A great comeback after a difficult Saturday – the platform was that stunning start! Tell us about that?
We’ve been working very hard on our starts throughout the year and the team have done a great job to help out with that. I got one of the best starts I’ve ever had and positioned the car in the correct places. It would have been great if I’d started where perhaps I should have started this weekend – but in the end it was a good result in terms of damage limitation. To get from ninth to second and be pressuring Nico at the end of the race really shows the pace that I had. To get another one-two was just incredible. The venue was fantastic and the fans were just insane all weekend, so a big thank you to them for the support. It was great to see Williams back up at the front again too, so congratulations to them.
Going back to qualifying, how much did that put you on the back foot?
Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong went wrong in the final session! On my first lap I looked set to go quickest – by about half a second I think – so I should have nailed that one. I hadn’t gone wide at that corner all weekend until that point! I wanted to match those first two sectors with my next effort so I was pushing hard. I braked a fraction later into Turn Two and it just didn’t quite work. It wasn’t ideal, but then days like Sunday give you even more positive energy. To bounce back with a great start and be fighting at the front is a real positive.
You seemed to lose time during the pit stop phase. What do you put that down to?
They didn’t feel that fast – I think I lost about two seconds overall – but it wouldn’t have put me in the lead. Maybe my positioning wasn’t right – I think I was a bit long on the first one and then there was a problem with the front left on the second. Obviously it is frustrating when you lose time because you’re constantly doing everything you can to gain a tenth here, a tenth there. We’re always learning and hopefully we won’t have those problems in the future, but overall the guys have done a fantastic job all season. If we step back a little bit and look, we’ve had so many one-two finishes it’s just incredible.
You were working hard to manage the brakes once again during the race. What can you do to improve that situation moving forwards?
In the last race it was the rears and yesterday it was the fronts, so it was quite different. It was the same for both cars, but it was something we had to constantly monitor during the race. I was following people all the time so that’s not always the best scenario when you have these kind of problems. I had to back off quite a lot. During the last couple of laps I tried to eke it up a little bit more, but still had to be careful. I didn’t finish in Canada and we had to be cautious in Austria, so working on that has really got to be goal for the next few races.
The gap between yourself and your team-mate now stands at 29 points. How significant is that at this stage?
Nico’s done a great job. He’s finished every race and fortunately hasn’t had any car problems, whereas I’ve lost the opportunity to score strong points in two races so far, so it’s inevitable that there’s a gap. With that in mind, to be as close as I am with such a long way to go is actually encouraging for me. There were a lot of positives to take from Austria. Although I couldn’t quite capitalise on it, my pace was good. I’ll be working hard to take that forward to the next race, my home race, at Silverstone and execute a better weekend. I’ve got the best package at my disposal that I’ve ever had, so I’m really looking forward to it.