our very difficult weekend. Sometimes we have very good pace, we have a car that is able to fight for the wins and we are out of the podium. This weekend everything went a little bit on the wrong side for us, we get the podium and Sebastian doesn't finish the race. It's one of these weekends where the result is very good but the feeling is that we must improve for next weekend.

Q:
Obviously on the day when your main title rival retires, you want to try to take 25 points and not 15 but the qualifying situation really wouldn't allow you to do that today. What do you go away from this weekend and back to Maranello telling the team?

Fernando Alonso:
Well it was not the qualifying, it was the weekend in general. We were normally very fast on Fridays, on the long run pace. It was not the case here. We were not fast on qualifying and not fast on the race – so definitely was the overall weekend we didn't manage to make the tyres work. We've been very lucky – unlucky with the safety car moment that came out but very lucky with the first corner, that it was very close with Mark and Grosjean I think. In the first stop, lap nine, I had a tyre problem also. My tyre was finished and disintegrate in the last corner. For me it was the right rear that I think was new compared to all the other failures and if this happened like Felipe – that I think was in Turn Five when it happened – then I lose the race. For me it happened in the last corner and I pit. At the end it was a very lucky race and I just need to be very thankful for the team, for the luck and try to improve for next weekend.


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