European GP winners' press conference

Q Well Jacques, a fantastic result, your first Formula one grand prix win. Does it feel better than winning the Indycar championship? JV Well, for sure, it feels great but you have to know that a championship is the work of the whole...

Q Well Jacques, a fantastic result, your first Formula one grand prix win. Does it feel better than winning the Indycar championship?

JV Well, for sure, it feels great but you have to know that a championship is the work of the whole season, so this is one race. It feels great, but as of tomorrow it will be far away because we have to think about the next race. But for sure, it's a great feeling after the start to the season we had, it's great to get one in.

Q You ran a very smooth race, what was it like with Michael pushing you so hard for most of it?

JV Well Michael was pushing really hard and he was very quick once he got..., well he was quick the whole race, but he got close to me mid way through the second run and he was a little bit quicker than me, so it was tough mostly when we got behind a back marker. But it was fun, that's how racing should be.

Q Michael, you must be pleased to have run a very competitive race in front of your home crowd. At any stage did you think that the victory could have been yours?

MS I was thinking the whole time about last year because I thought there should be the situation coming now where I'm going to pass him and make the same, but obviously Jacques has done a fantastic race without mistakes and there was just no way for me to pass him, plus he had just the edge on the top speed and there was no way for me to pass him anywhere. But we had a great race together, very close fighting and I'm very pleased to come second, to finish the race. By the middle of the race I was a bit worried because I got some noise at the back and I thought that's it, but I was able to finish. That's good.

Q Is this the start of things to come for Ferrari?

MS I think we have shown that we go step by step, but the gap of qualifying was certainly very surprising and you have to wait a bit longer until we really back to the winning road. As you see we still a bit too far back during the race distance, but we will come. I'm sure.

Q David, you had a great start, you must be delighted to be making your first podium appearance for McLaren?

DC Yeah, this feels like a win for me. Not scoring any points in the first three races and then getting on the podium here and especially having such a battle with Damon at the end. So it couldn't have come at a better time especially for Mercedes on their home track.

Q It looked like a pretty tough battle between you and Damon towards the end, how aware were you of that?

DC Yeah, it was a tough battle but one of the advantages of having been his team-mate is I know he's not going to do anything silly. So I just had to block a little bit and I knew he would settle for the points.

Later Damon Hill was interviewed by Tony Jardine for the BBC.

TJ Obviously a great deal of disappointment for you, but points on the board most importantly?

DH Yeah, I am disappointed. Obviously I wanted to win the race but I got a pig of a start, I didn't make a very good start, and then all the trouble started from there really. But I got points and that's the most important thing, because if you win the championship by three points, you'll look back to the Nurburgring and say thanks very much.

TJ You came in for an early stop, what was the problem? Something at the rear end?

DH Yeah, suddenly the car started feeling very strange. I was convinced I had a puncture to start with and, I don't know, later on I decided perhaps it wasn't a puncture, I think there's something wrong in the car somewhere.

TJ And Diniz?

DH Well some people make it very difficult to pass. They open the door and then they close it at the last minute, but I was always having to fight my way through and there was always a chance of having a problem. It's not easy to pass here. My engine didn't seem to be pulling too well either. I was having trouble getting past people, particularly the Peugeots, who were very strong, and it was a tough race but the points are important.

TJ After you hit Diniz, were you worried that your own car was damaged?

DH Yeah, I was worried that something more might happen because I went over the gravel, but everything held together and I put my faith in it and I had a good dice with David, my old team-mate, there at the end. Fortunately it didn't end in tears but I would have loved to have third place, but then he would too.

TJ I don't know what it was like from your perspective but from ours it was a fantastic race and you were involved in a hell of lot of dicing at the beginning. It was brilliant motor racing.

DH Yeah, I had one or two good moves, I particularly liked the one on Michael earlier in the race but... never mind.

TJ Well done Damon

DH All right, thanks.

-- David Goodwin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Damon Hill , Tony Jardine
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren