Q. What does the Hungarian Grand Prix victory mean for McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and Lewis Hamilton after the struggles you have had this year?
Well, I think this was a fantastic victory. And it was an historic one, too, as it was the first KERS victory. That is marvelous because the guys pushed so hard in Brixworth and Stuttgart, and the whole confidence of our R&D department is in that system. It was absolutely well deserved, and of course this is the best reward we can get before the summer break. The guys pushed so hard.
We worked perfectly as a team and what an outstanding drive from Lewis. He kept it cool. He could have pushed more, he overtook the winner of the last race on the race track and nobody could have believed that before. I think the spectators liked it. Very often they have boring races here but this was a very special one. Having said all that, we still have our thoughts with Felipe (Massa), who had his bad accident, and I think it is important to keep that in mind. He could have been among the winners, definitely for a podium finish and maybe even challenge Lewis for the win. I think we should think about that as well.Q. Were you aware of the opportunity you had heading into the weekend?
Well in my mind when we flew in, I thought that if things work together then a podium should be possible. I am absolutely convinced that without the deflated tire and without Mark hitting Lewis, this would have happened at the Nurburgring – and we would definitely have been leading the first 17 laps of the race. So I hoped for a podium, honestly, but not for a victory. I did not think we could win.Q. Is this a sign now of where McLaren can fight regularly now, or is this a one off?
I hope. I think it comes very much to the tires – how you use your tires. We used them perfectly here. We used them better than Red Bull in my view, and definitely better than Brawn. Ferrari was second, they used the tyres quite well, and it depends on which tires you get on which race track. Then the tire usage is key, but you need the car to use the tires, you need the right setup, you need the driver who has the right feeling. Heikki was unlucky in traffic as he was very quick as well, and he could have done better than fifth.
Anyway, we scored as many points today as in all the races before, so that is definitely going in the right direction. Eighteen points are available; we got 14 of them today, so I am pleased. I want to say thanks to all the guys who worked so hard.Q. With only two teams in F1 now running KERS, how much does this win justify your decision to stick with it?
I think it is now a different story. If KERS helps you to win then it is mentioned. Before it was probably said that the little boys use KERS and the others do not, but I think it is different now. Maybe we will see teams changing to KERS even during this season.Q. Does it prompt a rethink for the longer term future?
Well, if it comes to a KERS competition this will be expensive. I should be the KERS promoter, but we definitely follow the majority verdict of FOTA. So we will see. But I think maybe it is a discussion for later this year about whether a team uses KERS or not, because it is just very convincing. And the Mercedes-Benz hybrid system is the best one, as we showed in Hungary.Q. Do you think the form of the team will continue in Valencia?
I definitely hope so! I cannot make promises, I never made them before, but I am not sure if this race had taken place at Silverstone that we would have been in the lead. But you know, it doesn't make a lot of sense to make thoughts like that. You prepare yourself, you do the best job, and you get concentrated.
Looking at this event, two races ago at Silverstone we were nowhere, and if we would have stood in the paddock by the McLaren truck and said we will win in two races, you would have said what an optimistic I was. I would not have dared to say in Silverstone that we could win in Hungary, but it is possible if the others don't get their job done. I also think you are all convinced that we did not win just because the others did drop back. This was a well deserved victory and I think more would have been possible speed-wise.