On the Podium with Gerhard Berger
GB: Nico, congratulations! My first question is: why you don’t drive every race like this?!
NR: I will try from now on, I promise!
GB: I have to say you did a brilliant start, that’s where you really made it. Then I saw you coming into the pits and I said ‘that’s really on the limit’. You locked all four wheels, you went sideways on the line… but you did it well. You were pushing from the first (corner) until the end. Tell us how did you feel it and how do you feel today?
NR: It’s an awesome feeling, of course, to win again here. Very, very happy. The start made the race. It was a great start and I managed to defend in the first couple of corners and then I really just tried to push flat out. I was really happy with the car and happy to see the gap open up to Lewis, so it really worked out perfectly today.
GB: Well done, Lewis…
NR: Nico, but it’s easy to confuse us!
With the Media
Q: You did sound a little worried on the radio towards the end. That chequered flag couldn’t come soon enough I guess?
NR: It was just a vibration picking up on the right front. So, I was just telling the team to keep an eye on it – but it was fine in the end. It sort-of stabilised so it wasn’t a problem. It just came from the tyre wear and it feels a bit uncomfortable when that happens. But, no, it was all fine.
Q: You’ve got a one hundred per cent record around this track that a lot of people describe as ‘difficult’. Why is it you’re so good around here?
NR: I don’t know if there’s a trend on this track or anything. Today was just a great day. A good start and then good pace also in the race – and that’s what I’m most happy about. The car felt good. I was able to push from the first lap onwards all the way, so that’s cool. I think this year I found what I needed to find last year in terms of just doing a little bit better in the races and that’s really working out for me.
Q: In the middle of the first stint you seemed to increase the gap to Lewis a bit and then towards the end he seemed to come back at you again. Did you maybe have some problems with the tyres as your right front seemed to be graining a bit? And how confident were you of staying ahead after the pit stops?
NR: Yeah, it was the graining on the right front and it’s very difficult to predict how it comes. I suppose that I just got more than Lewis at the time. But yeah, I was confident that I could stay ahead because the guy who stops first then has the new tyres and I could push and open up the gap again, so that was all fine.
Q: I’m sure you haven’t seen the footage yet but there was an accident on the first lap between Kimi and Fernando where Fernando’s car was lifted up and was only centimetres away from Kimi. If you see something like that, do you wish to have a closed cockpit in Formula One or is it still a risk you can live with?
NR: Well, I haven’t seen it of course – but it’s an on-going process you know? We know that’s an area of concern still, this open cockpit, and the risks that there are in that sense. So, of course it’s an on-going investigation to try and improve the safety, step by step. We need to see what we can do about it in the near future.