Post-race FIA press conference - Britain
Q. Sebastian, your first dry grand prix victory. Fantastic start. In the first stint you are pulling away at a second a lap from everyone else. You were told to calm down by your team in the middle stint but was it really as easy as it looked today?
The second stint wasn't easy at all when the team said to me 'be careful'. I had a lot of traffic and a lot of lapped cars at that stage and they were battling each other, so it was quite tricky you know when you come from behind and you can't really get close. They are fighting between themselves. It was anything else but easy. You had to stay patient and it was difficult as I knew I had a big gap but I couldn't see, so I was always asking and checking 'how much is the gap, how is the pace, how are we doing.' It was great and in the last pit stop I was in clean air. From then I think the last 10 laps I was counting every single lap down and I had quite a big gap to Mark, so I was controlling the race from that point onwards. You could say the last 10 laps were quite easy but before that obviously it wasn't.
I was pushing very hard and in the second stint it was more like a slalom. I had to pass a lot of lapped cars but after that obviously it was fantastic. I am very, very pleased with the result. I mean fantastic. It shows that we are on the right way. Every single one has been working hard and it doesn't matter whether here at the track or back at the factory. Bringing the car to where it is just now is fantastic. It was all kind of last minute but we did it and we proved both of us that it is a step in the right direction, so I am very pleased. Also I want to thank Silverstone. It is only my second time here but I enjoyed it so much and when I looked left and right in the last two laps the people were already standing up and clapping and cheering.
It was fantastic. The emotions then especially as I crossed the chequered flag. Every single person in the grandstands I have to thank. It was fantastic. The atmosphere was great. This is what I was dreaming of when I saw the first grands prix here in Silverstone in the era of Mansell and so on, so it is kind of unreal now to think I am here and I have made it. I have won this grand prix, so I am very, very happy.
Q. Mark, where was your chance of victory lost? Do you think it was yesterday in qualifying or today in the first stint behind Rubens?
The guys reported that I had some damage at the back of the car, so from the second stop we had to use a different gear pattern for the last stint but in general I want to echo Sebastian's words. This team, the guys have absolutely buried themselves, at the factory. The night shifts, the attention to detail now they go into, is an absolute credit to them. They have been led very well and they are responding to that. And results help. It is an incredible injection for them to get these top results, a one-two on the home turf. The factory down the road is the ultimate result for them.
It is the best I could have done today. I don't think I could have got much more from that result, so congratulations to Sebastian, he did a good first stint and that is what laid the foundations. That was really my race. I enjoyed it and again Silverstone what an amazing track. We love driving these Formula One cars here. It is just incredible to go through that first sector lap after lap after lap. It is a brilliant place for a Formula One car and certainly destroys a lot of the other venues we have been picked in the last few years of our careers if you like. And the British fans are always fantastic, so it was great.
Q. Rubens, a lot of pressure on Brawn GP this weekend. It has been a difficult weekend for the team. What do you take away from this and how much pride do you personally take from your performance today?
In turn one I had a couple where I was running off the track and it was very, very difficult to know if the wind would hit you or not at that time, so it was difficult to follow the lines. Unfortunately they were really, really fast but I did what I had to do. My target to the end of the year is really to close the gap on Jenson and I think we all did today. Also I want to thank all the doctors that helped me this weekend because I was in terrible back pain and Doctor Cecarelli and the doctors at Toro Rosso and my friends there that helped me and my physio as my back really hurt the whole weekend and they helped me big time, so I could finish the race in good feeling."
Q. Sebastian, was this dominance this weekend all about the track and the conditions or are you and Red Bull really on a roll now which is going to say something about the second half of the season?
Q. Sebastian, give us an idea about how different the tyres were. Did you have any problems with the different types?
We were not 100 per cent sure before the race which was the preferred one. You never know on Sunday. The conditions can change and so on, so it wasn't that easy but I think in the end we did the right thing. Then obviously towards the end you feel a little bit the tyres starting to go off, so it becomes a bit more difficult out of the low speed to control the traction but I think the car was fantastic today. As I said in the first stint I was able to open up a very big gap. The second stint was quite difficult because there was a lot of traffic, a lot of lapped cars, and it was sometimes quite tricky and also my engineer came on the radio and reported to me to be patient enough as obviously they were fighting between themselves and I was catching up. The only thing you want is to pass, so you want them to let you by.
On the other hand they are fighting themselves. I have been in the other position and saw the leader behind me, me in the middle of nowhere and fighting against the others. Then the last thing you want to do is pull over and let the car behind you by to lose time. But I have to say very good behaviour by all the drivers. Of course you are losing time. But still I think it was a very, very good for every single one. Then in the third stint obviously I could see on the board again and I was all the time in radio contact with the team asking for pace and how we were doing and so on. In the end we were just about saving the car and bringing the result home.
Fantastic here; one and two. The factory is down the road, so as I said yesterday I can only make huge compliments. Every single one, it doesn't matter here in the factory or at the track, has been working very hard and it has been tough to get this car where it is now so, especially the update we had for here was pretty much on the edge but we made it and I think it totally paid off. Results are the best way to say thank you to every single one. Also a lot of people were here at the circuit. Apart from all the spectators, I have to say the atmosphere was great. I regret a little bit I am not an Englishman as the fans are fantastic.
Already in the last few laps I could see the people standing up and cheering. At the time I wanted to wave and say ‘thank you' but then I said there have been stories in the past where it didn't look too good with drivers doing it and that was the last thing I wanted to do. Then when I crossed the line it was unbelievable. Also the whole podium ceremony was fantastic, so thank you.
Q. At half distance you lost three seconds. Was that because of traffic?
Q. Rubens has mentioned the winds affecting his car. Did they affect yours?
Q. And Nurburgring next.
Q. Mark, when you were behind Rubens, how much were you bottled up, how close could you get, was it just a matter of waiting for him to make a mistake?
I said before the race, the first race is with Rubens and if that happens quite quickly then maybe I can have a race with Sebastian. If my first stint was behind Rubens then Sebastian was going to have a boring race; that's what I said before the race and that turned out to be the case. He had quite a straightforward afternoon and so did I, actually, in the end. As Sebastian said there was a lot of traffic in the second stint and in the end it was just controlling throughout the stint. There was no way, ever, given how close we are, that I was ever going to close twenty seconds in two stints, it was never going to happen. We're pushing the car together, the development is in the same direction, so all this stuff is good for us.
The guys have buried themselves at the factory, including Renault with the engines. Obviously Dietrich (Mateschitz), the big boss back in Austria, is very proud of us today, getting a first and second again this year and I'm looking forward to my day when I can jump into the seat next to me. But today I'm actually happy with what I got out of it. Sebastian deserves to win today, so we'll take it to another day.
Q. You mentioned a gear problem just now, you didn't seem to lose too much time with it; could you just explain what happened?
Q. Rubens, when you were ahead of Mark, did you know you were probably in trouble?
There was very little between the tyres all through the weekend but in the race I think the softer tyres performed better, so to have a long stint on the harder tyre was a tough call. Then I saw Rosberg and Massa coming along, so it was a tough race for me. The car is balanced but we lack grip. We were hoping that the weather could get a little hotter but it never did, so it was a struggle but having said that, I'm happy because all in all I took some points out of Jenson, so for me that's the target that I have achieved.
Q. You've had a bit of a worry about the tyre temperatures at this circuit. Do you think that may be the same situation at the Nurburgring? We don't know what the weather's going to be, obviously.
Q. You mentioned your back; when did that make itself apparent?
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q. (Joris Fioriti – AFP) This is question for Rubens and Sebastian: do you think you are putting back interest into the championship after the six wins out of seven races for Jenson Button, and how difficult do you think it will be to catch him?
SV: As Rubens said, I think Jenson was very strong in all eight races we've had so far and he totally deserves to be in this position. Looking at the championship, he obviously has quite a comfortable lead still but we're trying to do our best and I think the only thing that makes sense is to use every single opportunity we have. As I said before, we're working very, very hard, the team is very determined and we know where we want to be, we want to win. I think that's the only way to turn it around. For sure it won't be easy but we are totally up for the fight. The season is still very long, anything can happen still. You never know what is going to happen.
Q. (Bob Bull – BBC Three Counties Radio) Question for Rubens: Felipe Massa was right on your tail having started from eleventh. Are the Ferraris getting closer to the Brawns as well? You didn't beat him by a great amount.
Q. (Mohammed Khan – The National, Abu Dhabi) Sebastian, what will it take to overhaul Jenson? You talk about perfection, is it going to take perfection for the rest of the season for Red Bull to catch them?
On top of that I think the conditions were right for us, we had no issues with the tyres, so everything was working and it was very close to being perfect which is very, very difficult to achieve but it should always be the target. In the end, you can't really foresee what's going to happen but I can assure you we will try very, very hard to improve, even from where we are now and try to collect more points than all our competitors.
Q. (Don Kennedy – Hawke's Bay Today, New Zealand) This was billed as Jenson Button's race to lose, if you like. Do you think you've not only gained on the track from the result today but also psychologically, and perhaps Rubens that might even apply to you?
SV: In the end I can only confirm what Rubens says, you know. When it comes to me, I'm not really a fan of all these psychological tricks and mindset and so on. All I try to do is to squeeze the car out every single time, every single lap and to do the best I can. Of course, sometimes you might have to attack more than is probably good for you and you might risk a lot and sometimes lose it. Yes, it happens, I think that happens in sports, that happens in motor racing and I think that's human. As I said, in the end you have to use every single day you have and the one who is most consistent and has done the best job fully deserves to win in the end. It might be a one point advantage or a fifty points' advantage to the guy behind.
Q. (Sean McGreevy – CSMA Magazine) There have been a lot of politics this weekend. In your opinion, what does F1 need to do to secure its future?
I think that as a professional sportsman you should always have your focus on what really matters, and if you ask me what matters, the only thing that matters right now is what we do with the car at the track, so I think that is the most important thing. On top of that, I think it's quite complex and to really have an opinion you have to have enough knowledge and to have enough knowledge you have to be one of the people who are able to know what is really going on and I have to admit that I don't really care that much what's happening.
All I care about is what happens to my car and what is happening to me at the track. I think we are all of the same opinion in a way. The last thing we want is to have too much holiday. We all like and we all love racing, I think that's the reason why we are here, and we want to continue fighting against each other and find out every single weekend and every single year who is the best one.
Q. (Adam Scriven – Racing Post) Mark, the earlier questions about the championship situation weren't addressed to you but you're still very much in the title race. How do you rate your chances at the moment?