Australian GP winners' press conference

Q. Congratulations, Mika, on a fantastic drive to win the Australian GP. It didn't go quite as you expected, though ... MH: No, it didn't go like we planned. The overall result was what I wanted it to be, but during the race there...

Q. Congratulations, Mika, on a fantastic drive to win the Australian GP. It didn't go quite as you expected, though ...

MH: No, it didn't go like we planned. The overall result was what I wanted it to be, but during the race there was some confusion which forced me to make an extra stop. It was purely a misunderstanding in the radio communication which cost me the lead at that time.

Q. Later you caught up with David and right at the end it looked as though David allowed you to overtake. What happened there?

MH: I just want to say thank you to David. It was very fair racing and excellent team work. I am not just saying that because I won, but because we have an excellent relationship with David. What he did today was remarkable. Looking back through history I haven't seen many drivers who would have done this.

Q. The two of you virtually lapped the entire field today. Why is the McLaren so good this year?

MH: (laughs) Well, this is something for us both to answer. But there is probably one very simple reason, which is that we have the people, the package and the sponsors who can work together in all the areas. This is the result. It is only with that combination that you can achieve something like this ... including of course having excellent drivers like me and David ...

Q. David, everyone was surprised to see you let Mika go through. Was this something that you had discussed beforehand?

DC: Since the Jerez situation last October, Mika and I have learned a lot during the winter and got a lot closer. In this situation we knew we had to be very careful about reliability, because there were a lot of question marks over brakes and other issues at this type of track. So we had an agreement here that whoever got to the first corner first would not be challenged by the other person, because that was a vital moment in the race. I was pretty confident with the agreement and that I would be able to beat Mika to the first corner, but unfortunately he made a good start. Then when the team explained to me what had happened during his pit stop I had some time to think about it. It came clear to me and I felt it would be in keeping with the agreement for us to change places.

Q. Heinz-Harald, in spite of finishing third you must still be shocked by the speed of the guys sitting next to you... HHF:Actually I wasn't looking around me very much, and I couldn't see how far these guys were ahead of me. I didn't realise how much quicker they were until they lapped me. I was doing my own race: I was concerned about my brakes, just like last year, and I had to take a very easy pace at the beginning. I just wanted to avoid getting into the same situation as last year when I got to within two laps of the finish and didn't see the chequered flag. I just concentrated on being quick at the end, when I did my quickest lap time and was able to outbrake my competitors. My strategy was to save my tyres and brakes.

Q. Do you think that you and Goodyear will be able to challenge McLaren and Bridgestone in the next races?

HHF:It is going to be a big challenge for us to catch up. McLaren has a good car and a good package, but we are convinced that we will make a good step forward in time for Brazil and Argentina, at least in the tyres, and we will try to improve the car as well.

Q. Mika, you must now be looking forward to Brazil!

MH: Yes ... certainly. But at the moment we are feeling happy and we just intend to relax tonight. Before Brazil we will go testing, concentrating again on the development of the engine and the car. I am really looking forward to Brazil.

For this and the other press conferences see: http://www.fia.com/presse/f1conf-en

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren