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Monaco GP – Post-race press conference – Pt.1

27 May 2013

TV UNILATERAL

Q:
Nico, you controlled the race from pole position but you had to deal with two safety cars, a red flag, a lot of mental resets no doubt, but describe your feelings right now, you're a Monaco Grand Prix winner?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, amazing! This is my home, I've grown up here lived all my life here, I've gone to school here. So now to win at home is very special; a very special day for me. The whole weekend really went perfectly, qualifying [everything]. The start was very close. I had a terrible start! I was close to Sebastian and then with Lewis also, but then that worked out well. After that I could control the pace. The car was really good, the tyres held on ok, so that was really the key to the victory. So massive thanks to the team for having improved from Barcelona and I'm just ecstatic

Q:
Sebastian, podium for you today, I guess you must be delighted that you've extended your championship lead?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I think overall I'm very happy and pleased with the result. We know that it's very difficult to overtake here. I think first of all congratulations to Nico, he did a very good job, a very controlled race. I think he had the pace and the tyres to respond whenever we tried to get a little bit closer, yeah. The start of the race… fantastic start but no room. I think I could have gone past both Mercedes but didn't have the room, had to lift. Then Mark came and it was tight into the first corner. And after that I was a bit surprised by the slow pace in the opening laps. Usually you expect two silver arrows in front of you and there were two buses today going for a cruise – at least in the first couple of laps. But obviously the strategy was clear and they did a very good job. We were lucky on the strategy point of view. The team did a fantastic job to get past Lewis, so yeah. After that, with the restart: pretty difficult. Warm-up was very, very tricky. I saw Lewis was all over Mark behind me, so I think we can happy with the result. Great achievement from the team again. We seem to like this place the last couple of years so very happy. Congratulations, thank you, thanks to our partners as well. Thanks to Infinity, they are pushing an awful lot in the last couple of months to help us and I think it goes without saying, thanks to Renault as well, two cars out of three on the podium again powered by Renault – in 'Little France' in a way, so it's sort of a home grand prix for them so congratulations as well. Overall, as I said, pretty happy.

Q:
Mark, fourth in the opening stint but obviously the safety car at the first stop gave you and the team the opportunity to jump ahead of Hamilton. Important moment for you?

Mark Webber:
Yes. First of all, congratulations to Nico. It's a very special place to win at so, yeah, he had a seamless weekend and that's what you need to do here. It's never easy when you're leading, you still have to pull it off. So, well done to Nico and Mercedes. For us, we knew it was a little against us starting on the second row but got an absolutely incredible start – and sod's law it's the shortest run to the first corner so, I think Seb and I had nowhere to go really so we were lifting. It's looking like Nico and Lewis had pretty tricky ones, so we'll try to save some of those starts for future reference. And then after that it was just basically saving tyres and making the one-stop work. It was completely predictable that if the race was going to stack up then the two-stop was not really an option to come back into traffic. So we had to go very long, all the drivers were nursing the cars very aggressively and as you say, it was nice to get Lewis. Obviously it's never nice to lose positions around the stop so I'm sure he's not too pleased with it but in the end we'll take that position. It was difficult to get the restarts going on the primes but in general just really driving around, saving the tyres and waiting for the chequered flag.

Q:
Nico, first son of a former Monaco Grand Prix winner to repeat the feat. Congratulations. 30 years on from your father Keke's victory here at Monaco. Did that add a certain extra-special something to this win today.

Nico Rosberg:
It is special to hear that, yes but honestly that's not what I was thinking about when I was crossing the finishing line, definitely not. Just extremely happy to win this race. Also, we've had again such a difficult time behind us. In the last couple of races pole position and dropping back so much. There was always that a little bit in the back of my mind today in the race: 'I hope that it's going to last and I'll be able to pull it off today and not drop back again.' Because it's not nice when you're starting in front and dropping back. And then today the team gave me a great car. It's really fantastic to see how they've been able to improve in such a short space of time. Little improvement here and there but on this track – this track suited us anyway – and so it was enough to make it happen.

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q:
Nico, what was it like to be in control of a race but then have to mentally reset each time? There was nothing straightforward about the way that race unfolded for you today.

Nico Rosberg:
No, definitely not. It wasn't very nice y'know? Because I was in a great rhythm on those prime tyres, trying to nurse them towards the end and then all of a sudden a race stoppage. It's never nice to get out of that rhythm y'know? Because especially around Monaco it's so easy to have a quick concentration error and then you're in the tyre barrier and it's the end of the race. So, it was really important today to remain concentrated and that didn't make it easy, all those safety cars and the red flag and everything – but fortunately in the end it all worked out.

Q:
Did you think at any point about the school runs you used to do down these roads and the fact that you were actually going to be winning a race on the roads you used to go to school on?

Nico Rosberg:
No! There was a lot of thoughts going through my mind, definitely, but not about the roads to school. Various things. Even, to be honest, winning Monaco in a silver arrow. I was thinking about that and that's very special to me.

Q:
Sebastian, you hinted in your answer in the unilateral that the Mercedes were slower in the opening stint than you expected them to be. You said it was fair play to them but you could tell they were driving to a tactic today.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yes, definitely. I think we could see that the field didn't spread out, so as I said, they did what worked best for them. Obviously Lewis lost a couple of positions with the safety car – I'm sure he's not too pleased about that – but we took that, no question. Yeah, I think it was very marginal on one stop. I think the red flag helped all of us to put a fresh set of tyres on to save that ten, eleven laps, total race distance. It was clear what they were doing a couple of laps after the start. They were going quite slow and trying to obviously make the one stop happen. And fair play, they were in the lead, around here it's very tricky to pass. Every time I tried to get a little bit closer with Lewis… in the beginning with Lewis it was quite close, yeah they reacted, they had the pace, so they could afford to go slow and then if they had to, they had the pace to pick it up again. In that regard, not the most exciting race because you just wait for the chequered flag. It's still a lot of laps, looking after the tyres wasn't straightforward for us today – so overall, happy with the result we got.

Q:
Obviously when the safety car came out that caught Lewis out, the Mercedes had just completed a lap. Where exactly were you when you got the message to come into the pits.

Sebastian Vettel:
The safety car wasn't out yet. Obviously it was a very, very good call from the team. Initially we wanted to pit a lap earlier but then we aborted that. Obviously there was a yellow and in the end I think we were just a little bit lucky. So we decided to pit and when I changed tyres and went back out, at the same moment the safety car came – which probably helped us a little bit. I don't know if Lewis had a problem with the stop or if it was just down to the fact that the safety car came at the wrong time for him. But, yeah, it was nice. At some stage I was hoping that it might be enough to get Nico as well but he obviously was in the lead by quite a bit at that time, before we came in.

Q:
Mark, there were quite a lot of incidents today, obviously a couple of safety cars, red flags. Some drivers were making passes today but did it feel very touch-and-go, very marginal out there to you?

Mark Webber:
To make moves? Yeah, I think so. Especially when you're with the guys I was with today, very experienced and they know what they need to do and where to put the car so, unless you had a big discrepancy in tyre performance, like I did after my pitstop – I had to clear Nico Hülkenberg pretty quick and try to make that undercut work a little bit – but in general after that, as the guys have touched upon, it was measured, controlled aggression, if you like, trying to nurse the tyres as best you can. It became very, very obvious early in the grand prix that the tyres were going pretty well. Obviously the pace wasn't electric and, fair enough, that's how… you can do that if you're at the front of the race, as I did last year, so you can do that. And when the options were starting to go that far – the supersoft – the one-stop started to become viable for everybody and that's why it probably wasn't a super-exciting race today for the fans. But even if it was two-stops, it would probably have just been a bit more action around the pitstops and obviously not much on circuit because that's the sort of track it is.


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