Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton reflect on the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo.
1 – Daniel RICCIARDO (Red Bull Racing)
2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)
3 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)
(Conducted by David Coulthard)
Sebastian, as you’ve got your helmet off first, we’ll let Daniel celebrate with your old team Red Bull Racing. You’re sixth podium finish here, but not the result you were looking for. You just didn’t have the pace today?
Sebastian VETTEL: I think we had the pace but it was a tricky race. I think Daniel had the answers at all times. First stint I could follow him fairly easily and then he started to push just, I think, when Lewis started to pit. Then he was a bit stronger there and I couldn’t follow. I was going through the tyres fairly quick. Next stint was a bit the same. I think he had a problem half way through with his MGU-K. I think towards the end I picked again but at the re-start I just didn’t have much confidence in the tyres and I lost quite a lot, otherwise it would have been nice to keep the pressure on until the end.
Daniel Ricciardo, you win in Monaco. How do you feel?
Daniel RICCIARDO: Ah… good. I think I can show more emotion today than yesterday. Two years in the making this, so I finally feel like the redemption has arrived. We had problems. I don’t know how much the radio broadcast, but we had a lot to deal with during the race. I think it was before half way, I felt a loss of power and I thought the race was done and we got home just using six gears. Thanks to the team we got it back. I’m stoked.
We did have the radio played into our broadcast. We were with you in the cockpit. We knew you were driving wounded. This was reminiscent of Schumacher in Barcelona, stuck in fifth gear. You managed it superbly so that must make it even more sweet?
DR: There were a few doubts that came in mid-race, but yeah, just… we won Monaco! Feels good, feels good. Thanks everyone for the support. There were a lot of Aussie flags on the in-lap, so thanks everyone. Awesome.
Soak it up. Lewis Hamilton: difficult weekend. You mentioned after qualifying it was about damage limitation. You still gave it you all out there but that was the best you could get today – third place?
LH: Well firstly, a big congratulations to Red Bull and to Daniel, they did a great job this weekend. Ultimately they were the quickest all weekend and we knew that would be the case. Yeah, it would have been nice to be second, but I did everything I could. But it was an interesting race. Well, I believe it was an interesting race.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Frédéric Ferret – l’Equipe) Daniel, in the past with Red Bull we have seen victories celebrated by jumping into the pool and jumping in the harbour. What will you do?
DR: As I said, the pool looked a little bit worse for wear yesterday, so maybe the harbour is cleaner – and it’s higher, so maybe more fun.
LH: You’ve got to do a good jump where you land flat and make that slap.
DR: A belly flop?
LH: Yeah, a belly flop. Can you do a belly flop? The belly flop challenge. Everyone has done a back flip and a normal jump. You gotta do a belly flop.
DR: Well, belly flop, maybe I’ll try a front flip, which could be a back slap.
LH: Or the pike. Have you heard of the pike? It’s when you jump and land on your back.
LH: Come on!
DR: Maybe we’ll have a pool party. Maybe we can start drinking early.
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and Speedsport) Daniel, you didn’t need anything else to go wrong but when the VSC came out, were you thinking good news or bad news?
DR: I saw the debris in the chicane I think it was. I didn’t really want anything. I was just like “let’s get this race finished”. It had already felt long enough. I was glad it was a VSC and not a Safety Car, because I thought having less power, with the problems, I would have been vulnerable on a re-start. Again, it’s hard to overtake here, so if I got good traction out of the last corner and blocked into Turn 1 I still think I would make it difficult for Seb but I didn’t feel like becoming vulnerable in the last few laps. We’d already done 72 or something. I wasn’t excited to see it but yeah, in the end it helped me as Seb seemed to lose time behind it, but it just made the last few laps go a bit longer.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globo Esporte.com) It’s time for celebration for sure, but concerning the next race, Daniel, mainly for you, it’s a certain of completely characteristics, do your performances relate to the track or have you really made a step forward on your car?
DR: For sure the circuit helps us. As I said, I was using six gears pretty much the whole race, didn’t touch seventh or eighth. I think all weekend anyway we’re not really using eighth, so I think it shows that even with an extreme loss of power our chassis still works really well. Fortunately this isn’t a power circuit, so I think the circuit certainly helped us here. It’s proven again we have a really good chassis. Montreal, we’ll see. I think we’re back on the hypersofts. It looked like our degradation was better than the others today. Montreal is more of a power circuit. If our chassis is working well and being kind on tyres we may see ourselves fighting again but as always this circuit leans towards our strengths. As I said in Italian earlier, we’ve all got two victories between us this year, I wouldn’t have thought that coming into February so that’s pretty cool and we’ll try and keep it going for now.
SV: yeah, it’s a different track. Tyre choice I guess is the same, so we’ll see. Obviously a bit more straightforward in terms of racing and overtaking than here, but yeah, we’ll see. Two weeks now to prepare and look into our strengths and our weaknesses. Then we’ll see where we are. It’s a different track, yeah it’s quite smooth on tyres, hence the tyre choice, so I don’t know. I think we’ll all be there. As you’ve seen, in the first six races it’s been really close, which is good for us, because going into Sunday, you never know and you’re in the mix and in the fight, so looking forward.
LH: They answered it pretty well, not really much more to say. It’s going to be fun. More fun than this race, I think.
Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC Sport) Two questions, one for Daniel and then one for everybody. Daniel, you’ve got an engine upgrade coming for Canada which is supposed to be pretty good. Can you be a title contender? And then, the wider question. A couple of years ago, or a bit more, you three were all instrumental in getting Pirelli to change the tyres, so they could be raced on and pushed on. Today, we saw you lapping four, five, six seconds off the pace for pretty much the entire race. How do you feel about that?
DR: I think it’s a natural question after a victory. I think I got asked after China if it means we’re in the title hunt. We’re still… I think Lewis still has a pretty good buffer on me, so we’re still on the outside of that. It’s not impossible but not really at the forefront of my mind yet. But, even if it was, I’m not going to change obviously the way that I’m driving or trying to attack. So, yeah, Montreal will be interesting. Try to get a few more podiums but yeah, we’ve got to probably prove on at least one other circuit before the summer break that we can win again. And then maybe we’re a nice little outside chance. For tyres, yeah, I think today, because it’s a tight circuit, you’re able to take the piss a little bit with going slow. I mean, there were times I was really cruising but, y’know, the circuit allows you to do that because it’s hard to overtake but I don’t think we’ll be able to maintain that kind of rhythm on a circuit like Montreal or something. So, I think it’s more circuit-dependent – but I’m glad they’re bringing the hypersofts again. When we pitted early, I thought it was maybe even looking like even a two-stop race – but obviously we could control the pace. But, as I said, on a different circuit I think today would probably have been a two-stop.
Seb, anything to add on the tyres?
SV: No, I don’t want to answer. Sorry.
Lewis, anything to add on the tyres?
LH: erm… except for we were probably just cruising around from lap six, maybe. Literally cruising. So it wasn’t really racing.
Q: What did you learn from the hypersoft this weekend, going forward to Montreal? Do you think it’s a tyre you’re going to be able to push hard for a whole stint in Montreal?
LH: I have no idea if it will be more or less in Montreal. I don’t know. I guess there’s less hard core corners so probably it will go a little bit further. Yeah, Daniel did a great job today so super happy for him but ultimately we were turned down and just cruising around to make sure we got to the end. I don’t know if that was exciting for you guys to watch. If it is, no problem.
Q: (Jacquelin Magnay – The Australian) At the end, Christian Horner mentioned Michael Schumacher’s race in Barcelona where he finished and won after difficulties. I’m just wondering what that meant to you when he mentioned that, and can you just take us through your roller coaster of emotions during the race?
DR: I don’t really know how to… Obviously it’s a compliment towards me and my race. I don’t really know… so much went on, I guess, for me in that race, trying to figure out what was going on. It’s hard to kind of let it all sink in, once it’s done. Even now, I don’t know, it feels weird that I did get that win but obviously I will take the compliment.
Obviously it’s a long weekend here with the practice on a Thursday, it stretches the weekend an extra day so it’s a long week. There’s obviously a lot of hype – I mean I love it, it is the most fun weekend of the year but it is pretty draining so even today it was long and the race obviously starts an hour later now – an hour and ten minutes later. Yeah, you’re just trying to like control everything until the moment of the race. I kind of wish the race was at ten in the morning so we could just get it done already. Going through all that and then finally starting, getting a good start, that was really the key moment and then obviously, as I mentioned, the problems I had, that obviously threw a lot of doubt in my mind for a few laps. Every lap I got by with no extra problems was a little victory so happy to see the chequered flag.
Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport Magazin.com) First part of the question is for Daniel: can you explain a bit how you drove around that problem? Was it only deploying the energy or was it also harvesting and did you have any problems with the temperatures in the car because of the rear brakes and so on? And for Sebastian, second part, you probably saw the lights flashing when the K didn’t work for Daniel. Did you change anything to put a bit more pressure on him, did you have any strategy for that?
DR: Yes, obviously I had a lot less power so that was the obvious thing, but then, yeah, the rear brakes got really hot so I went I think six or seven percent forwards with the brake balance. That’s a lot. Maybe we go one or two percent change during the race, at least, for us, so we had to go a long way forwards and I have to lift a lot before braking to save the brakes and put less energy through them. The pace was slow, for the power, the pace was slow to manage the tyres and then the pace was slow because I was managing brakes. Hence why it felt like a very long race but obviously we got it home.
SV: Yeah, not really. Obviously I saw the issue and I was also told by radio and that’s when I started to push, but as soon as I got too close or closer then I struggled to stay there and never got in range, especially at the exit of the tunnel, I was always too far (behind) to try and get close. I had the DRS a couple of times but obviously the track makes it quite difficult which is a bonus if you are ahead but with all the problems he had, he was still quicker than us.
Q: Daniel, is this your most satisfying victory?
DR: I think it’s… give it two days, probably and I look back on the weekend as a whole, I think it was definitely my best weekend and the most satisfying. Right now, there’s still a lot to process but as I said, once it all settles I think yeah, I could probably say that. You know the race itself… it’s a different race to a China. China obviously got everything going and got the adrenalin going and whatnot but as a whole this is probably the best weekend of my career.
Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) After a weekend like this where you’ve dominated, winning in difficult circumstances today, would you say that your stock as a driver has never been higher than this?
DR: I guess. We’ll see. We’ll see what the others think. I can’t pay myself but for sure I feel I’ve done a really good job the first six races and as I said, we’ve all got two victories so yeah. Lewis is being nice.
LH: I’ll negotiate for him.
DR: What cut will you take?
LH: We can negotiate.
DR: If Lewis finishes at the end of the year he can maybe step in as my manager.