European GP winners' press conference

1. Johnny Herbert Stewart-Ford 1:41:54.314 2. Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot +22.618 3. Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford +22.865 Q. Johnny, congratulations on your first win since Monza 1995, and on achieving the first-ever...

1. Johnny Herbert Stewart-Ford 1:41:54.314 2. Jarno Trulli Prost-Peugeot +22.618 3. Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford +22.865

Q. Johnny, congratulations on your first win since Monza 1995, and on achieving the first-ever win for Stewart Grand Prix. You must feel that this is the best possible pay-back for a long streak of bad luck ...

Johnny Herbert: Yes, exactly so, especially when I went into the lead. It was unfortunate for Ralf, who had a puncture or some problem with his wheel, but that gave me a nice advantage over Jarno. After that it was a question of looking after everything as well as I possibly could. I was confident it would get to the end, but obviously I tried everything possible to make sure.

Q. At the first of your two stops you took on wet tyres. How difficult was it to make that decision?

JH: Pretty marginal! It took a bit of guesswork, because it just rained on the lap when I was coming in. The way I looked at it, there was a cloud dead in front of me. Everything had been coming that way, so I just guessed and hoped that it would come straight over the track. And it did!

Q. You started from 14th place on the grid. How did you feel when you saw almost everyone falling off the road in front of you?

JH: There was a lot of that going on, but I think that was because so many people were still on the [dry-weather] grooved tyres in very tricky conditions. That is where I was fortunate to have chosen the wet-weather tyres. I don't know if I was the only one, but I certainly thought it was worth the risk [after having started from] where we were. And obviously it has paid off big-time.

Q. Jarno, this is your first podium result. You stopped three times: please talk us through that.

Jarno Trulli: Well, I must say that for the first time this year I was lucky. I had a good chance in this race and I got it. I made a bad start, because I had a clutch problem on the first lap and I had to call the team. They told me to do my best, but then I was slowed down by some of the cars involved in the crash at the first corner. The nice point in this race came when it started to rain and most of the drivers decided to come in [for wet tyres]. Even my team called me up, to bring me in, but I decided to stay out and try to drive [in the wet] on the dry tyres. This was very important. Then, when they called me me a second time for the pit stop, it was a really good decision because it was raining and we had a good stop. Yes, we did make three stops, but I almost forgot because I was fighting so much in this race that I am still a bit confused.

Q. It was a good fight with Rubens for 2nd place in the last five or six laps. What did you feel about it?

JT: I was fighting really hard with him, but it was all pretty fair. I had let him pass me on the first lap, and then in the end -- when we were fighting for the podium places -- I really had to do my best. I did it -- and I am really happy now.

Q. Rubens, how did you see that excellent battle with Jarno?

Rubens Barrichello: It was very fair, no problem at all. It is quite difficult to overtake on this track, so I was giving my best. Johnny and I were lucky today, for sure, because so many people dropped out and Ralf had a puncture. I really thought I could give this win to Jackie, but I am happy for Johnny because he has been having such a bad year in terms of reliability and so on. So for both cars to have taken podium places is quite remarkable.

Q. You only stopped once. Whose decision was that? And how difficult was it to be on grooved tyres when the track was very wet?

RB: That was the guess! Johnny guessed it right and I guessed it wrong. The team called me and asked, 'which do you want to go for, wets or dries?' First I said I wanted to go for wets, because the conditions were already marginal. But when I looked in front of me, what I saw was a clear sky, not the cloud that Johnny saw, so I thought [the rain] would go away faster than it did. And with the harder set of tyres that I had I was losing as much as five seconds a lap. That is the story of the race.

Q. Johnny, we now move on to the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, which none of us has yet seen. Does that mean it will be a more level playing field as far as the Stewart team is concerned?

JH: I think so. Rubens has already shown this year how good the car can be, and it will be great for the team to go there with a 1st and a 3rd in the bag. Because no-one's been there to race F1 cars before, we have an opportunity to work hard towards getting another podium finish in the Malaysian GP. If we can do that, it would be fantastic. I don't see why we can't do that.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Johnny Herbert , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Stewart Grand Prix