After a super drive, Valtteri came home second on Sunday in Montreal to complete a first one-two finish of the season for the Silver Arrows – a proud moment for the Finn and just the result the team needed to bounce back from Monaco.
Valtteri: I’m just very, very proud to be a part of this
Valtteri, talk us through your race.
VB: It’s my fifth time racing here, and my third time up here on the podium, so it’s been a good place for me. It’s always good to be here, and as a team we really needed to get those points. After a tough race in Monaco I’m pretty impressed with what the team has done to get it together, and how much we have improved in two weeks is impressive. I’m just very, very proud to be a part of this.
And how does it feel, following Lewis like this around the track?
VB: You know, in the beginning it was tough being behind the Red Bull, and then I was stuck behind one of the Force Indias for some time there. We split the strategy with Lewis, I went on soft. I knew what I had to do to bring the car home. It was a good day for us.
Valtteri: I didn’t have anything to lose
Can you please explain your difficulties this weekend?
VB: I think some of the practice sessions were not quite as smooth for me as for Lewis. The direction he took initially was a bit better. That’s why his car was a bit more calm and he got a lot of confidence in it. But Q1 and Q2 were good for me as well because I did not have to be on the absolute limit. But as soon as I pushed it further I couldn’t feel the grip anymore. It was a bit messy all around and Lewis seemed to be a bit more confident in Q3. We saw a bit of a difference with the tyre pressures but not enough to explain how big the gap was. Today I don’t think that there was a massive difference between our pace. In the first stint I was initially behind Red Bull but I had a lock up at the end of the straight. At the stop we decided to go with the Soft tyre because I didn’t have anything to lose. My feeling on the Soft on Friday was quite good and it worked pretty well. Yesterday was a bit tricky. It was not my best weekend but also not a bad one either.
Valtteri: We need to keep working and pushing
Valtteri, this was the first one-two of the season for you. The move on Sebastian Vettel was crucial to the outcome today. Tell us a little bit about that.
VB: Yes, so first of all, I’m also really happy for us as a team. It’s been really impressive to see in only two weeks what we have been able to do and improve with everything, with the team. Never seen a group of people, so determined to win and get back on top and now a one-two here is amazing. Really proud to be part of that. Lewis did a really good job all weekend and today. Obviously in the start I tried to do everything I can to be aggressive, to try and get ahead of Ferraris. Had a bit of a lock-up there, which was compromising my first stint – but I knew there was an opportunity. I kind of dived in. I knew that the inside line is the way to go, so that was good.
After the difficult weekend at Monaco, did you feel you could play a bit more with car this weekend?
VB: I think a little bit. It’s obviously a different circuit to Monaco. The tarmac is quite smooth. I can’t say that we have a car now that works everywhere. In the race we got it to work really well and also with Lewis in qualifying. So I think we made good progress but Baku is a new challenge. We need to keep working and pushing.