Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes).

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Q:
Kimi, a fantastic win for you, effectively won in the middle phase of the race, those six laps after Fernando had made his pit stop. You seemed to have a relatively free track in terms of traffic and you took the lead.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, we had a little bit of traffic but I think we had a good car all day - all weekend, actually. At the beginning of the race I was just trying to save some fuel and look after my tyres and car and then once Lewis pitted I tried to push and gain some time on him and that went well. And then Fernando did a very short stop, so we knew that we were going to run longer in the second stop so I just tried to push as hard as we could once he came in and it was enough. After that, it was pretty easy.

Q:
Let's talk about that first phase of the race: Lewis took the lead, you seemed to match him, fastest lap for fastest lap for the first few laps of the race and then it looked as if you could put pressure on Lewis.

KR:
Yeah, like I said, we just saved fuel and then once we knew that we had enough I was able to close the gap pretty easily and try to overtake him, but then we were expecting him to stop a bit earlier, so I didn't want to risk too much. I think it worked out pretty well.

Q:
Different tyre combinations for all three of you in terms of the Bridgestone hard and soft compound; what was it like from your point of view in terms of the car balance and indeed, any other events in the Grand Prix?

KR:
I think it was good. Both tyres seemed to work very well. It didn't make any difference really. The hard one was very good at the end but then we didn't need to push any more. So far everything worked well.

Q:
And the British Grand Prix is always a special event for any racing driver; your thoughts on your closing lap and the slow-down lap, the Lewis Hamilton crowd out there but you spoilt the day for them.

KR:
Yeah, it was a very nice feeling to win the race of course. We've been close here a few times, but something has always happened and we haven't been able to win. Now, finally, we got the win and it's one of the nicest races really so it's very nice, a nice feeling and it was a good day.

Q:
Fernando, it looked like a great bit of strategy for a while there. You got great track position as you started to hit the traffic in that second stint, but of course it was a short fuel stop that enabled you to do that. What was going through your mind at that point?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, I think it was not the plan to do that. We changed the strategy, thinking that we should be able to maintain the lead even at the second stop, so we short-fuelled in the first pit stop and we started the second stint ahead of Kimi but I was not able to open up a gap that was big enough to maintain the lead. I think it was the right thing to do. We took the gamble and... you never know what is going to happen, but, as you said, a little bit of traffic, especially when I began my third stint, so after the second stop those six laps for which Kimi had more fuel than me, I was not able to do a normal pace. I think the Ferrari was a little bit too quick today and at the end, I don't think the result would change too much. I think second place was the maximum today.

Q:
Where do you think the difference was between McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari today in terms of performance, in terms of speed on the lap?

FA:
We would like to know that. I don't know. Maybe we lack two or three tenths a lap in the same conditions with the same fuel loads and I think all weekend it's been like that so the race was no surprise. Ferrari were a little bit too quick. To win the race, maybe the only chance was to start on pole position and open up a gap or something like that and it was not the case, so I think it was the maximum.

Q:
Can you tell us about that incident with Alexander Wurz and Scott Speed when you were lapping them?

FA:
Yeah, I had some difficulties today lapping people and the blue flags were not perfectly OK but sometimes they helped me, when Kimi was behind them and he was not able to overtake them as well. At the end of the race, I think it's quite equal and quite balanced, the downsides and the upsides. I'm happy with second place, it's better to win but today I don't think it was possible.

Q:
Lewis, well done on that ninth consecutive podium finish. You led from the pole, looked fantastic for a while and then... you take over now!

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, well, we had an interesting race. It started off quite well, we got a good start which was the key. At the beginning I was just trying to pull a gap from Kimi but he was obviously extremely quick and towards the end of my stint, my tyres were falling away and I was struggling to keep up the pace, and Kimi started to be able to put pressure on me. However, when we did the pit stop, I made a mistake in the pit stop. I didn't hesitate but I thought that the lollipop was lifted and I went. I don't know how many seconds I lost through that but it was a mistake of mine which lost me quite a bit of valuable time, and then I just had to try and push but I just struggled with the balance. Throughout the whole weekend, I've been struggling to perfect the balance and driving around the issues that I had with the car. But obviously qualifying went well and (today) we just lacked, I think, in the race, and I don't know what happened in the last two stints. The last stint was a bit better, I was very consistent but we just didn't really have the pace of the Ferraris.

Q:
As we said, there were three different tyre combinations between the three of you, you finishing on the softer of the Bridgestones, the other guys at that point were on the harder of the two. How significant do you think the tyre choice was today?

LH:
I think it played quite a big role, especially at the beginning with Kimi being able to keep up with me, the softer tyre being perhaps slightly faster. We wanted to start with the softer tyre but we thought it was too much of a gamble due to the tyres going off too quickly so we started with the prime, but I thought that the last stint was perhaps the best for me, in terms of the stability of the car. We came away with the points, it's my ninth podium so I'm very, very happy for that and happy for the team to get the points from me and Fernando so it was good.

