Nico: “It’s unbelievable to go into the European races with four wins”
On the Podium with Martin Brundle
MB: Congratulations Nico! Wow, a man who can’t stop winning – seven in a row! Only three other drivers in the history of Formula One have done that – Alberto Ascari, the great Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, and now you. Well done!
NR: Thanks very much! It’s been an awesome weekend. The car has been fantastic all weekend – in qualifying and in the race today. It felt very special out there. So I’m very, very happy. Thanks to everybody – to all of you in Russia who have come here. The sport is growing – 60,000 of you, which is amazing. A great atmosphere and a great weekend.
MB: Full house for you today – pole position, led every lap, fastest lap, and you won the Grand Prix. You were putting in some spectacular times at the end – just to make a point, I guess?
NR: I just like to do it for concentration, to just keep going – because if you slow down you start making some mistakes. And I was enjoying it out there, just flat out until the end.
MB: You were aware, obviously, that Lewis was up into second place? So you had to keep an eye on his pace?
NR: Yeah, of course. Great job from Lewis to come up through to second so quickly from down in tenth. I was always aware of what he was doing and trying to keep the gap as big as possible.
MB: We head off to Spain next, of course. You have a 43 point lead in the World Championship. There’s a long way to go – but that’s pretty healthy?
NR: Yeah, but it’s four races from 21. Lewis is going to come back, of course. He’s on it and as motivated as ever. So, early days and I’m just taking it race by race, looking forward to Spain now. We have such an incredible car, which is really a pleasure to drive, so I just want to try to win races.
In the FIA Press Conference
Q: Nico, many congratulations. Four from four, seven in a row. It was a superbly-controlled drive right from the start. There was a moment when Lewis was catching you midway through the middle of the second stint. Was that still under control? Were you fuel-saving and tyre-managing at that stage, was there an issue, or was he genuinely catching you?
NR: I knew the gap to Lewis and it was just through the traffic. If I get to the traffic first I lose a couple of seconds, then he gets it and it opens up again. I was feeling really comfortable today – especially at the end of the race. In the last 15 laps I opened the gas and pushed a little bit more because I knew it was safe to push and still definitely get to the end of the race with that set of tyres. It was working really well the whole weekend. Seldom have I had such an awesome car, so a special weekend.
In the Media
“This weekend really went really perfectly for me. Already in Qualifying I had found a perfect balance and that continued throughout the race, which was fantastic. I had a great start and from there was able to control the pace at the front. Thank you so much to everybody at the factories for building such an amazing car. If you have a car like this, you are really able to push to the limits and that’s an awesome feeling. Lewis drove really well to come back up to second so quickly, so well done to him too.
“The only down side to the weekend was to see that reliability is becoming a bit of a concern, as Lewis obviously had a problem yesterday and both cars had issues during the race today. But we have a great team behind us and I’m fully confident that we will sort this out. It’s unbelievable to go into the European races with four wins and I really look forward to Barcelona now. Thanks, Russia – you were very good to me!”