Monaco GP: Winners' press conference

1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1h42m19.010s 2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (MCLAREN), 1h42m19.612s (+ 0.602s) 3. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1h42m20.730s (+ 1.720s) Q: Juan Pablo, emotional scenes at the end there. Tell us about the pressure from Kimi...

1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1h42m19.010s
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (MCLAREN), 1h42m19.612s (+ 0.602s)
3. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1h42m20.730s (+ 1.720s)

Q: Juan Pablo, emotional scenes at the end there. Tell us about the pressure from Kimi during those closing stages...

Juan Pablo Montoya: You know, the hardest pressure was when then told me I had to get a gap on Kimi before my stop because he was going longer than me. It was quite hard. I managed to pull away from two seconds to four and a half before I stopped but then, when I managed to get a couple of laps into the stop until his stop I still managed to get ahead of him and then I just backed off a little bit and just paced myself. It was good. The car seemed to work really well. I want to thank all the mechanics. I think BMW and Williams did a fantastic job and the Michelin tyres behaved brilliantly all the day. It's really good. Everybody needed this. Ralf got the pole yesterday, I got the win today.

Q: At the start, and indeed after the re-start behind the safety car, Ralf seemed to get away from you a little bit and then you hauled him back in again.

JPM: Yeah, he seemed to. Before the start of the race he decided to use higher pressures, he picked up the tyre pressures and he was going to be quicker in the first few laps. I knew that so I just based myself on that, so after three laps, when the tyres came up, I was fine.

Q: Kimi, you were on the front row but Juan Pablo got the jump on you into turn one there...

Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I'm not very lucky with second place on the starting grid. I always seem to get bad starts. Okay, the race was a little bit just following Montoya to try to get past but here, you don't have any chances to get past if they don't make any mistakes. I knew that I would run a little bit longer on the pit stops but on the first and second pit stops I always had traffic when he went into the pits and that completely destroyed the chance to try to get past him.

Q: Michael, it looks as if you started with between six and ten laps worth more fuel than McLaren and Williams. Do you think that was a great strategy given the car that you had today or could your strategy have been different?

Michael Schumacher: In the end, you always seem to be more clever. The fact is that if I wouldn't have been stuck behind Trulli, I guess I could have kept the situation more close to Kimi, being out longer then I would have probably managed to get him but that meant that I had to have more fuel and this automatically means I would be behind Trulli so however you turn it, in the end, that's what we did and out of fifth position, finishing in third position is reasonable. We try everything but we have to say clearly that this weekend we probably weren't strong enough.

Q: Juan Pablo, you've just won the Monaco Grand Prix, just try to describe your emotions and feelings right now.

JPM: Really, you've got to say that I had quite a few races where I had a chance to win. The last one was Melbourne, I threw it away, so there was a bit of pressure not to basically make any mistakes. It was definitely worth waiting for. I won Monza and now this. It's fantastic. I'm so happy. It's just unreal.

Q: Juan Pablo, this obviously means a huge amount to you, tell us about it...

JPM: It does. It's been long waiting for my second win. First one came in the first year. Last year I had seven poles and none of them converted into wins. The car worked pretty well today, the car was good all weekend. The fight with Kimi was very good and I had to push as hard as I could to try to stay ahead of him because he was going longer than me on every stop and I managed two stops to do that and then from there it was just to pace myself to the end.

Q: What about the start, that was obviously important getting ahead of Kimi?

JPM: Yeah, as soon as I let the button go I had great traction and just had the jump on Kimi straight away.

Q: I understand you were fairly noisy on the radio at the end, what were you saying?

JPM: Nothing really...I was pretty excited.

Q: What about at the end there, how much pressure was there?

JPM: There was a fair bit because I backed up the pace quite a bit but I didn't want Kimi to get too close, so on the last few laps I started pushing and made a bit of a mistake, not on the last lap but the lap before in the last corner, a little bit, but apart from that it went pretty smoothly.

Q: Were the tyres good?

JPM: Yeah, the tyres were really good, very consistent. They were coming back really strongly at the end of the stint. It was really good.

Q: Kimi, what happened to you at the start?

