Q. Congratulations, Jacques, you must take particular pleasure in winning this race today! JV: The pleasure is purely the nine points that I have taken back from Michael. It's too bad he got the one point at the end there, but...
Q. Congratulations, Jacques, you must take particular pleasure in winning this race today!
JV: The pleasure is purely the nine points that I have taken back from Michael. It's too bad he got the one point at the end there, but the championship is looking much better for me now.
Q. What happened at the start?
JV: I let the clutch go too fast and got a lot of wheelspin, so I lifted the throttle for a moment. But by that time Hakkinen had got past me and Trulli was next to me under braking. I was also sliding a little too much, and when Barrichello came alongside me in the hairpin I couldn't get out of the corner ahead of him. For two or three laps the car was sliding a lot and I really had to push to keep Magnussen behind me. Once the heat got into the tyres the car was easy to drive.
Q. Did you think the Stewart cars could challenge you?
JV: Not so much: I was more worried about Trulli's Prost, because I thought it would be a stronger car through the whole race. We had seen the Stewart drivers having problems with their tyres in qualifying, so I knew that they would start slowing towards the end of their stint. I made my move when I saw Barrichello start sliding. I could have taken a couple of risks with him a couple of laps earlier, but I didn't want to bang wheels with him and go off the track. Once I got in front of him it was just a question of pushing as hard as I could, to get close to Trulli.
Q. Did you stay out a little longer than planned before making your pit stop?
JV: We had planned to stay out as long as possible, for as long as we had the fuel, and that's what we did today. It worked out really well today, because that is how we got Trulli.
Q. Were you worried about David Coulthard catching you in those final laps?
JV: Yes, because I was stuck in traffic behind Gerhard for a while. I was taking it very easy then because I know from a recent experience how difficult he is to lap. I didn't want to take any risks. Once I knew that David was running fast I started pushing. But I knew I could lap in the elevens, so I was pacing myself on David's lap times.
Q. David, after qualifying 10th you must be happy to have finished 2nd.
DC: Yes, I am very happy. I thought before the start that it would be a good result for me today if I could get two points. But with the yellow flag situation for Michael, and again with a very good pit stop, it was just a question of trying to hang on to the end.
Q. Did you enjoy the close racing that you were involved in?
DC: I had a lot of fun from the start. I managed to pass Michael before the first corner, then he passed me and I repassed him before the second corner. It was fun to be battling and not to use [the downforce from] your wing, which is what normally happens when you try to fight someone through a corner. I gained a place during a pit stop, which was thanks to the mechanics. These good six points fit nicely with the win I got at Monza.
Q. You seemed faster in the second part of the race ...
DC: I was certainly in better shape on the second set of tyres than on the first. In terms of traffic, this has been one of the worst races I have ever had. There were two Benettons in front of me, and then a Prost which blew up in front of me, and there were not many blue flags being waved out there.
Q. HeinzHarald, you lost places to David, and also to Michael Schumacher ...
HHF: Yes, under the yellow flag. Maybe you didn't notice, but it was a situation when I was behind Gerhard and the group included Michael and David behind me. There was an accident at the second hairpin when somebody spun off, leaving us with nowhere to go. That's where Michael lost his points ...
Q. After this string of third places, what can you do to improve for the Nurburgring?
HHF: Go faster!
Q. Jacques, now that you're back in contention for the championship, how do you feel about next week's Luxembourg GP?
JV: I feel great about Nurburgring because we beat Michael there last year. That is the best way to go into this next race. There is only one point between us, so the result could go either way. I think we will have a stronger package there, unless it is very cold which would be to Michael's advantage. Overall, though, we should have a better package than him and I feel confident.
For this and the other press conferences see: http://www.fia.com/presse/f1conf-en
--- David Goodwin