'I feel happy with how I utilised the time that I had'
During the race you came on the radio and said that the car was all over the place. Did it get any better after that?
“It was poor during the UltraSoft run. On the new tyres it was better for a period of time. I think the SuperSoft tyres were working in a much better window but the car still didn’t feel spectacular. It was a real fight, a real struggle. If you were lucky you could get the corners right but it was very inconsistent. I still managed to get some decent times which was a bit surprising in that period when I had the free air with the pace that I had. In those early opening laps it felt a little bit like in FP1 but still not as good as FP1. Otherwise the rest of it was not that great.”
After such a tough race, are you happy with your performance?
“I really am happy. Of course, ultimately I lost a lot of points today. But, as a whole, I started thirteenth, could have been in a crash, damaged the car, or blown the engine and left without any points. I think I managed it nicely and as professional as I could in terms of not pushing too much. Before the stops happened I closed the gap right up. I was right at the edge of my brakes but I closed just at the right time. I feel happy with how I utilised the time that I had considering you can't overtake. I gave it a couple of stabs towards the end. I was trying to take a risk and get ahead of [Carlos] Sainz but it would have been kind of silly to lose the points that we had. I had to think long term and turned the engine down.”
'It's not like that we came here unprepared'
How did the behaviour of the car change over the course of the weekend?
“It was definitely different from FP1 to FP2. Then we made some more changes towards Qualifying that were not great. It was not a happy car, that’s for sure. The most unusual the car has felt in all the years that I have been with the team. That doesn't deter from the fact that we have a great car. We just didn't hit the nail on the head this weekend. So we re-group and get the car back to where we know it's comfortable for the next races. We need to try to understand the UltraSoft tyre a bit better.”
Did you know during the race that Sebastian Vettel was leading and what did you think after the race when you realised who had won the race?
“That didn't change anything for me but I could see the positions. When you come out of Turn 1 you can seem them on the TV. But it doesn't make any difference to me. It was to be expected.”
Can you afford another race weekend like this if you want to fight for the title?
“No, of course I can’t afford another weekend like this. But just because you can't afford something it doesn't mean that it's not going to happen. There’s no point dwelling on the fact that you cannot afford it. You just work towards trying to rectify whatever the issues are that you have and hope that you don't come across them again. It's not like that we came here unprepared. Things just didn't go right and the car was in a really different place than we had ever really had it before. It was definitely unexpected for the engineers. They corrected it but ten it was worse and we went back to this unknown scenario. The Ferrari seems to work everywhere. These next 14 races are going to be very difficult. It's not like last year when our car worked everywhere. The more races we do the more we learn and the stronger we get. We still came away from here with some points. We know that Ferrari are not bullet proof, so we’ll see.”
'I'm generally happy with today'
How hard will that challenge be, given that Ferrari are performing so well?
“It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver. They are pushing everything to make sure that Sebastian can maximise all of his weekends. We definitely have to improve our understanding of the car that we have. We are under no illusion that we are not perfect but I still believe that we can win this thing. 25 points is a long way but we'll try bit by bit to improve. I really hope that we get on top of the issues with the UltraSoft tyres. I think as soon as we do that it gives us a much better position to attack with an overcut. That's what we really need. Montréal has been a happy hunting ground for me in the past and I want to continue that. So we're going to work very hard in the next two weeks to try and make sure that the car is in the place to get us ahead of those Ferraris.”
How would you sum up this weekend?
“I like to look at the glass half full than empty. I'm generally happy with today. I was devastated yesterday but to come away with some points is good. I did what I came to do today and I would like to think that these points are going to be valuable at the end of the season.”