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

9 September 2012


Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Sergio Perez (Sauber) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).


Podium interviews (conducted by Niki Lauda)


Q:
How is it to win the Italian Grand Prix in front of all these fans here?

Lewis Hamilton:
It's been fantastic to win here; you've got the best crowd. I'm just so happy for my team; it was really a fantastic day.

Q:
Now you're catching up on Fernando. You're 37 points behind. It's got to be a pleasure?

Lewis Hamilton:
Fernando is a two-time world champion, he's incredible. I'm very, very happy for him.

Q:
Thank you. So, I take my hat off (to you), Sergio. You did an incredible job. I think you even surprised Fernando here. How did you work this fantastic race for yourself?

Sergio Perez:
It was a great race for me, for my team. It's unbelievable to get a podium in Monza, with all these people. It's really, really special.

Q:
What was the strategy? What tyres did you use?

Sergio Perez:
I went for prime and then I stopped very late in my first stint and then I had fresh tyres at the end. It's unbelievable, thank you very much.

Q:
So, Fernando, it was a difficult race for you, from where came from, please explain.

Fernando Alonso:
It was a difficult race starting from tenth. But we knew that we had maybe the quickest car maybe this weekend. We missed pole position yesterday but today we had the pace to recover positions, so it was good.


Press conference

Q:
Lewis, isn't that just the best podium in the world, with all those people, what do you think? And you got out your best Italian as well.

Lewis Hamilton:
I tried – but you couldn't hear anything!

Q:
That looked a fantastic win, virtually lights-to-flag, apart from during the pitstop. Trouble-free?

Lewis Hamilton:
It was pretty trouble-free – I don't think I had any problems throughout the race and the guys did a great job through the pitstop. And I got a good start for once, so very, very happy with that.

Q:
Any issues with tyres at all? Was it fairly straightforward?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yes.

Q:
And no problems mechanically or anything like that? Obviously your team-mate had a problem.

Lewis Hamilton:
Very, very unfortunate for Jenson, we were running 1-2 at the time and it would have been fantastic for the team to have won here and have first and second. I don't really know what went on with his car but it was very unfortunate.

Q:
Were you told to do anything to your car?

Lewis Hamilton:
No.

Q:
Sergio, how much did you enjoy that? It must have been amazing to be on those softer tyres and just be overtaking, overtaking?

Sergio Perez:
Yeah! It was really enjoyable. One of those races where you have the pace and you are the one attacking. It was very crucial moments during the race, especially during my first stint, to go that long and to be able to keep the pace was not easy at all. I did quite a lot of laps on those tyres. Then in the second stint we managed to go maximum attack and I was able to have good fighting with some drivers. It was just a great race.

Q:
Kimi put up a bit of resistance, didn't he?

Sergio Perez:
Yeah, but I mean Kimi's a very fair driver. He left enough room, not more than needed, and it was alright with all the drivers that I had the fight, they were all leaving good room, and it was a very enjoyable fight with all of them.

Q:
How much do you worry that the tyres are suddenly going to drop off? Or are you confident all the way through?

Sergio Perez:
With the first stint I was a bit worried, especially with the data we had from Friday. I was a bit worried I was feeling some degradation from the tyres, so I was a bit worried that it was going to drop, that the tyre was going to drop but once I got until lap 20 it was looking really good. Before that I was in contact with the team every lap, trying to say that everything was fine. Every lap I asked them to stay in contact every lap, just in case we were in need to change the strategy.

Q:
Fernando, after qualifying tenth, I guess third place is good. Still a bit frustrated or not?

Fernando Alonso:
No, no. Absolutely perfect Sunday for us. Obviously the win was out of reach after the problem yesterday. Starting tenth is not easy to think about victory, so if you cannot win, podium is next target. In all the simulations and all the predictions we had, it was never a podium finish, so basically it's much better than expected. Jenson was out of the race and the two Red Bulls… so perfect Sunday maybe.

Q:
And you picked up a couple of places at the start…

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, the start was good. Obvious we didn't have maybe the best start but it was enough to overtake two or three cars, good first corner and then those two first laps were, I think, making the difference of our race. We overtook di Resta, Kimi, Michael very quickly. And that gave us the opportunity to follow Sebastian and the quick cars that were there in the first five positions. So, when you find yourself sixth after two or three laps, the race improves a lot.

Q:
Then you had a bit of a moment with Sebastian, where you found yourself on the grass through the Curva Grande. What happened there.

Fernando Alonso:
Nothing really to say.


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