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Nico: “Damn it!”

Nico: “Damn it!”

Nico you missed out by the smallest of margins, I think seven one thousandths of a second. Your radio message at the end on the cool down lap there said it all: “Damn it!”

Yeah, because seven thousandths, you know, when I think back at the lap, seven thousandths it’s nothing, a little bit here or there, you know, like “come on!” I could have done it. But OK, that’s the way it is. Lewis did a good job to get pole, fair play. And second place is OK, obviously first would be better but it's a long race ahead and, yeah, it’s fine.

Tell us about the Q2 session? You were in sixth place in the closing stages there and you obviously felt you needed to run again so you did an extra lap?

Yeah, because we changed brakes going into qualifying and I got into a rhythm with the other brakes and so that was a challenge. I mean we expected it to be, but it always is a bit of a challenge. So it took me some time to get into qualifying. And the balance was also very different because the track had cooled down relative to the session before qualifying, which was hotter. There was a lot more understeer now, in the rear we had a lot more grip, so had to complete adapt settings and it just took us some time to get into the qualifying. That’s why I’m pleased that in the end I was able to push flat out and put in a good lap time.

There was a radio message for you: “look after these, these are the race tyres.” Obviously there is a consideration there: you have to take some performance out of them because you need the lap time but you’ve also got to use them tomorrow. How do you see the use of them tomorrow playing out?

Tomorrow is going to be a tough race in terms of tyres. They have a lot of degradation but I’m confident because I had some really good long runs on Friday, so I’m well prepared for the race and feeling good about it.

Do you think the radio restrictions are going to affect your battle for the championship?

I don’t think it’s actually going to make too much of a difference tomorrow. There’s just a few bits and pieces... you know they can’t tell me ‘OK, work on turn seven because that’s where you’re losing some time’ or something like that or ‘turn twenty is good, keep doing what you’re doing.’ That’s the main difference, so actually for tomorrow’s race really, I don’t think it’s going to be too much of a thing.

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