Japanese GP winners' press conference

Q Michael, congratulations you have now achieved your aim of winning the world championship and Benetton's first constructors' championship. MS Yeah, that fantastic feeling, now I really can feel more than happy. I mean, happy is ...

Q Michael, congratulations you have now achieved your aim of winning the world championship and Benetton's first constructors' championship.

MS Yeah, that fantastic feeling, now I really can feel more than happy. I mean, happy is certainly not the word for my feelings at the moment because the team really earned this championship because they have been last year and this year the really best team in the paddock and now we fulfilled our promises to go for the drivers' and the constructors' championship. By the way, now we equal as well Nigel Mansell's record and now we go in Australia for a new one.

Q You had pole position and fastest lap the only serious challenge during the race seemed to come from Jean Alesi. Were you aware of that?

MS Yeah, I was totally aware of this because my mirror was full of a red car at certain times and it was close at certain stages but fortunately I was able to maintain and then after the gap he was quite quick at the beginning stage on dry tyres where I needed a couple of laps to get into the circuit and get a rhythm and after I got this I was able to pull a little gap to him.

Q Mika, your second 2nd place of the season but this time it seemed to be much more convincing than at Monza.

MH Absolutely, it was great, absolutely great from start to finish. The start was really good, didn't have any problems in the start, didn't lost any places, unfortunately I didn't gain anything either but I kept my place and I was able to keep my speed basically with Michael and with Jean and also Hill, who was behind me, wasn't able to overtake me. It was good, I was able all the time to keep this distance similar and the whole race went really nice all the way from start to finish.

Q Johnny, a good solid race what was your strategy before the race?

JH Well, the strategy was obviously try and get a good start. The conditions were obviously going to change so it was just trying to be in the right position at the right time and we seemed to have some good pitstops as well which obviously helped a lot and the result was very good especially for Benetton who have done a fantastic job along with Renault and Mild Seven. It's been a good year and it's good being part of that and actually putting a few points on the board for them. Q And now you're only 4 points behind David Coulthard so the 3rd place in the world championship must be in your sights?

JH Yeah, well after Monza obviously that was a big thing that made everything very, very close and getting the 3rd here obviously has closed that gap again, which is good and going into Adelaide hopefully we can finish 1st and 3rd.

Q Gentlemen, thank you.

-- David Goodwin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Nigel Mansell
Teams Benetton