Nico: ”That was a perfect race for me”
On the podium with Mark Webber
Nico, what an incredible race, it had the red flag, a big shunt with Fernando… how did you see it, mate? It was a very, very measured drive from you to get the victory today. Fifteenth win for you so well on your way, maximum points first round.
Nico Rosberg: First of all, did you have fun this weekend everybody? That’s great to hear, you’ve been awesome. Thank you very much for the support. Thank you Mark. Yeah, it’s been a great weekend. Thank you to the team, they have done an unbelievable job, giving us this incredible car. The car’s been unreal today. To beat the Ferraris was a treat. We absolutely loved it and I’m super excited.
Long season ahead, maximum points here. How do you see the next few races going and dealing with the great battle that you two have, that intra-team battle, looks like you have a bit of an advantage, so how are you going to manage to keep Lewis at bay?
NR: Yeah, early days, but a perfect start. We have to keep an eye on the red guys, because they are very close, as you saw today, so we need to give it everything to stay ahead, for sure.
Post-Race Press Conference
Nico, many congratulations, your 15th career victory, your second in Australia in three years. Almost 40 laps on a set of medium tyres to win it. A question of judgement really. Tell us a little bit about that and what was going through your mind really, either side of the red flag and then as the other two were catching you at the end.
NR: The strategy was crucial today. So I’m really thankful. The team did a great job on that side as well. We are really strong in strategy amongst other things. I don’t want to single out one thing, we’re strong in nearly all areas but that did it today. So I’m thankful. It was the tyre choice also on the red flag. I was glad to see that they were on the supersoft. I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case. I was happy that I was able to follow quite well with the medium. I was a bit concerned about the restart with the medium, that that tyre would be too cold but it worked out OK. It was fine. Yeah, red flag. Definitely necessary and the right thing for sure to clear out the incident.
Victory from P2 on the grid. Did that have anything to do with your Finnish sisu?
NR: Of course, the sisu was there today, for sure. It was a great fight and a great race and I’m really pleased, to win the first race of the season was awesome. It was a good kickstart to the season.
Can you take us through your start and turn one?
NR: Yeah, so the start was OK but I was on the dirty side of the grid so it was to be expected that the guys on the left were going to get away a bit better. It was very close with Sebastian. I tried to just go for it in turn one but Sebastian did a great job, he braked on the limit and so there was just no way to get into there on the inside so I had to back out. It was fine but disappointing obviously to lose another position to Kimi as well after the start.
With the new additional radio bans, what was the race like for you?
NR: It was good, it was a good challenge because now it’s more down to us on track so that was cool. You also feel more in control and it was more of a challenge like that. They did make another change just before the race so we did get more information on strategy, just need to review whether that’s the way to go forward now or if there’s an even better way to do it. Let’s see.
Do you feel that the three wins at the end of last season have given you any momentum going into this weekend?
NR: No, everything starts from zero, it’s a new season, new car. I feel that everything is starting from scratch, I’m just happy to get a good start in such a way and that’s it.
Were you aware of Lewis on the outside going into the first corner, because it seemed a reasonably aggressive sort of move to keep him out? And how important, psychologically is it to finish ahead of Lewis in the first race in the championship?
NR: I will have to look at it and if I did push him out wide then I apologise of course, that was not the intention. I was of kind of on the edge myself as you could see.
I’m just happy to have won the race and beaten everybody else, that’s what I’m ecstatic about.