Q:
What was the slow-down lap in front of the crowd like for you?

LH:
It was good. I must say thank you to all the fans, they've been tremendous this weekend. Without their support it would have been a much harder race. I knew they were with me all the way and we have to wait and see. Hopefully next time, next year here we will give it another shot.

Q:
Kimi, two great wins in a row now for Ferrari and for you. It looks as if you have the edge, but the championship is not over yet.

KR:
Hopefully. You never know. It's going to be a long season still. We seem to have good speed right now but I also think it depends a lot on the circuit conditions and the places where we go. But I'm pretty happy now with the car, all weekend being good. I just made a mistake yesterday which made our life much more difficult than it should have been in the race. But in the end, we came out with a win, so that's the main thing. The guys did a great job in the pit stops, being able to stay ahead of the other guys. I think we've had a pretty good weekend and we try to improve the car again and go and try to do the same next week, or the next race.

Press conference.

Q:
Kimi, two in a row, two wins, how significant are these two wins?

KR:
Of course they're important. We gained some points on the other guys, also in the team championship. I'm not sure we gained today but anyhow, it's important, for sure. We seem to have got the car a bit better for me now and everything seems to go a bit more easily. It's definitely nicer now than it was after the first few races but I think it's still a long season. Right now it's looking good but everything can change again at the next race. We just keep pushing.

Q:
Different tyre choices; you were really challenging Lewis in the opening stint on the softer tyre. Very often people complain about graining when they're very close behind another car. Did you have that?

KR:
No, nothing. Not at all, not even on the second set. The tyres worked very well today, also the last set, the hard one, was very good at the end, but I didn't need to push at all so even just driving slowly it seemed to give you a good lap time. I think both sets were very good today.

Q:
On lap 14 you got very close to Lewis in the Complex.

KR:
Yeah, I know. He was slowing down a bit so we tried to put some pressure on him and then I got very close to him. I had a little chance to overtake but I think it would have been a bit too close. There would have been a little bit of touching so it was better to wait than take the risk. Then we were expecting to stop a little bit later, so we were able to pull out a big enough gap.

Q:
And did you just ease off at the end, because the margin was just coming down and down and down?

KR:
I don't think we pushed at all for the last ten laps. We just kept the gap to Alonso and then just backed off.

Q:
Fernando, you were talking about backmarkers, at half distance you were coming up behind another battle. Was that one of the problems?

FA:
I don't think that one was a problem. I think Kimi caught those guys two laps later, so I think at the end of the day, it doesn't change anything. I think maybe the only ones that were probably not a help for sure was after the second stop. When I left the pits, three cars together were passing just in front of me: two Williams and one Toro Rosso and I spent the first two laps after the second stop overtaking them. Kimi had six laps more fuel, two of them I was overtaking people, so I lost a little bit of time but I think the result wouldn't have been changed.

Q:
Even so, you must have been pretty pleased coming out in the lead after the first round of stops having been third.

FA:
Yes, I think I was able to keep the pace in the first stint. They were two or three seconds in front of me but never more than that. I had four laps more fuel than them and I was struggling a little bit, but I knew that when they started pitting, I was right behind them so I knew that this extra three or four laps was maybe enough to be leading the race after my first stop. And obviously we chose a very short second stint which is even better to be first after the stop. And then in the middle stint, I knew that I had to open a gap, maybe eight, ten second gap, to be able to win the race, and I was only five seconds ahead so when I pitted the second time, I knew already that maybe it was not enough. I think the middle stint, with a lighter car, I was only able to open a gap of three seconds or something like that, and I should be able to open more so we were maybe not quick enough.

Q:
Lewis, similarly the middle stint was your problem stint.

LH:
Yeah, it was. The first stint was reasonably competitive and I think Kimi was obviously putting a lot of pressure on me. I was trying to build up a gap. I knew I had to have a three to five second gap which I wasn't able to build. In that middle stint, I started to grain my tyres after the first lap due to understeer and it just continued and it got harder and harder to maintain the pace. Just seeing these guys pull away was obviously extremely tough for me but I just had to try to maintain it and keep on working hard and hope that there was an opportunity for me where maybe they would make a mistake or maybe the tyres would clean up and I would catch up but it didn't happen and I just had to come away with some points.

Q:
It must be a new experience being 36 seconds down on the guy in front; do you feel yourself lucky to be on the podium?

LH:
I wouldn't say it's luck. Obviously we worked extremely hard this weekend. I think we made a wrong decision, or I made a wrong decision with the set-up. I chose a different rear end to Fernando and I think it really caused me problems during the race. Even in qualifying we didn't really have the pace that I should have had, but it was too late by then to change the car. It's a good lesson, we've come away with a ninth podium position, most consistent driver here, I think, and I have to be happy with that, and we have to look forward and hope to do better in the next race.

 

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