Hungarian GP winners' press conference

1. Mika Hakkinen (McLaren-Mercedes), 1:45:33.869 (173.964 km/h) 2. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), +7.916 3. David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes), +8.454 Q. Mika, many congratulations on your third win of the season, your second win here in...

1. Mika Hakkinen (McLaren-Mercedes), 1:45:33.869 (173.964 km/h)
2. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), +7.916
3. David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes), +8.454

Q. Mika, many congratulations on your third win of the season, your second win here in Hungary, in front of many thousands of your fans. It all began with another great start: talk us through it.

Mika Hakkinen: Well, I think I said at Hockenheim that you make a start like I did [there] probably only once a year. But it's not true. I have done it twice in a year. So I again had a fantastic start and I was able to overtake Michael and David before the first corner, even though it was very close with Michael in the first corner. But I must say again that that's what racing should be -- and we came round that corner in one piece. That also explains a little bit how when things like that sometimes happen in the first corner, you need two drivers [who understand each other]. And that was the case when both drivers do the right thing. So we went through 100 per cent.

Q. I suspect it's fair to say that throughout the weekend you've been struggling to find a good setup. It's certainly what you said here yesterday. What did you do between the warm-up this morning, when you were more than one second behind Michael, and the race this afternoon, when you were almost one second a lap quicker than him?

Michael Schumacher: Do you expect an answer?

Hakkinen: It was a combination of some fantastic teamwork between the chassis and engine people and my engineers. We made some modifications to the chassis that we thought would be the right things to do. And as we saw in the race, it was a fantastic thing to happen. That was a very enjoyable race, and although I am unfortunately not able to tell you exactly what we did, the car was very fast.

Q. Michael, after your recent run of very bad luck, is your attitude one of disappointment not to have won, or of relief at having scored another six points?

Michael Schumacher: No, honestly, you have to say that today we were not fast enough to win the race. Not only did I lose the start against Mika, which was a tight battle, but when you see his pace you [have to accept] that if he hadn't overtaken me at the start, he would probably have done it later during the pit stops, because he was simply the fastest man on the circuit today. That's why I am not too unhappy to have [been held back] in 2nd position, because even that was a tight battle with David. But we managed to time our pit stops for the right moment, and had the right gap at the right moment, so we were able to drive home in 2nd position.

Q. Yesterday you were comfortably faster than both the McLarens. Do you believe they got faster, or is it perhaps that the Ferrari isn't a match for the McLarens in race trim at the moment?

MS: Honestly, I believe what Mika said when [he explained that he had] sorted out his car [since yesterday]. If you look at the gap from yesterday, it didn't seem to be fast enough. Looking at the gap between [the McLarens] and the other cars behind them, the gap was very close, while the gap I had was much closer to [what you would normally expect]. That was the simple reason. We had made good steps from Friday to Saturday but then we didn't seem to pull out enough for the Sunday race. So there are still some areas to work on and we have some good ideas on how to improve our situation. But then that's a natural situation for both of us, I believe. Let's see who keeps it up to the end.

Q. David, you spent virtually the entire race staring at the diffuser of Michael's Ferrari. Do you think it's a good design?

David Coulthard: (laughs) Well, that's one of the most interesting questions I have been asked this year! Yes, it's lovely, it looks as though it works well. Of my three stints, I wasn't quick enough in the first one. For some bizarre reason I had a very unusual balance and I was aiming to find out if there had been a problem of pressuring the first set of tyres. Certainly the second and third sets were much more as I had expected them to be. [But as a consequence of that] I was falling away at quite a [serious rate in the first part of the race], and thereafter I was quite competitive. I have finished 3rd, so I won't make excuses, but I did lose a lot of time behind the four Minardis that there seemed to be out there. Michael caught the traffic well, in that he caught them all in and around Turn 5, while I never got the chance to overtake them until we came out of Turn 10. That meant there was always one second lost in that sector. If you look at the gap when I came out of the pits after my last stop, it was probably [only a matter] of 0.3 second's difference between me being able to get into the first corner [in front of him instead of behind him]. That sometimes makes a difference. But I started 3rd and finished 3rd. That's all I deserve, really.

Q. Mika, for the first time this year the championship lead has changed, and with five races to go it's now in your hands instead of Michael's. As we move on from this race to Spa, do you now regard yourself as the favourite for the championship?

MH: Phew! You know, all the way through the season people seem to have been talking so many different things: they have been saying who is going to win it or who is going to lose it, who has the motivation or who has lost the motivation. These discussions go on all the way through the season. I have been keeping my head all the time and concentrating on my work in order to try to win the races. That's what I am going to do for the rest of the season. I am not going to think about who might win it or lose it, because that will be decided at the end of the season when the points have been counted up.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Minardi