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

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Q:
Fernando, that was a great Grand Prix win, a fantastic start, lots of action in front of you at the first corner, let's talk about that, and then talk about that great race-defining second stint.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, the start was probably the most exciting part of the race, for sure. I saw the people in front of me going quite aggressively into turn one. I myself locked the front tyres and I went a little bit wide. But I think it surprised us in a way as with the cold temperatures most of us started with the prime tyres and then we locked the tyres and everybody went long, so I took the benefit of that and I put myself behind Robert and from that point the race was a little bit easier. Then in the second stint we managed to have some free air, no one in front of us, the car was very nice to drive again and I was pulling a nice gap and maybe part of the victory was in the second stint.

Q:
You took on less fuel in the first stop, so perhaps that was influential in how the car handled?

FA:
Yeah, obviously we were P2 when we stopped for the first time, so I asked the team if we can manage to exit the pits in front of Robert because I wanted some free air in the second stint, so they had to give me less fuel to do that but the problem is you need to open a gap in the second stint. Sometimes you can do it, sometimes you can't but today the car was perfect and I was able to do it.

Q:
I guess Robert got in front of you at the first corner when you locked up?

FA:
Yeah, he went a little bit wide and then I saw the action in front me, everybody going straight, so I backed off a little bit and Robert overtook me. Then I was trying not to lose too much of a gap to Robert in the first stint and then control the race until the end as we did not know exactly how the soft tyres would perform in the last stint, so as many seconds as possible you need to be comfortable.

Q:
Talk a little bit now about the feeling within the team and after the win in Singapore, Renault's first back to back wins since 2006. How do you feel right now?

FA:
Well, again difficult to believe. Obviously the Singapore win was completely unexpected and after a very sad Saturday, coming from a retirement in qualifying, there were some special conditions with the safety car etc. but today we had nothing and we won again in a circuit that maybe is not particularly good for our characteristics. I cannot believe it right now but obviously back to back wins is a very nice feeling and the team did a great job to improve the car. We are now maybe just behind Ferrari and McLaren and this is completely amazing.

Q:
Robert, what about the first corner from your point of view?

Robert Kubica:
I didn't manage a good start. I had some slipping clutch in the initial phase of the start, so Trulli went by. I think it was Trulli, one of the Toyotas. Then I decided to go on the inside, I braked really too late and if someone had managed to take the apex I would have for sure hit him but suddenly everybody was straight. I locked the front wheel quite a lot but managed to stay on the track, I think I was the only one who did really. Okay, I didn't take the apex but I was still on the track and managed to pull out first after corner one. Then I was not really able to pull away, Fernando was keeping the gap and I was trying everything. After the first pit stop he was in front of me. I had a graining problem which influenced the last sector where I was very slow and in low speed corners he was pulling much better traction out of low speed corners and then the last stint it was a great battle with Kimi for three or four laps when I again had very big problems with the graining but then the tyres cleaned out. I managed to pull a comfortable gap of two seconds and that's it.

Q:
Talk about the battle with Kimi, especially at turn three.

RK:
Yeah, there is no space for two cars to go through there. I was on the inside and I just did not back off and he didn't back off. I managed to stay on the track, but nearly went off, but that's it. I knew I had to survive this four or five laps. I didn't know exactly how much graining there would be but I did survive them. Once the tyres were cleaned out I was able to pull away.

Q:
Given where you were in qualifying I imagine this is a great result for you?

RK:
Yeah, I think this is much better than the Canada win with a car I think it is not a secret anymore, not the one from the beginning of the season. We didn't improve a lot in the last two or three months, so to be able to finish second on the podium in front of McLaren and Ferrari, to be able to keep quite a good pace in qualifying, is amazing. Again qualifying was crucial. I managed to do a really good result with the car I have and then in the race I managed to keep a consistent pace and with a bit of luck at the first corner finish second. A great result for the team in, I think, a very difficult moment. Everybody is pushing but we cannot find better pace and I think it is a good boost for the last two races as we are still in the fight, so let's try.

Q:
How was the first corner from your point of view?

Kimi Raikkonen:


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