The following is a transcript from the press conference that immediately followed the German GP.
Following a wild German Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) participated in a Q&A with the Formula One media.
(Conducted by Kai Ebel)
Nico, how sweet is the taste of the home victory champagne?
Nico ROSBERG: It’s fantastic. It’s an amazing feeling for me to win here at home. A very, special day for me. Thank you for all your support here this weekend.
Valtteri, three time on the podium now but how hot was the breath of this guy [Hamilton] on your neck?
Valtteri BOTTAS: Yeah, I feel really happy again being third time in a row on the podium. These guys were too quick today but really happy that we at least managed to keep one of them behind. It was not easy, it required all the info from the engineers, what to do with the engine modes, and from my side pushing hard but I really want to say thanks to all the say thanks to all the fans. I also see many Finnish flags here so, thanks Finland.
Lewis, lots of fans in for you here. King of overtaking, 17 places, fastest lap, damaged front wing, so how much racing fun was that for you as a racer?
Lewis HAMILTON: I had great fun. It was great to see how many fans we had here today, thank you so much for the support. I did as good as I could today. It was very hard to get through the pack safely. I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson. I honestly thought he was opening the door to let me past, he’s been a bit like that in the past race for example, so my bad on judgment there. It’s very hard to overtake at the end, they were so fast on the straights but I’m very happy I got some points today.
Thanks Lewis. Coming back to you Nico. Lots of points for you but not much time to celebrate as the next race is coming up next week already.
NR: Yeah, well definitely we’ll be celebrating a little bit tonight, I hope you [the fans] will as well, it would be great to continue the soccer world championship spirit today a little bit. I look forward to the next race in Hungary. With the car that we have at the moment… I’m very, very thankful to Mercedes for the car that they’ve built us, it’s really a pleasure at the moment. Hungary will be good.
Q: So Nico, your fourth win this year, I think your first on home soil – and which of the great things that have happened to you this week has given you the best feeling?
NR: That’s getting married. That’s definitely the case. That was the best feeling. But of course everything has been special. Really fortunate, just had a great… many positive things happening in the two weeks, or week and a half. Been really enjoyable, and also this weekend with pole and the win. Just awesome. Very, very special day today.
When I saw Sutil’s car out there, I was sure there was going to be a safety car and that would have obviously made it a lot more difficult.
Q: Valtteri, something of a defensive master class at the end, defending from Lewis in the final laps. Tell us a little bit about what was going through your mind, the way you positioned the car in those final laps, particularly given the state of the tyres after a very long stint.
VB: Yes, big enough the last stint. I was already close with Lewis but he stopped and at that point there was still twenty or so laps to go. I knew it was going to be really close in the end. With a new set of tyres, 20 laps to go, he can make up the pit loss, and he did and he was riding my tail the last few laps. For me it was just really, really important to always get a good exit for the DRS straights, so out of Turn One and out of Turns Two-Three, to get as good an exit as possible and brake always as late as possible for the hairpin at the end. Also from the team, we were communicating and I got all the support from the engineers to get the right engine modes for defending – so thanks for that.
Q: Lewis, from 20th on the grid to third at the end and so much to deal with, so many changes as well, you were on a change of strategy at the end there where you were going to do two very attacking stints on the super-soft of 13 laps. They obviously changed that after the Sutil spin, brought you in a bit earlier, so you had to do a bit longer final stint. I wonder though how much the damage of the front wing in the Jenson Button incident hurt your chances of doing more than third today.
LH: I couldn’t tell you. The car was a little bit different but nonetheless to still get some points today, I’m grateful and very happy with the car today that Mercedes provided us with and congratulations to Nico. It’s fantastic for him on his home soil and also for Mercedes-Benz. So I’m glad I could add some points today.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Leonid Novozhilov – F1 Life) Valtteri, is second place today the maximum for you, is second place the maximum for your team or can you do more?
VB: We always aim for more but for now we need to be happy with these points. Of course we were unlucky with Felipe again, we didn’t get both cars in a good position but I think today was the maximum result. We did everything perfectly and managed to keep Lewis behind in the end which got us an extra few points but in the future, we are definitely aiming for more and this is not the maximum.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Valtteri, your target for this year was a podium; now you’ve got a hat-trick of them. How surprised are you with this success, because it’s not so usual for Finnish drivers to get three podiums in a row?
NR: I got three in a row.
VB: Yeah, of course I feel really lucky also to be part of this. Last year we could not have expected to be three times in a row on the podium but we now... This is the package we have and it’s all down to hard work and we need to always keep aiming for more, like I said before. Of course, it feels really good to be (on the podium) for a third time in a row but I think we’re aiming for more than that now. We know Budapest might be a bit difficult for us but hopefully we get some updates.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Lewis, do you see the glass of your race more half full or half empty?
LH: Well, I don’t really know how to answer that really. I came from last, so to get on the podium is quite an achievement, so perhaps half full.
Q: (Barna Zsoldos – Nemzeti Sport) Lewis, you’ve got an incredible record in Hungary – seven races, four wins. What is your secret there and what are your feelings in general about next week’s race?
LH: I don’t really have any secrets there, just been very... If I’ve ever had any... Just been fortunate in that race, great support there as usual with the fans and a circuit I really enjoy. It’s a circuit where you can really attack, it works for an attacking driver like myself so perhaps it suits my driving style a little bit more than some others, maybe.
Q: (Udo Doering – Darmstaedter Echo) Nico, are you a little bit surprised to win so clearly and when you saw the car of Sutil standing on the track, did you fear another safety car?
NR: Yeah, definitely I’m a bit surprised because in qualifying the Williams were quite close so didn’t really expect to have such a big advantage in the race. And yes, I definitely got a bit worried when I saw Sutil’s car out there because I was sure there was going to be a safety car and that would have obviously made it a lot more difficult.
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