KR: It looks like it's not very good for me to start from the second place, because every time I have lost at least one place. But I don't know, I just didn't get the traction and lost one place, almost two, but I just managed to keep the Renault behind me.

Q: Then what were the tactics towards the end when you were right on his tail?

KR: I was just hoping that something would go wrong or that he would make a big mistake so that I was able to pass him. I knew that he wouldn't have too many problems to keep me behind, but I still tried to keep up some pressure. I was a bit unlucky with the pit stops because every time when he went in I was stuck behind the cars and I wasn't able to push but that's racing and maybe next time it will go better.

Q: How about the car during the race, and the tyres?

KR: It was great. I think at the beginning of the race I was a bit slower than them because we started with very low pressures and these took a little while to come in. But after that it was really good and I think we got the quickest lap time in the race and I was quick, but just not at the right time.

Q: How worried were you about the track conditions, starting on the front row, given that there was so much dust down from the previous races?

KR: Yeah, I was pretty worried about it. I was watching the race when they put it down because I think there was oil and liquid on every corner and it wasn't very good for us but actually it was OK, the circuit was fine and we didn't have any problems.

Q: Michael, fifth to third, at least you made up a couple of places but even so I don't suppose it was what you were hoping for...

MS: Yeah, you always hope for better but realistically, from how the race developed falling back with Jarno actually it is quite reasonable to end up third.

Q: What about the car during the race - at times you were perhaps a couple of seconds off the pace, but that probably had something to do with fuel, obviously...

MS: Yeah, obviously the strategy was staggered differently to others but I wouldn't say the situation was the greatest with my second set. I really struggled up to a certain point and then it got going but at the end of the day I think it would have been very difficult to jump another position.

Q: Then at the end you were catching these two, what was going to be your tactics then?

MS: See and wait. You never know what happens.

Q: But otherwise, obviously, six points. Not too bad...

MS: Yep, that's the way you have to see it. We lose another two in terms of the championship, it is back to four, but it could have been worse.

Q: Kimi, how much are you waiting for the new car and do you think you could have been in front with it here?

KR: Of course, it will be nice to get the new car because you always have to remember we are still with the old car against all the others with their new cars and we can still give a good fight against them and do podium finishes. But I think we need to have a good race in the next race and then with the new car I am sure we can fight for the win big time but I guess we need to wait and see.

Q: Juan Pablo, an Italian newspaper wrote today that you are in contact with Ferrari to drive for them after the end of Michael's contract. Is it true?

JPM: Yeah, someone told me to look at the Gazetta dello Sport and see what's in and I had a look and I couldn't believe it. There is no talk for the moment, to be honest, there is nothing.

Q: Michael, given the expectations of the 2003 car, is this weekend a surprise and a real setback?

MS: I think it is nothing to do with the car, honestly. It is nothing to do with the car so there is no surprise if sometimes we don't win a race, that's the way it goes. These certain conditions, probably it is fair to say in the tyre side, it is fair to say we didn't look too good this weekend.

Q: So it was just strategy and tyres then was it?

MS: To some degree, if you look at our pace we were not far off but we were not in front and I would put that down to the tyres.

Q: Michael, it may be hindsight, but looking back at yesterday obviously you qualified relatively heavy. Was that a bit of a miscalculation with the one-lap pace of the tyre?

MS: I don't think it was a wrong calculation we did because if you see with the more laps I managed to jump two positions because I was longer out and I put in very fast lap times. We probably, if we could have known that, we should have put in just a little less fuel to jump Trulli and then it would have been a little bit easier but how you know that...You have to make up your mind and sometimes you are better, sometimes you are a little bit worse and that is the way it goes.

Q: Juan Pablo, you mentioned a little bit of pressure on you this weekend. It is a long time since Williams won here. Did you know that and were you aware of the pressure on you to bring this race back to Williams?

JPM: It wasn't only bringing this race to Williams but trying to get another win for myself -- I was more concerned about that than Williams, to be honest, but as we are in the same team I guess it was well worth it.

Q: Juan Pablo, do you think you are realistic to enter in the fight for the world championship?

