Nico: This is really the best podium of the year, what a place to do it
ON THE PODIUM WITH NIGEL MANSELL
Nigel Mansell: Viva México! What a race ladies and gentlemen. What a brilliant race we had. Can we get the drivers to come down here; get closer to you. We'll talk to Nico. Nico, what a flawless drive. My goodness me, you were probably wondering what you had to do when the Safety Car came out. How does it feel?
Nico: Que tal México! Yeah, amazing; amazing day. Great race, great battle with Lewis, he drove really well. Just really, really happy to get the win and this is really the best podium of the year, what a place to do it.
NM: Absolutely incredible, may I congratulate you. I couldn’t wish for [a better] winner, all three on the podium, absolutely incredible. And what do you think of the crowd. It’s unbelievable isn’t it Nico?
NR: Absolutely awesome! Muchas gracias.
WITH THE PRESS
Q: Nico, you looked in control throughout that race but were there any nervous moments and how much was tyre management an issue? Did you ask for that second stop for safety because of the wear on the first set you changed?
NR: At the time I wanted to do just… I didn’t want to come in because I was really comfortable at the time, I had a good gap to Lewis so it sort of reset things a little bit, going on another set of tyres – so I wasn’t too happy with that but I understand that it was the better thing to do – especially in light of the Safety Car that came out because it was important to have fresher tyres at that point in time. I’m happy I was able to control the race. The only moment that was a bit difficult was on the restart with the cold tyres – but it was OK.
Q: For all three drivers, your opinion of the Mexican podium this afternoon.
NR: The Mexican podium? It’s the best podium of the year, I think, to be in a stadium like that and the atmosphere and the energy was just unbelievable, so I’m really thankful to all the Mexican people and to all the people that have been here today, for the massive support also. Really special.
Q: All of you have mentioned the stadium and mentioned the crowd; is there a real feeling of energy as you enter that section of the track, and does it give you a lift?
NR: During driving it’s really difficult because I’m just so focussed on what I’m doing, I don’t look around, so it’s more after the race and after qualifying when I’m aware of that and take it all in because it’s just unbelievable.
Q: Did you feel the track different from practice because some of you said that it was very low grip at the beginning, so was there a difference?
NR: Well it’s normal, you know, a new track, it takes a bit of time because the asphalt is just so smooth so it’s the normal story like we’ve seen with most of the new tracks lately. It’s just one of the challenges that we’ve had this weekend but it’s all good, you know, and it’s been a great track, they’ve done a great job with it, so I think the whole race has been an amazing success for F1.
Q: Before the race, almost all engineers from all teams were quite concerned about the brakes and engine temperatures. How difficult was it to make the brakes survive and keep the engine temperatures at a good level?
NR: No, the team did a great job so we were fine. There’s been other races that were more critical; today was no problem.
Q: Nico, your start was decisive for your winning. In the last few races you didn’t start well; can you describe your procedure of starting?
NR: Well, it’s just like everything else. I’ve been working on it to try and get everything perfect and today it worked out to be first and that was important, maybe the most important part of the race, so I’m very happy about that.