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Home > Formula 1


Post race press conference
April 1st, 2001

DC : David Coulthard
MS : Michael Schumacher
NH : Nick Heidfield

Q. David, I saw you jigging around on the podium. It must have meant an awful lot for you, this win. But talk me through the move you pulled on Michael going through that first corner.

DC: Well it was incredibly difficult conditions when we were in all that traffic. And to be honest you couldn't see anything of the car in front. So you had to put a great deal of trust in the other drivers to still keep it flat. I think Michael must have lifted through the left hand kink onto the straight and then it was quite straight forward to just slipstream past him. You know we had decided this time with the changeable weather, we would compromise the set up a little bit for the dry to try and make sure that I was in good shape for the damp. And although it was a bit of a struggle to stay with them at the beginning of the race, once it was damp the car was working very well. So I have to say a big thank you to the team.

Q. Now in the early half of the race, before you made the move on Michael, you were running third behind Juan Pablo Montaya and Michael, and stuck in behind them. What were your tactics going to be at that stage? Did you know rain was coming?

DC: Praying for the rain, because I knew I had made some changes to the car with my engineer to help the car for the wet conditions. And we were getting reports of an increasing percentage chance of rain. And I just didn't want to be the one to get caught out again in those conditions. I didn't want to be the first to pit. I waited for Michael to do that. But, once I was out I was obviously able to get past him quite easily. And you know I think my engineer, Phil and Mark and all the guys did a good job setting up the car. So it's very satisfying to win this race. I know it was maybe slightly fortunate because Montaya was going very strong. But I still think in the wet we would have been in great shape.

Q. Michael, could you talk me through the move - just after the restart when the safety car came in after the end of lap 2 - when Juan Pablo Montaya made a move on you.

MS: Pretty easy, I mean he had quite a lot of straight line speed in comparison to us. The problem here is that you have a very long straight from the last corner to the start and finish line. So you have to give a lot of time for the safety car to go up front before you can really start to push. And it means you only have this last corner and the guy is able to stay very close to you from there, and its very easy to take the slipstream and go in the first corner. Although I thought I was in front enough to keep in front, but then he must have braked very late and he just got it right. I mean he pushed me wide in the exit, which is pretty normal racing. We touched a bit, but no problem with that. And then I thought I could have another run at him at a later stage, but I never got really in that position.

Q. Later in the race when the rain had come, you went out on intermediates as you did in rather different circumstances in Malaysia last time out. But then it became clear that you weren't able to make any gains on David. Did it ever cross your mind to take the gamble and come in and fit dry tyres again, because you had Heinz-Harald Frentzen an awfully long way behind you at that stage?

MS: No. There was no way to go with dry tyres - it was far too wet.

Q. Nick Heidfeld, congratulations - your first visit, third place for Sauber. An excellent performance. You were very, very fast in the wet, getting past Jarno Trulli. Was this because you had guessed before the race that it was going to rain?

NH: No, we went for a normal dry set up, but I think Jarno was on wet tyres. I am not sure, but when I followed him it looked like he was on wet tyres. Because earlier on when it was wet, he passed me, and later on I was quicker.

Q. Then Heinz-Harald Frentzen, ahead of you, retired and you were up to third place. What does it mean to be up on the podium for the first time?

NH: I mean its incredible for me and I am really happy for all the team, who put a lot of effort in it. To be honest I think I didn't realise right now, because for me now to be on the podium is really amazing.

Q. David, three races gone. Michael leads the championship on 26 points, you're now six behind on twenty, and your team mate Mika Hakkinen has only one. Does this now change your position within the team? Do you think they will put their full weight behind you for the San Marino Grand Prix?

DC: You know I think the team provide two equal cars anyway, so I don't really think that is an issue. And equally I think you count your championship position at the end of the season, not at the beginning. So there is a long way to go, a lot of work to be done. But I am just delighted that I was able to get my tenth victory here. It's my sister's birthday. She asked me for a win for her birthday, so it's the best present I could give her. So I am really overjoyed. You know this is definitely the best feeling I have had in a Grand Prix victory.




 
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