Q:
Sebastian, great race. Three different strategies in the top three positions, but the upshot is you are a Monaco Grand Prix winner. Describe your feelings?

Sebastian Vettel:
It is unbelievable and I think the race today was pretty entertaining from the inside of the car at least. I had a good first stint, a good start to the race, I could pull a gap to
Jenson, so reasonably happy. I was targeted to go longer on the options, Jenson came in and we had a problem with the pit-stop, we reacted, so we lost the position. Went on the hard, he went on the soft and he was pulling away like crazy, pulling a gap. But then we were staying out a bit longer on the primes. With the safety car it was good to have a little break, Jenson behind, and he was much quicker on the soft tyres, but it is very difficult to pass here. I knew that. He came in for his final stop. He had to as he was three times on the softs so he had to go on the hards. Fernando was a bit on a similar strategy. Probably they were a bit more clever on the safety car to bring him in and he got a new set of hard tyres. But then the lap Jenson pitted, we initially wanted to react, to pit as well, but I said 'let's try to one-stop'. There were like 33 laps to go. I had quite a good feeling on the tyres I had. I had nowhere close to fresh tyres anymore. I saw the only chance to win this race was to try to stay out. It was really close. I think it was 20 laps under pressure with Fernando and Jenson behind. I know it is difficult to pass here but it was getting closer and closer and I think it would have been a difficult six laps. But then we caught the group. In fact they crashed in front of us, so another safety car and then a suspended race, which allowed us to change tyres. I got rid of these stones, of these old tyres, and the final, final attempt with everyone on a fresher set, it was easier to pull away a little bit and get a gap out of those corners that it really mattered. Extremely happy. At some stage I was P2 with 15 seconds behind Jenson and the victory seemed far away. But I have said it is a crazy place. The roulette spun a lot last night and it kept on spinning during this race. Crazy. I am really, really happy. Fantastic result and extreme honour to put my name down on the list of previous winners here, so a perfect day I guess.

Q:
Fernando, you pitted under the safety car as Sebastian said. It was all set up really before that red flag. Did you think you were going to beat him in the closing stages before the red flag?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, you never know what is going to happen in the final result. But 100 per cent I was ready to try. He was having some more problems with the tyres in the last 10 laps of the race. We were managing the tyres when I pitted, as I knew that at the end of the race it was our time to attack but that last ten laps didn't come as we had the red flag and the safety car. I was ready to attack. It is difficult here, there is not much space. There is the risk of 50 per cent you overtake 50 per cent maybe you crash, but this is Monaco and he is leading the championship so he has much more to lose than me, so I was ready to attack.

Q:
Jenson, a three-stop strategy for you. How did you think it would play out in the end and how much fun was it for you?

Jenson Button:
Well, it was fun for quite a few laps until the first safety car came out. It was looking really good. But we went for the three-stop as I was struggling a little bit in the first stint with the rears and we thought we could probably jump Seb on the first stop, which we did. Then we had very good pace on the super-soft tyre. But then, later in the race, when the safety car came out, it hurt us a little bit as we had just pitted. Seb stayed out and as we have already said it is very difficult to overtake here. I suppose, Monaco Grand Prix, you always have to expect safety cars but you always hope they don't happen when you are on a three-stop strategy. Disappointed for the team and for myself as I thought we had a real chance of victory but congratulations to these guys. I think we put on a great show for the viewers and all the people here in Monaco and also good news at the end to hear that Vitaly [Petrov] is okay.

Q:
Sebastian, five wins now from the first six races for you and it seems like it is all going your way at the moment?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I think it is a long way still. We saw last year and learned a lot that things can change quickly. We had a good start and we are on a run. We try to take every race on its own and we are ready to attack and go for it. Today, there was a chance to win the race and we went for it. I think we fully deserved to win. We took the risk and we got the reward but it is still a long way for the championship. You have to be aggressive, you have to look for these risks, you have to take it. If it doesn't make sense you might hold back. I think if my tyres had given up I would not have tried to make the one-stop work. I knew there was a very big gap behind Jenson who was in third so if any I would fall back to third so we tried our best and we achieved our optimum. In hindsight it was a long race and a lot of strategy calls. Not necessarily one that could win you the race so a long way and extremely happy.

Press conferences

Q:
Sebastian, we have spoken about how much you have wanted to win here. Now you've done it, what's it like?

Sebastian Vettel:
Fantastic, still feels a bit like a rush. It was a very, very long race and a long way to get to the chequered flag and some stages, to be honest, the victory seemed to be quite far away. We had a very good start, we were able to pull up a gap and I was holding it around four seconds. Targeting to go a bit longer. Surprised when Jenson pulled in, but he probably struggled a bit with his tyres. We had to react and then I didn't have the cleanest pit-stop. I think it was the first one this year that probably was not perfect.

Q:
Can you just tell us what happened during that first pit-stop?

Sebastian Vettel:
I don't know. I came in. Everything seemed to be okay and I was ready to go out again. Looked at the front right and the wheel wasn't there. Then all the mechanics were rushing to bring the front-right wheel. Yeah, so I lost probably two or three seconds. At that moment you don't count but surely that cost us the lead at that stage. Jenson had a very good out-lap on a new set of super softs and after that he was pulling away like crazy. I had Fernando behind me and I was able to pull away once I was not in traffic, so we were fighting our way through the cars and Jenson was just ten seconds, 13 seconds, 15 seconds away and I knew that once he is around 19-20 seconds ahead, it would be quite difficult as that's the time you need for one pit-stop. Then he came in for another set of softs, which, to be honest, at that stage was a surprise. Safety car came out and we were back in the lead but it was quite difficult to stay ahead. It is difficult to pass here but they had so much more grip out of the exit of the corners. Then he pitted again. Initially, I got the call to box, but I said 'I want to stay out'. The only chance to win the race is to do one stop and I had a good feeling with
those tyres. I wasn't rushing. I knew I had the guys behind me but I knew that if I did a clean job in certain places there was no way they would get past me. Managing the tyres. I think 30 laps to the end Fernando caught up on a fresh set of primes after the safety car. It was getting close, closer and closer and six laps to go before we had the suspended race I was struggling with my tyres, but I think we could have made it to the end as it is difficult to pass around here. Then I saw the red flag. It was good to hear that Vitaly is fine. We were able to change tyres which was good as I got rid of the old tyres. Then had another short sprint race to the chequered flag so pretty busy. All three on a different strategy. As expected it was not a straightforward Monaco Grand Prix. It happens very rarely here without safety cars and surely at some stage they were helping us today but we did have the pace and we took the risk. We wanted to win and at the end we got the reward. I am very happy. It is an extreme honour to join these guys and also other drivers who have won here. It is one of the best grands prix all year surely a nice won to win so I am looking forward to tonight.

Q:
Do you feel you were a bit lucky yesterday with what happened as the session was also stopped yesterday and also given that you had a bad pit-stop today. Maybe you go to the casino tonight and get lucky again?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I think in the end of the day if there would have been no safety car it would have been difficult to beat Jenson, as he was so far ahead, but there was a safety car. Same yesterday. We had our plan. We wanted to go out twice in final qualifying. I think we set a very competitive lap time which brought us pole position. Then we started the race today. Either way it can help you a little bit or penalise you around here. Today, fortunately, it did not penalise us but I think the race we had was not an easy one, doing around 60 laps on one set of primes. I think it is something not many people did. I haven't seen the whole race but not many people did. We have been looking after our tyres well, managing the gaps and even under pressure kept our heads cool. I had a race here two years ago where my rear tyres were gone and stayed ahead of Felipe Massa for a long time but eventually they found their way past and I lost a lot of positions. We learned from that and we arrived here three times lucky. Last year the car was good but this year the car was good again and good enough to win so I am very happy.

Q:
Fernando, your feelings about second place?

Fernando Alonso:
Fantastic. We start fourth and it is the best result of the year for us. We were third in Turkey and now second here, so definitely a good weekend for us. We were quick on Thursday and quick in qualifying and now in the race. It was okay for us. I think as Seb said, safety car always plays a big part. In the first safety car we were very lucky as if not Jenson maybe was on his way to victory so for us only third place was possible. We gained one position with the first safety car and maybe we lose the victory in the second and the red flag. I really think in the last nine laps the tyres from the Red Bull was struggling a lot, especially in the last part of the circuit and the middle part, so I had two places already in mind for the last lap.

Q:
So you were really going to have a go at him, were you?

Fernando Alonso:
Of course, yes. There is nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.

Q:
On the opening laps you were pushing Jenson hard as well?

Fernando Alonso:
Well yes Jenson was particularly slow in the first two laps and I thought maybe he had a problem or contact with Sebastian in the first corner. I was ready to attack Jenson but then suddenly he picked up the pace and he was more or less maintaining the gap with Sebastian. He surprised us when he stopped very early in lap 14 or 15 and fitted the super soft and took the lead of the race and from that point he was very quick and ready to go for victory but Monte Carlo is Monte Carlo. At the end extremely happy as the team needed this result, this podium, after some weeks with some difficulties. Seven days ago in Barcelona we were one minute 30 seconds behind the leader. We were lapped. I think this was much more a normal weekend for us and good motivation for the guys.

Q:
Jenson, are you feeling just a little bit unlucky then?

Jenson Button:
I don't know if you can call it unlucky. We went for the strategy we did and on lap 16 of the race we thought it was the right strategy and for many laps after. We were pulling such a lead, even through traffic. To be able to pull away from these guys was great and the car felt good and I thought it was going to continue that way. But with the safety car it mixed things up a little bit and in hindsight you would say maybe we should have put the hard tyre on, the prime tyre, when the safety car came out. But at that moment in time the safety car hadn't come out when I made my stop and it happened the next lap. It just did not go our way today. It is disappointing as we did not put a foot wrong, it was just the way it went as it does in Monaco. It was fun. I still enjoyed the race, especially trying to pull the gap on these guys and then chasing Fernando and Sebastian down at the end. It was good fun watching as when you are the third car it is very difficult to overtake as the car in second has DRS as well. Watching these guys tussle was great fun. I was waiting for the move. It was either going to come off or they were both going into the barriers and I was waiting for
it. But it didn't come. But more importantly I think it is great to see that Vitaly is okay. It is, obviously, two incidents we have had this weekend, but they both walked away, pretty much, so it is good to see. That mayhem happened just in front of us as well. We were racing through Tabac and the swimming pool so it was a tough situation as the way we were going we were nose to tail. It was very difficult to see corner apexes as you were so close let alone bits of rubbish and carbon all over
the circuit. I hit that quite a bit as these guys probably did but not a bad result, but we hoped for a lot more.

 

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