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Malaysian Grand Prix: Post-race press conference - Pt.1

FIA F1 post-race press conference from Malaysia with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing).
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing).


Podium interviews
(Conducted by Benedict Cumberbatch)

Q:
Well Lewis, congratulations, your first win this year and you got the hat trick – pole position, the best lap time, on lap 54 I think, and now you're here. How does it feel?

Lewis Hamilton:
Incredible, incredible. After such a difficult weekend and such a long winter. We have a great crowd here today. For Petronas, who worked so hard with Mercedes to give us this win, I just feel so grateful, particularly after such a tragedy three weeks ago. I'd really like to dedicate this to those people and their families.

Q:
Quite right. Tell us a bit about what it's like to drive in Malaysia. You're covered in Champagne now rather than sweat but as one wily commentator pointed out to me on the grid earlier it's incredibly hot here. It's in the mid-50s in terms of humidity and we hit 35 degrees Celsius on the track. What do you have to consider when you're driving?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, you're sweating even before you get in the car. It's trying to keep you body as cool as possible and then just keep you focus. Fortunately, the team were just spot on with all the pit stops and the calling, the timing. Also the info I was getting was just spot on.

Q:
It seems much clearer these days. You can hear the radio a bit more. Is that to do with the cars being a little bit quieter?

Lewis Hamilton:
It is. The cars are quieter. The most noise is the wind, the buffeting. Otherwise, what a great car, what a great job from everyone.

Q:
You did a fantastic job, congratulations once again. Now, Nico, congratulations to you too, well done, sir. That was a fantastically exciting moment just there [at the start]. Did you feel Sebastian on your shoulder? Because you took such a hard line on the right, you were like less than a foot away from the side.

Nico Rosberg:
Thanks to my engineer we worked together well and we got a great start and that allowed me to go into second place. It was a bit 'iffy', Turn Three I got a bit sideways, saw plenty of action there but it worked out well and from then on I was trying to chase Lewis but he was a bit too quick today.

Q:
Well, you did fantastically well, it was a superb run.

Nico Rosberg:
Just one more thing. Malaysia you can be proud because your company Petronas has taken us to the front of F1, so you can be really proud of that. Petronas has given us the best oil and fuel in F1, it's brilliant.

Q:
Sebastian, congratulations, your first time on the podium this year. You won here last year in the rain and that was an interesting race to say the least. How did it work this time being in the dry and the heat rather than the wet?

Sebastian Vettel:
It was dry last year as well.

Q:
It was dry; there you go.

Sebastian Vettel:
It was a really good race. The start was not very good. I was quite surprised when I saw Nico on my right.

Q:
Tell us about that.

Sebastian Vettel:
I don't know. I thought I had a good start but then I focused on getting in the tow of Lewis to maybe attack him going into the first corner. Then Nico was there on the right and it was quite tight. Daniel was coming as well as I was trying to get past Nico. So I lost a place but fortunately I got it back and then later on I was trying to get as close as I could to Nico. At some stage it looked like we are pretty similar, pretty evenly matched but then it's like he found another gear, he was pulling away. In the end I was just trying to get the car home. Obviously Daniel didn't make it for a couple of reasons. All in all it's good to get another podium after Daniel has been on the podium in Australia. But we still have a long way [to go] these guys are bloody quick, congratulations to them, they did a good but we are trying to catch-up.


Press conference

Q:
Lewis, congratulations, the 23rd win of your career. The first 1-2 for Mercedes of the modern era, your first win in Malaysia. You weren't wanting to celebrate yesterday after that pole but I guess you will allow yourself a celebration tonight.

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah. Definitely. Incredibly happy. My first time. It's my eighth year here and finally got that win. I really just owe it all to the team. Did a fantastic job, the guys back at the factory pushing non-stop to get the car to where it is, and of course to do it on Petronas… on our home ground… almost, to get a one-two, I mean it's quite special when you get a one-two. I've not had many in my career and so that makes it even more special. I'm really grateful for all the work that's done and… yeah, great day.

Q:
Nico, I guess you're looking on your mobile there at the points position because you're not only leading the World Championship but you've extended your lead today in the World Championship. But to take you back to earlier in the race, you seemed to have a few problems with the rear tyres, we were hearing over the radio, maybe you could tell us a bit about that – and also maybe a bit about the start as well.…

Nico Rosberg:
First of all the start, I had a really good start, so I was happy about that because it's not so easy this year. The rear tyres are harder and we have more torque. So it's very difficult to get it right – but it felt great and got away well and then Sebastian, I thought he was going to put me right into the wall, but he stopped just before – so thank you for that!

Sebastian Vettel:
I had a similar experience last year…

Nico Rosberg:
…that doesn't make it right to do it again! My heartbeat skipped a beat a little bit but I kept right on it, it was OK anyway, it wasn't that bad. Then I had a bit of a moment in Turn Three, a bit of a tail, tank-slapper and that allowed them all to get another run on me, but it all worked out. And then I was just trying to chase Lewis but he was a bit too quick today. It was a bit difficult out there because the track was really poor, it seemed, sliding so much, and just struggling with the rear tyres especially. That made it a bit difficult out there.

Q:
Sebastian, coming to you, you said over the radio at the end there that you're pretty pleased, that you've got some work to do still but you were on the whole pleased with the outcome – but you were 24.5s behind Lewis at the finish, and that's a pretty big number still, isn't it?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yes, it is – but I don't think that's… probably Lewis could have gone faster, I think we could have gone faster at the end of the race but our priority at the end was to make sure we secure the podium. So, I think probably to see the reality, I don't know where the gaps were, probably 10, 15 laps to the end but no doubt, congratulations to them, they did a very good job, they looked nearly seamless already in winter testing, they are bloody quick, the package they have is very, very strong, we know that but I think, y'know, for us there's mostly positives that remain. After Australia, Daniel did a fantastic job here again. I think the car was very competitive, it's a completely different track, different conditions but yeah, we are there and that's the most important… I think it's much better than what we expected at some stage during the winter. We know that there's a lot we can do better – because it doesn't feel great when we are out there racing. Just if you go out on track and listen and look at how the cars behave, on power I think there's a big difference, so yeah, we know that. I think it's a question of time, how soon we manage to catch up. And then we try to give them a harder time.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.03.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
30.03.2014 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 race winner
30.03.2014 - Race, Benedict Cumberbatch (GBR), Movie star with Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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