San Marino GP winners' press conference

Q Can you tell us about that first pit stop because when you went into the pits there you were in third position and when you came out you were leading the race, can you explain that at all? HHF Well I thought I was scheduled to...

Q Can you tell us about that first pit stop because when you went into the pits there you were in third position and when you came out you were leading the race, can you explain that at all?

HHF Well I thought I was scheduled to come into the pits before Jacques. I saw Michael going in the pits and I saw Jacques going in front of me into the pits as well so at this moment it was my time to push to do two quick lap times before I go into the pits because I could gain some time there. I was concerned about some traffic but it was just all right. The pit stop was also very quick and when I came out of the pits and saw 'P1' I was absolutely happy and surprised as well that I was on the lead now.

Q Once you were ahead of Michael, towards the end of the race, he seemed to be catching up a bit. Were you worried about that or not really?

HHF Yes, we had a good conversation through the radio. I was concerned about the brakes. I didn't want to happen again what happened in Melbourne and I asked for saving brakes and the pit crew told me that Michael is pushing quite hard in the end and I had to push as well. I couldn't really save the brakes as much as I would have done but anyway I tried to save more brakes at the end. I was only concerned about the rain that it could fall from the sky all of a sudden and that would have made the situation a bit more difficult.

Q Heinz-Harald, well done. Michael second here last year, second today. A good victory for you. Did your race go as expected?

MS I would say yes. The setup was fantastic, the car was working fairly well. Obviously it was a little bit of a mixture in setup of the rain condition which might well have happened but I was basically happy. Second position was a little bit more than I was expecting. I was expecting actually a third position. I was hoping to go in between the two Williams which finally happened. I could have done a little bit better if, before my second pit stop, I wouldn't have had this traffic issue with Larini who was probably looking in his mirror and driving suddenly very slow and I locked up my front right tyre, flat spotted it, and I had to come in so I couldn't follow my plan. Which it's the question mark whether it would have changed the situation to be honest because the first pit stop was the crucial one there we lost out just this bit where Heinz-Harald slipped in front of me and from there on the race was actually decided. He did a great race.

Q You were looking much more competitive in this race. Did you feel more confident in the car than the last race?

MS Which last race? The last five hundred kilometres? Actually, under race condition we seem to be not that far off compared to qualifying conditions and we are obviously the only team who at least can go almost the speed as the Williams, which makes me quite happy because there should come certain changes into our car, soon I hope obviously, which may give us the step we are looking for.

Q Michael, well done. Eddie, you were third in the last race and second today. Was it hard for you out there today?

EI The other way around but close. No, it was hard to start with. I had a big battle with Panis. He was a bit quicker than me at the start but I thought I'd just save my tyres, have a go at him later on because I had a lot of fuel on board so I had to do a long first stint and then he started coming back to me and I started pushing harder. Eventually I overtook him and then we went into the pit stops, some people were doing one, some people were doing two. I had a bit of a dice with Coulthard just as his engine blew up and then it was really Fisichella who, I knew, I had a good idea had more fuel on him so I could go longer in the second stint and I was able to overtake him in the pits and then it was basically quite boring really, just plodding along to the finish. I had a bit of a gear change problem but I'm very pleased with third, obviously after yesterdays problems.

Q Eddie, well done. Heinz-Harald we now go to Monaco and you are only ten points behind your teammate. What are your feelings going to the Monaco circuit?

HHF Well the first thing is I'm quite happy with the situation right now. I feel the car very good. We made some good changes to the car which does fit perfectly... not perfectly yet, but it's coming into this right direction and I'm quite confident that I'll be there soon yes.

--- David Goodwin

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams