German GP winners' press conference

Q Damon, your first win in Germany and you now have 20 victories equaling Michael Schumacher's record. You must be delighted with today, even though it seemed to be a pretty hard fight out there? DH Yeah, it was a fantastic race all...

Q Damon, your first win in Germany and you now have 20 victories equaling Michael Schumacher's record. You must be delighted with today, even though it seemed to be a pretty hard fight out there?

DH Yeah, it was a fantastic race all the way through. I made a not very good start and from then on it was going to be quite difficult. I had a good race with Jean and also later in the race with Gerhard and of course I was looking for an opportunity to pass but he was going to make it very difficult. I heard his engine make a bad noise coming out of the first chicane and I knew he had a problem, it was either him or me, I wasn't really sure until I was rather pleased to see it was his engine and not mine when he pulled out. So bad luck to Gerhard but a terrific result for myself. I've never won in Germany before and I'd forgotten about the fact it was my 20th victory, so there's a lot to celebrate today. I also want to thank all the people at the factory who worked very hard over the weekend. They came in and worked late to prepare parts for the car, so a special thanks to them.

Q Your pit stops did you well during the race. You must have been doing a lot of mental calculations throughout the race to see whether you were going to get ahead of the two Benettons?

DH Yeah, well it was always going to be close because Gerhard was on one stop and I lost to him at the start, so it was always going to be difficult for me to make up the gap.

Q What actually happened at the start? Was there any reason that you didn't get off as cleanly as you would have liked?

DH Well I made a good initial start and then I let the revs drop too much and the engine wasn't pulling that hard.

Q Jean, you made a very good start, you went from fifth position up to second. How pleased are you with today's result?

JA Honestly, I'm very happy but I'm a bit sad for my teammate. He did a very good job since the beginning of the season in the team. We are working very hard. At the beginning we had a car not so competitive and slowly, slowly we improve the car, we work with the team a little bit better now. It's a shame because we were able to be together here on the podium but personally I'm happy of course because I'm back third in the championship and I give back some more points for the team too.

Q Were you aware that Gerhard had a problem with his engine? In fact did you have any problems with yours at all?

JA No I didn't have any kind of problem because I think what happened to the Gerhard, just seeing the smoke, was sudden. I just slowed down because it was just three laps to go. I was careful just down the straights, that's it.

Q You've been on the podium six times now this season. It must be soon for first victory, do you think?

JA I hope so, but Damon and Jacques are working also very hard. They are always here. It is going to be a very interesting end of the championship of course but it is still very difficult for us.

Q Jacques, you made a good start and then you seemed to almost be held up by Michael Schumacher for a while. Is that true or not?

JV Yeah, we had a pretty good start and we were just behind Michael on the first lap. I wasn't very aggressive, I didn't want to go off then and Michael was keeping his line. Then Hakkinen surprised me and got in front of me and then I was stuck behind these two until the pit stop.

Q Can you tell us a bit more about the pit stop because you had a pretty close call with Michael Schumacher. You both went in together and came out almost at the same time.

JV We had a slightly better pit stop than Michael's but he was in front of us in the pits so it was normal for him to pit in front of us, but then it was a good battle into the first chicane. I was a couple of car lengths behind him and I don't think he was expecting me to outbrake him.

Q The championship now stands with Damon leading you by 21 points. What were you expecting at the end of this weekend? Are you happy with that?

JV Well I was hoping to be closer than 21 points definitely but we didn't have a good beginning of the week and we had something wrong on the car that we found out only this morning in the warm up and it had been like that all weekend, so we were a little bit behind with our set ups and it showed today in the race but at least we were a little bit more competitive than during qualifying.

Q Well Damon, we now go on to Hungary where you scored your first victory back in 1993 and you now have seven victories in one season which equals that of Jim Clarke and Ayrton Senna so you must be feeling pretty good at this moment?

DH It couldn't be better at the moment. I'm really pleased.

Q Well gentlemen, thank you very much.

-- David Goodwin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Jim Clark , Ayrton Senna
Teams Benetton