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Home > Formula 1

Post Austrian GP Press Conference
13th May, 2001

Q. David, Mika Hakkinen said earlier today that it's a very sad weekend for McLaren. But, at the end of it you brought at least some cheer to the team.

DC:
And just to explain why I wasn't spraying the champagne for those at home who don't realise: we lost a very important member of the team, Paul Morgan this weekend (Morgan was co-founder of Ilmor Engineering who produce McLaren's Mercedes engines). And winning this Grand Prix I think is a big boost for everyone in the team.

Q. Now looking at the way the race ran. You ran an incredibly long first stint, longer than anyone else, and then you emerged in the lead. Was that the tactic from fairly early on in the proceedings?

DC:
Yeah, from where I was on the grid obviously having qualified seventh it was important to start heavy (in terms of fuel) and just to have the options open depending on how the race went. I was able to lean the engine out early on after the first few laps and save quite a bit of fuel, as well as with the safety car, and that enabled us to go quite long.

Q. Michael, you didn't have a dream start to the race from pole position - you were lead away by both the Williams'. Can you put your finger on why you dropped back?

MS:
Not really, we had some kind of problem. Certainly the car didn't start in the way it was supposed to start, and basically I did a manual start afterwards, because there was some kind of problem. But I am sure we will find out. You know all these (electronic launch control) systems are still very new and like we have seen with David where something happened to him in Barcelona with these systems, now it happened to me. And I guess a few other people will still get surprises until everything is really reliable.

Q. Having worked your way up to second place after your brother retired, there was then the moment with Juan Pablo Montoya that took both of you off the circuit. Could you talk us through that move?

MS: (Sighs.) I was a little bit upset obviously because there was no way he could make that corner and all he was trying to do is to take me with him out of the circuit. And, I mean he was lost anyway, and to do something to me, I thought it wasn't really what he should have done, because I had to go into the grass, I couldn't turn in. I nearly hit him. So it wasn't ideal, but that is the way it has gone. And I will be sure to have a word with him. But that meant that I was I think in sixth or seventh position and I had to work my way through the traffic, which wasn't easy because the Michelin drivers had problems with their tyres. So it would have been normally sooner or later I would have passed Juan Pablo. But the other guys were on Bridgestones, and that was much more difficult. I had to wait until they did a few mistakes, and then I took my chance, to Panis and to Raikkonen, who both behaved very accurately. And that allowed me to come back into the race and catch up the two guys in front.

Q. Rubens, you were second until the last corner, when you pulled over to let Michael through. Why was that?

RB: The team has asked me to do that.

Q. Are you very unhappy about that?

RB: No, I am unhappy about the situation. I was winning almost a whole Grand Prix, and then of course David went longer and I lost the race basically like that. That's why I am feeling unhappy.

Q. David, the deficit was eight points to Michael before the start of the race. Now it's halved to four points going to Monaco. What do you think about the rest of the season?

DC: I think as you can see the Grands Prix are going to be very close. Not only between ourselves and Ferrari, but Williams as well. So it's really going to come down to who gets the car and the tyres working well at Monaco. It's a circuit I enjoy, I've gone well there in the past, so there is everything to play for.




 
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