Nico, talk us through your weekend here in Suzuka?
It’s been a good weekend for us as a team. It’s great to get a one-two and the fans have been absolutely spectacular again this weekend. It’s very, very special to drive here and to really get an impression of the whole atmosphere. Today was a really tough race with the wet conditions. I struggled a lot with the balance of my car on the intermediate tyres, so I had to push hard to keep Lewis behind me. I had a lot of oversteer which is why the rear end of my car was very nervous. That was really strange and I didn't have the necessary confidence in the corners, so we need to look into that in the next few days. All in all, Lewis just did a better job today and deserved to win, so congrats to him. Of course, my thoughts at the moment are with our colleague Jules, his family and team-mates. I really wish him all the best and we are hoping for some positive news.
You mentioned oversteer there – was that a problem for you throughout the race?
I was definitely not happy with my balance but I think I had pretty much the same set-up as Lewis so he must have had the same thing. I just struggled more with it I suppose – there was a lot of oversteer and I don’t like that. I tried to figure out a way to reduce it and found some improvements. We then tok out some front wing at the pit stop so that was a bit better but still not good. I need to look into that. Second place is damage limitation. It was very, very difficult with the conditions out there on this track, so taking everything into consideration, seven points lost to Lewis… there’s worse than that.
You were out on intermediates in the last few laps when the rain intensified. How slippery was it and was it already too wet for intermediates at that period of the race?
It felt fine but the thing is that we have so much more downforce than some other people, so I can imagine that maybe for them it was really tough. It was starting to get a little bit more difficult for us so maybe for them too, with so much less downforce. It was already on the limit of needing to go to full wets. I was a little bit surprised to hear that other people were already going for full wets but I guess that must be the explanation.