JPM: Well, at the moment I am a bit behind them on points but if the car starts performing every race like it did this race and the last race then the chance becomes bigger and bigger and bigger. It seems the new Ferrari doesn't have the big advantage that they had last year when the car came out and now we will have to see the new McLaren.

Q: Kimi, in a different situation in the championship could you try to pass Juan Pablo at the end of the race.

KR: Yeah, if I had a chance then for sure I would go for it but I didn't have any real chances and then it is stupid to take any big risk and especially now. Maybe in some other circuits it would have been more easy to try something but here it is pretty much impossible to overtake anywhere.

Q: Juan, with all the history and glamour and difficulty of Monaco, every Formula One driver wants to win this race. What does it mean to have won the Monaco Grand Prix?

JPM: Winning in Monaco is a bit like when I was in America and I went to Indy, you know, it is like the most special race you can win and being the only street course in the championship it is very special. It is a great atmosphere, it is a bit different to every other race and to win here, and Monza is very special as well, and to come here and win is fantastic.

Q: Juan, do you think this is more a victory of the tyres as the Michelins seemed to adapt pretty well to this track, or is this the Williams getting better?

JPM: Well, we were ahead of Kimi so it shows the car is more forward, the last test was quick, I was the same time as David one of the days and the other days I was quicker than them so it shows the car is going in the right direction. We had a really good car in the race and a good strategy as well so I think the team is really getting their act together.

Q: To Michael, were you using the same kind of tyre on Thursday and Saturday because you were really fast on Thursday and Saturday not so much...

MS: If you don't mind I will just tell you that we use Bridgestones.

Q: Michael, may I just ask you what happened in between say laps 38 and a bit later on like 46 or 47. You seemed to be a bit off the pace, just lapping over 1m16. Were you just struggling in traffic or was it something with tyres?

MS: No. I guess it was something within the tyres because in certain periods I simply couldn't achieve the lap times anywhere.

Q: Kimi, how good was the car through the race, particularly thinking of the engine? Were you able to push it as hard as you expected to right from the start or did you have to take any care with it?

KR: No, everything was working well but if you are behind someone it is going to be a more easy life for the engine and the car if you than if you are going to push 100 percent but I didn't have any problems with the car, the engine or the tyres. The car was running really well and handling-wise it was perfect.

Q: Michael, you said your Ferrari is a fantastic car, maybe better than the old car. After this race, have you the same opinion or not?

MS: I don't think I need to answer this, huh?

Q: To all of you, at the beginning of the race it seems the last corner of the track was not so clean. Was it a problem for you?

JPM: Nope.

KR: It was a little bit slippery but it was pretty much okay.

MS: Just to say, if you saw after the Porsche race I think all of us were expecting a lot worse conditions but actually the marshals did a good job.

Q: Juan, how tough has it been for you to wait for two years between your first and second wins?

JPM: It has been a bit of a long time but there are a lot of races where we have been competitive and I have been unlucky, something would break down or something, but that is the way races go and it shows if you keep trying it is going to come and hopefully the third one won't take that long.

Q: Juan Pablo, when you were standing on the podium what was going through your mind?

JPM: It was pretty neat. It is the first time I finish in Monaco in Formula One. The first year I lasted three laps, the second about forty-something and, you know, the first time I finish the race I win it it is pretty good. Last year we had a good chance. We were pretty competitive. David got the jump on me at the start and this year I got the jump on Kimi and that seemed to help.

Q: Michael, last year you had a great technical advantage. This year you are not leading the championship and you were third in this race. Is it the new regulations of have the others caught up?

MS: I think simply the competition is much closer. It is very clear. If you see even other races, like Barcelona last year, we were miles ahead and this year it was a tough fight so it has just got much more together.

Q: Michael, the last ten or fifteen laps it was great for us and the crowd, it was very exciting. But as you were closing up you must have known that you were depending on a mistake to happen for you. Were you enjoying chasing the other two?

MS: Yes. To some degree you do enjoy catching up then you just wait for your opportunity because the race finishes when the chequered flag comes out and not before. From my point of view I wanted to race until then and see what happened because I knew those two guys were very close and maybe one tries to overtake the other and something occurs from this.

-fia-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams