Questions from the floor

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
As Jenson mentioned already, you three came as a pack into a lot of traffic at the swimming pool. How difficult was it to get through without any problems; could you really see the gaps or was it just luck not to be hit by pieces of other cars?

Sebastian Vettel:
Obviously I arrived there first. I had two cars behind, pushing to overtake and I saw this big group of cars. Fortunately Nico [Rosberg] pulled over so one less, but then there were four or five cars left, the chicane, and then towards the back, boom, one ended in the wall and I overtook a rim on the right hand side which was still turning. It is extremely difficult because I always try to keep my position, obviously. It's a big chance for the people behind to overtake or to make a move. Then came the swimming pool, first chicane, two cars in the wall and then the Toro Rosso braking and pulling to the right and then it was very close, I was very close to losing my front wing and then out of 15/16, there was a Force India in the barriers. Yeah, pretty big mess to be honest. It's obviously something you expect when you catch four cars fighting for position, but then you don't expect them to go in the wall, one after the other. Yeah, it's crazy but obviously I didn't really see what happened to Vitaly but it's good to hear that he's fine. Obviously, trying to maintain my position, and so many cars going in different directions, it's also a bit of luck, not to hit any debris.

Fernando Alonso:
I followed where Sebastian was going, because with a full crash and the accident, you don't know, as Sebastian said, when they hit the wall, you don't know if the car will bounce back to the other wall or whatever. So I was following Sebastian because he has a better view than me.

Q: (Frederic Ferret - l'Equipe)
For the three of you, before the red flag, how did you rate your chances to finish first in the race?

Jenson Button:
Me, personally, pretty high, not through overtaking but through watching these two fight it out. It looked like they were going to end up in the barriers. This is a big race to win, and as Fernando said, we've got less to lose than this guy who's leading the championship by quite a few points. But it was an interesting battle to watch, just waiting for the moment to try and have ago. Fernando, I'm sure, was filling Sebastian's mirrors and he got very close a couple of times into turn one, and into the last corner, so you don't know. Anything could have happened over those ten laps that we would have had if we hadn't had the Safety Car.

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, to be honest, I was pretty confident. Yes, I didn't have the freshest set of tyres left I know, but I thought I would have another six laps in them at least. So it's difficult to know what would have happened but it's the same thing, if you ask for Jenson's race, he was in the lead. For him the Safety Car came out at the wrong time. It would have been close because yes, they were coming closer and my rear tyres were not getting better, but ideally I think their tyres were not getting better so I think I had quite a good chance to stay where I was - depending on how much risk Fernando was ready to take.

Fernando Alonso:
33.3 per cent chance of winning the lottery.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat)
Jenson, you were in exactly the same position in the championship two years ago that Sebastian is in today; five wins out of six. How certain were you of winning the championship after winning Monaco?

Jenson Button:
I wasn't really thinking about the title. I was thinking of going to have a few drinks with my friends. I wish I could remember it, but I think I had one too many! I don't know. I think we all take it one race at a time. I know we say that and I totally think it's true. He's got a massive lead at the moment, and everybody that's behind him looks at the points difference and thinks it's massive but when you're leading, you just take every race at the time. You celebrate every race win like Sebastian has been doing and then you can look at it a little bit later in the season when you have to start thinking about the championship. At the moment, he's very quick and he's driving a quick car
so he's getting the job done and he doesn't need to be thinking about the championship right now. I wish he would because he might make mistakes and things, but I don't think that's the case.

Q: (Rodrigo Franca - VIP Magazine)
Fernando, do you think these 13 points for you and Ferrari will allow you to go back to fight for victories or is it just the characteristics of Monaco and the circuit that helped you today?

Fernando Alonso:
I guess we need to wait for the couple of normal circuits that are coming now. Even Canada is not a very normal one, with long straights and big stops for the slow corners. So Canada and Valencia will tell us something more but I don't think that here is a good reference in terms of performance from the cars, because our car is identical to Barcelona and we were two minutes behind there and we were two seconds behind here, so it's just Monaco, a unique circuit.

Q: (Byron Young - The Daily Mirror)
Jenson, at one stage of the race, I think the team got on the radio to you and said that if you're going to win this race you've got to win it on the track and get past Seb, and yet you pitted two laps later. Could you tell me what the sequence of events were that led up to that decision?

Jenson Button:
To be fair, I can't actually really remember what was going on. I remember closing in - this was when I was on the supersofts in the second stint and Sebastian was on the harder tyre, the soft - and the team said you're going to have to overtake him and initially I thought it was a very strange thing to say, because I thought he was going to have to stop anyway, so why don't we just stop one lap before him? Which was a great plan, but obviously they didn't stop. For us, we put ourselves in a little bit of a tricky situation because we ran three sets of supersoft and then the safety car came out, so we had to pit again to run the harder tyre, the prime, so it was a tricky race to read, and I didn't expect Sebastian or Red Bull to run the harder tyre for so long. Yeah, so I think we need to go back and really look at the data and see what happened, because I really can't remember most of the race. But I have to say that the cars worked really well around here. The team have really been thinking on their toes, but it just didn't work out for us today.

Q: (Byron Young - The Daily Mirror)
Seb, is this the toughest win of your career?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, I think it's difficult to say. Obviously I had a bit of a practice last weekend to be fair, with people behind and obviously pushing me very hard for the last fifteen laps, being very close. Not really what I was hoping for going into this race but even more laps and more cars pushing [here]. Obviously I love winning and I think you have to see every race on its own. Sure, there are straightforward races where you just have the perfect car, the perfect day, races we had this year like Australia or Turkey. And then other races where arguably other people are quicker, but you still manage to stay ahead and to win the race. Here, obviously, there are many circumstances and they can go in your favour or not. Obviously if my pit stop would have been fine then I think we would probably have just come out ahead, I don't know how much or how long we lost. It didn't happen and then the safety car brought us back and we were very brave going for the one stop strategy. You have to make a lot of decisions - after the race it's always easy to say that this was good, this was bad but in that time you have to react and once you commit, you have to go for it, but surely when you race against these guys and they are pushing very hard, and then still you stay ahead, it's even sweeter when you cross the line and it feels even better, so very proud.

Q: (Simon Cass - Daily Mail)
Jenson, would you have won the race if there hadn't been a Safety Car?

Jenson Button:
I really don't know. There was still a long way to go, but on the supersoft tyre I felt very good. In the second stint, I was able to pull out a pretty good gap but we didn't know what these guys were doing in terms of strategy. Originally I thought Sebastian was running on a two stop and we were going to try something a little bit different but... I don't know, there's no point in even saying yes or no to it, because we didn't win today and Sebastian did and that's it. But I have to say that I think we did a great job today and it just didn't go our way. It's the way Monaco is, with safety cars and what have you. It's safer to go for less stops but we had to take a few more risks because it's Monaco and you can't overtake, so we had to try something different.

Q: (Vincent Marre - Sportzeitung)
Fernando, how do you rate Vettel today?

Fernando Alonso:
Fantastic. Not only today, winning five races in six grand prix; there's only one occasion that happened a couple of years ago with Jenson in the same situation and we know Jenson's result: winning the championship. I think we saw in the last couple of years that if you win five or six grands prix you've nearly won the championship, on average, so if you win five of the first six, you are in a very good position. I think he's driving fantastically. There's no doubt that Red Bull is also doing a very good job with the car, with the pit stops, with the start, so they have a very good package and the driver is delivering on the track. Now, at the moment, it's difficult for us to beat the whole package and we will try to continue but at the moment, ten points.

Q: (Alex d'Agosta - Il Sole 24 Ore)
Fernando, did your tyres work well today and what about the safety of the Monaco Grand Prix?

Fernando Alonso:
Yes, the tyres were very good for us this weekend. We didn't have any problems. The super soft was working well and the soft as well. As we saw in the race, we were able to do a good pace and around 46 laps in the last stint, so in general quite happy with the tyres. Safety of Monaco? We know it's Monaco, I don't think there's room to make a mistake. There are barriers everywhere and it's very easy to kiss the wall, normally because the speed is not too high, the accidents are more or less okay, in terms of injuries etc, but it's true that we had a difficult weekend, so both Sergio and Vitaly had big accidents. I think it's nothing to do with this year's rules or anything like that. It's just an extremely unlucky situation. Hopefully we don't see this situation again in the coming year or the next Monaco Grand Prix because we don't like to race and then with seven laps to go an ambulance on the track. It's not a good situation.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
Fernando, you said that you had a plan to overtake Sebastian at two spots. Where were they, and Sebastian, did you use the KERS only at the beginning of the pit straight to defend yourself, or elsewhere as well, to keep Fernando behind?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, for me I think the two long straights were a possibility or the only possibility in fact: after the tunnel and Turn One.

Sebastian Vettel:
It was my job to make use of the KERS, and I knew that those two places would be the ones where Fernando has the biggest chance to get close or try something under braking so I was trying to spend most of the KERS in those areas.

Q: (Joris Fioriti - AFP)
Jenson, do you think the Red Bull in 2011 has a bigger advantage over the other cars than the Brawn GP in 2009?

Jenson Button:
In the race, I don't know, but I would say in qualifying, yes. Sebastian's doing a fantastic job in qualifying, but if you look at the difference in speed in qualifying I don't think we've seen that for a long time in the sport. We're doing the best job we can with what we have and in Barcelona we saw a second difference from the Red Bull to the next car, so yeah, it's a big gap but obviously qualifying isn't everything, especially this year. I think we're pretty close on race pace. You saw today there were three different cars fighting for victory, three different strategies and we all ended up pretty much nose to tail or so. The great thing is that we can race and we can fight for victories. We're starting on the back foot really and that's an area we need to improve.

Q: (Joris Fioriti - AFP)
Fernando, can you close a 74 point gap after six races?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, we need to win three races and he mustn't score. I think that's more or less the calculation which I can do now. Well, I think at the moment it's not possible, because to close the gap with plenty of races to go, but if you are one second behind in every qualifying and you have to do some strange strategies, so some starts or something always out of the normal race, it's difficult, so at the moment, we will try to improve the car, race by race, in order to take the maximum every weekend. Victory for us is maybe optimistic so we need to be realistic and start fighting for podiums in Canada and Valencia and then we will see how the championship develops, because, as you said, the distance now is too much.

 

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