Spanish GP: Winners' press conference

1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1h30m29.981s 2. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), + 35.630s 3. David COULTHARD (McLAREN), + 42.623s. Q: That was a truly dominant drive, masterful... Michael SCHUMACHER: We were about one second ahead in...


1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1h30m29.981s
2. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), + 35.630s
3. David COULTHARD (McLAREN), + 42.623s.

Q: That was a truly dominant drive, masterful...

Michael SCHUMACHER: We were about one second ahead in qualifying yesterday. I wasn't 100 percent clear what it was going to be in the race, whether we would fall a little bit during the race over the distance which we have seen in the past several times. But then I have to say that the tyres Bridgestone has developed have performed very well in qualifying, which was lacking a little bit at the last race, but they kept their consistency for the race and that's something obviously we are very happy about. And then it's simply the right circuit for our car. The guys in our team have done a tremendous job over the winter and again, this circuit shows what our engineers have done.

Q: Rubens had a problem off the dummy grid and you had a problem this morning. How worried were you about reliability?

MS: Obviously as we had the problem with Rubens we tried to take care of whatever he had. I don't know 100 percent what it was but we did a safe pit stop and did certain things a little more carefully in order to make sure the same thing didn't happen. But it's really bad luck for Rubens. Everything that has gone wrong this year so far has gone wrong for him. You can't really think it will always go that way. You know that one day it's going to hit you. We will simply try our best not to let it happen and again and I'm sorry for Rubens.

Q: Juan Pablo, in the points for the first time in a while but a long way behind Michael. How was it?

Juan Pablo MONTOYA: It was clearly a difficult race for us. I think we made the best of what we had. In the pit stops I hit my crew chief. Hopefully he's alright. Actually I've heard he's alright. Apart from that, the race went pretty well. We struggled all weekend with pace. I've got to say that I'm very pleased actually to get out of here with second place.

Q: What exactly happened at the second pit stop? It looked as though the lollipop man lifted the lollipop just that little bit too soon.

JPM: Yeah, I think he lifted it because he thought I could go. He tried to stop me with his body. I managed to stop as fast as I could but I had already run over him!

Q: David, starting seventh on the grid, did you ever think you would be up here in the unilateral conference?

David COULTHARD: Well, I knew it would come through other people having problems and clearly that's what happened today. The only battle I had was with Jenson. After the first pit stop, I was able to overtake him down into the first corner but other than that we were just having a lonely battle. I benefited from other people's misfortune, but you accept that because that's motor racing.

Q: What did the team tell you after Kimi Raikkonen's rear wing came off?

DC: Well, they didn't tell me anything. It was quite obvious what had happened. There's no reason to pull the car out or for me to be worried about it because we haven't had a wing failure this year at all. Obviously they will look at the remains of what's actually there and try and understand exactly why it failed, whether it was fatigue or whether it was manufacturing. But unfortunately those are the stresses and strains that are on Grand Prix cars. Occasionally they fail.

Q: Michael, last spring it was the man next to you, David Coulthard who won in Austria. What chance do you think you will have in two weeks' time?

MS: It's all a matter of what the tyre situation will be and which tyre is going to perform better. That's something we have to see. We don't know. We believe we have a very competitive package overall but it's a question of how good the others can be. We have seen here that we have been dominant but we have seen other races like Brazil where it was a close fight and we have no idea what it's going to be like in Austria.

Q: Michael. After the hydraulic problem this morning, which car did you race?

MS: The T-car.

Q: How did you find it? Had it been used, apart from in the warm-up?

MS: No, only in the warm-up.

Q: But you seemed to have an absolutely perfect race?

MS: Yes, no doubt. You saw already in Imola that when Rubens had a little problem with his car he qualified in the T-car. He was obviously very competitive in it. I then raced this car. We have no difference between our cars in all honesty.

Q: Was it getting lonely out there? You don't see too many people...

MS: Actually not, because I had this group of people in front of me at the end and I was watching them. It was sort of interesting to watch the battle for sixth position.

Q: Were you told not to get involved in that battle, to try and pass them?

MS: Yes, Ross came on the radio to tell me that it was better to stay away. But I didn't really plan to go by because I thought it was interesting to watch that - and there was no need to disturb them fighting for sixth position.

Q: But can you see this domination being threatened, apart from by reliability problems?

MS: Honestly, yes. This is basically the same car we had in Brazil and I thought we had a very close battle in Brazil. So you have circuits which really favour us and circuits which are very close. We have seen in Austria, at the end of the stint, that the Michelin runners were very competitive so if they get the consistency somehow. They can be very competitive there this year. We know what happened last year in Canada so there will be circuits which are much more difficult for us. But here, we know that the Bridgestone tyre works very well, plus our car is simply phenomenal and it shows up here. Aerodynamics, we had something last year which was very good but our engineers really have managed to improve that and that's what you can see very well.

Q: Juan Pablo. Do you expect to be more competitive in Austria? Williams basically said the car wasn't suited to this circuit.

JPM: In testing we are not good here and coming out of here in second place is more than we could expect really. I said at the beginning of the weekend if I could get out of here with one or two points I would be more than happy. On Friday we were 12th and 14th or something. Yesterday, luckily, on my last run I managed to get a set-up on the car and, after the problems I had, I managed to get the car up there on the grid. Today we knew there was nothing we could do against the Ferrari. It was just way too quick.

Q: So what was it like to drive in the race?

JPM: It was not badly balanced but it was just not quick enough.

Q: After the problem in the pits do you feel you were lucky to get second?

JPM: Yes and no. It wasn't such a big issue. I managed to stop fairly quickly. As soon as he (the mechanic) stood in front of me I managed to stop the car. It was lucky I still had my hand on the clutch and didn't stall so it worked quite well.

Q: David. Is this really as much as you could have hoped for this weekend?

DC: Yeah, I think when we spoke on Friday I said that we didn't expect it to be an easy circuit for us, and I knew that the only way I was going to get a podium or dream of a podium was if other cars had reliability problems. I am happy to have benefited from that and I had an interesting battle early on with Jenson. And that was it. That was the only excitement in the race. A bit like Juan was saying, balance in itself wasn't too bad but it lacked overall grip. I kept pushing up until the last five laps and that was our race.

Q: Tell us about the overtaking manoeuvre with Jenson because that seemed to be absolutely perfect.

DC: I saw the lap before that it looked like he understeered a bit wide into the first corner and I was too far back to take advantage of it. So I really tried to get as close as possible through the two previous corners, which would make me a little bit slower out of the last corner in normal circumstances, but again he ran a bit wide and I was just close enough to hook into his slipstream and he was very fair when I made the move. It was just a battle over braking.

Q: In the closing stages you tended to get a little bit closer there. What were you trying to do?

DC: Sneak up behind him and go: 'Boo!' No, we have to develop our car and we have to push every lap to understand. This is a test session as well as a race because we are not competitive enough and up until the last few laps, when the team just wanted me to short shift and just be safe because I was never going to catch him (Montoya), I was pushing and he probably wasn't because he was a long way behind Michael and six seconds ahead of me.

Q: Juan Pablo. After the second pit stop did you call the team to see the condition of the people?

JPM: I saw when I hit him and when they pushed the car back he was actually standing there by himself so I knew he was alright and as soon as I got out of the car at the finish of the race they told me. It was okay.

Q: Michael. There were some reports in magazines that races are boring because of Ferrari's dominance. But they forget how hard you work to get to this position. Do you agree?

MS: Firstly I agree with this and secondly it is not only a race for first position, there is racing going on as well for other positions and you have to look at this as well. As I said before, Brazil was very interesting. Maybe we have had two races for first position which have not been so interesting, but that has happened in the past as well.

Q: Juan Pablo. When Ralf had his problem, you were just behind him. What did you see?

JPM: From my understanding, but I don't know if something failed, I just saw him run wide on the blind right-hander that goes onto the back straight. He missed the apex and when I came to the top of the crest he was in the gravel.

Q: To Michael. Was it difficult to keep concentration in the race?

MS: Honestly, no. It is not a difficult circuit if you have to slow down a little bit. It is very smooth, no bumps, no kerbs to ride. It is easier than, for example, Imola.

Q: Michael. Because of the problem Rubens had, did you have to change anything or be careful of anything during the race?

MS: We tried to just adapt a little bit during our pit stop so that nothing happened in that area. I don't think we really understood 100 percent what the problem was, but we tried to be as careful as we could be.

-fia-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari , Williams