IN WORDS: “I should have finished the day on the podium” – Valtteri

IN WORDS: “I should have finished the day on the podium” – Valtteri

“The getaway was nice and I was catching up pretty quickly”

Valtteri, you got away well at the start – but what happened later on in the first corner with Kimi?

Yes, the start again was good. The getaway was nice and I was catching up pretty quickly on the guys in front. But this time there was nowhere to go. I was looking first to go left but there wasn't quite enough space. Then I tried on the inside because there was the gap initially but then Sebastian closed it and I was stuck behind him going into Turn One. I tried to keep inside and, of course, the guys on the outside always try to overtake you. It was unlucky that me and Kimi collided. It was all a little bit too tight and close. It was a shame what happened to the guys afterwards. But in racing when it’s close sometimes you collide and that’s how it goes. I was trying to keep my position and there was no more space. After the contact I really struggled in the first stint. We are still looking to see if everything is okay or not with the car. I suspect not because the gap in pace to the guys in front was way too big. For me that's the main thing to understand why in the first stint my pace was so far off. We changed the strategy to try a one stop which could have rewarded us in the end but, with the Virtual Safety Car, Seb and Lewis got a nearly free pit stop, so I didn’t get the gain I could have had. But I still should have finished the day on the podium today. For sure it’s really disappointing – but we took a risk going to the old engine. We knew it was running out of mileage but it was the only option that we could have chosen to qualify. That's life.

“It was just unlucky”

When you were racing with Seb and tried to extend your stint how much were you trying to help Lewis in his race against the Ferrari?

I was doing everything I could to keep Sebastian behind and get him to lose time. That's how it goes. That was my job and my mission at that point but the pace difference was too big and eventually he got past. I definitely tried to help the team and hope it made a little bit of a difference today. At least we managed as a team to grow a small points difference to Ferrari which is good but it could have been much bigger today with the both of us finishing strongly.

You locked up on your race set of tyres in Qualifying and you changed to the old Power Unit on Saturday morning. What effect did that have on your pace?

I didn't feel the lockup in the first stint, so that was not a problem from Qualifying. We know that there was a penalty with each lap on the old engine, with less power. But it wasn't as big a difference as the pace I lacked at the beginning of the race. It definitely had an effect but not a big one. The main concern was obviously the mileage and the team is still investigating what went wrong. It was just unlucky.

“I will be on top form again in Monaco”

What does it take to cheer you up in the coming days?

I'll do some things to relax but I have no real plans for this week. Factory on Thursday, some filming on Friday but that’s it. In the past, I never had any problems recovering from a difficult weekend. I will be on top form again in Monaco.

What do you expect from Monaco?

Monaco has always been okay for me but, as a team with Williams, we were always struggling in Monaco. I haven’t had a car yet to fight for the top three places. It is a track with a high importance on Qualifying and you can't make any mistakes in the race. As always, whatever points I can learn from this weekend, I will do the maximum on that to analyse everything. After that it’s the same approach to Monaco as always – try to get the most out of myself and the team. Anything is possible. We have shown a strong performance in the last sector here which is all about slow speed corners and corner sequences, which is was Monaco is all about. I think we have all the chances to be very strong there. We expect again to be close with Ferrari and eventually the grid will be tighter. There are less straight lines, so maybe Red Bull can be strong as well. But we have all the opportunities for a good weekend.

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