Spanish GP Post-Race Press Conference

(Courtesy of http://www.formula1.com)

Q: Pastor, your first victory, brilliantly judged – describe your emotions?
Pastor Maldonado: I think it’s a wonderful day, not just for me but for all the team. We have been pushing so hard since last year to try to improve race by race and here we are. Yesterday we were here after a great qualifying and today we did it again. It was a tough race because the strategy as well, it was tough especially because of the rear tyres – after a couple of laps we were struggling with [them]. I need to say I’m pretty happy because the car was so competitive since the first lap. Fernando did a better start than me but I was just following the pace and it was so great. It’s my first podium and my first victory and you can imagine what I feel.

Q: Fernando, second today and obviously a lot of progress for you and the team. And once again a blinding start.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah, it was a fantastic start again. The team prepared quite nice again the clutch and everything – the procedure to do a good start. It was close on the straight until Turn One with Pastor, and then we had the better side, the inside. We took the momentum there and we led the race for the first part but then William’s anticipated the stop and get in front and at the end it was close. We had a newer tyre than Pastor and we tried a couple of times but it was not possible out of the last corner. Then in the very last laps I felt the car was strange, we lost a lot of grip. Maybe we lost some aerodynamic part or something because we were very slow… (inaudible) …we were lucky at the end. Second place at home feels fantastic and thanks to the people that came here and the people at home and hopefully a step forward in terms of championship possibilities.

Q: Kimi, third today. You were a lot of people’s favourite going into this grand prix. Do you think you and the team made all the right choices this afternoon?
Kimi Raikkonen: We have to look. I’m a bit disappointed. I expected us to be a bit stronger in the race, especially at the beginning. At the end we were very good, but it was too late. We were not fast enough and quick enough to race and that’s why we couldn’t fight for a win. But we showed in the end that we have to speed but we just have to look at what we did. Maybe we took the wrong choice in the first pit stop. In the end, like I said we were not fast enough in the beginning and that cost us the race, so I was not so disappointed during the race because I saw that I couldn’t follow them at the beginning. But at the end when you catch them up almost 20 seconds then you get a bit of a disappointed feeling afterwards, when you just needed a few laps to be even able to fight for the first place. That’s racing and at least I scored some good points and we’re going in the right direction.

Q: Back to you Pastor and this is the first Williams win since 2004. They managed to get you to jump Fernando at the second round of pit stops but he gave you some real pressure at the end didn’t he?
PM: Yeah, it was so close. We were looking to manage the tyre degradation so I wasn’t pushing that hard, just to keep the tyres alive for the end of the race and Fernando got too close. There were some moments that he was so close, especially at the end of the straight. But I was managing the gap and controlling everything. I think our pace today was pretty strong and the car looks fantastic. Even the team. We did a small mistake at the last pit stop but it doesn’t affect our performance.

Q: Fernando, describe your feelings at the second stop when Pastor jumped you because you were caught up behind a backmarker in that critical lap weren’t you?
FA: Yeah, we were a little bit unlucky maybe. We had a Marussia but I think he got a penalty at the end. Obviously, it’s not a solution now but hopefully people start to understand that they need to respect the rules and today again they didn’t and they paid the penalty. It’s more of a penalty the penalty we paid – maybe the race win – but yeah a little bit disappointed. But they [Williams] did a great job and they had the pace, because in the last stint, if we were faster than the Williams we had the opportunity to overtake but they were quicker than us so thy deserve the victory.

Q: Kimi, it’s the second podium for you in a row. Do you feel a win is around the corner?
KR: Yeah, twice already. Unfortunately you’re not always going to get there. If you get the chance, you should take it because it’s not every race that you will be able to fight for that position or even try it. Hopefully we can keep doing what we’re doing now and at a certain point I’m sure that things will go exactly right and we can. But so far it’s been a good step and the car has been strong everywhere. The next race is a bit different – Monaco – it’s hard to say how it goes there. The team has done a good job and we have still work to do, things to improve. But so far it’s going in a good way and I’m happy with it. OK, we’re not 100% happy with it because we are not winning but that’s a very normal thing and I’m happy for the team.

Q: As Kimi says, we go to Monaco next Pastor. That’s one of your favourite tracks. What chance a back-to-back victory for you?
PM: I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to be strong again. For sure I will be doing my best on the driving. The team is looking after the car so we need to continue like that. Keep pushing with the car, to develop it as soon as possible and consistency will be the important thing in this championship.

Apologies

Due to technical glitches on Sunday and this afternoon, I have been unable to access my blog and therefore couldn’t update it after that fantastic Spanish Grand Prix. I will have a full race report tomorrow evening and I ensure you all that this won’t happen again. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.