French GP winners' press conference

Q Well, Damon you finished second here three times before, so it must be absolutely fantastic to have finally got the win, especially after what seemed to be a faultless race for you? DH There were no problems in the race. Everything...

Q Well, Damon you finished second here three times before, so it must be absolutely fantastic to have finally got the win, especially after what seemed to be a faultless race for you?

DH There were no problems in the race. Everything went fantastically. I think I'd like to dedicate this race victory to all the friends of ours at Renault Sport who clearly have given us a 1-2-3 for Renault and my first victory in the French grand prix.

Q As you were coming round on the formation lap you must have been delighted with the sight that unfolded before you. What were you actually thinking at that stage?

DH Well actually I was a bit worried Michael's engine was going to blow up in a big way and leave a huge oil slick, so I had to back off because his car was spraying a lot of oil out onto the track and over my visor and everything, but obviously it was an unwelcome, sorry, an unexpected thing I should say, and it made the race a whole lot easier for me.

Q You've now won as many grand prix as you did throughout the whole of last season and now have a 25 point lead in the championship. This must be a great way to be starting the second half of the season?

DH Yes it's a very, very good result. I'm very pleased and I'm delighted for the team, for Jacques as well he did a good job to come through, to come second and it's been a really good result for everyone in Rothmans Williams Renault.

Q Jacques, your third second position of the championship and you seemed to be sticking with your team-mate pretty well, especially as you had the fastest lap during this race. What do you think you need now to get ahead of Damon in these races?

JV Well, for sure, qualifying better would help a lot. I'm really happy with the result today, mostly after the big crash we had yesterday. The guys worked hard all night, until three in the morning, to make sure we had a car ready for the race. Irwin worked on my neck as well to make sure I could race the whole race. We had a very good car in the race. I changed my lines a little bit and I was driving the track a little bit better today than in qualifying. So if we could be at that stage on Saturdays I'm sure it would have helped a lot, but for Williams Renault team it's a great result.

Q How were you finding learning the track? Is Silverstone going to be a big advantage for you because you've done quite a lot of testing there.

JV Well at least I won't have to learn the track, so it will be better on that track than on most of the other tracks, so I'm looking forward to the next one.

Q Jean, your home grand prix you finished fifth here last year, so you must be delighted to be on the podium today?

JA Yes, it's the first time for me to be on the podium in the French grand prix, so it's a good result even if I have to work to drive and fight with the car for all the race because it was very easy to make a mistake, but I'm very pleased to be on the podium today.

Q You seemed to be having a good fight with Gerhard towards the end of the race. Did you feel very threatened at any stage?

JA Actually I was not able to push more than what I was doing, but I knew it was impossible for him to overtake me, so actually I was playing a little bit with him because in some parts I was very slow just to make him upset a little bit more. We are together since five year now and we are very good friends.

Q Damon, as you were saying earlier the Renault Williams combination, it's now the 50th victory for that particular combination, so I'm sure you're looking to make that the 51st for your home grand prix in two weeks time?

DH Well there's only one thing left for me to do now and that's to win the British grand prix. I would really love to do that and irrespective of what happens in the championship, if I could come to England and win the British grand prix I'd be very, very happy.

Q Gentlemen, thank you.

-- David Goodwin

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams