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German GP: FIA Race Press Conference

July 29 2019

 FIA Race Press Conference

1 Ė Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing)
2 Ė Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)
3 Ė Daniil KVYAT (Toro Rosso)

(Conducted by Martin Brundle)

Q: [Question inaudible]
Max VERSTAPPEN: Ö.I had a little moment, but I made a nice 360, so that was nice. I enjoyed that. Of courser to come out on top here it was all about trying not to make too many mistakes. Yeah, really tricky conditions but amazing to win.

Q: Itís a day for a wise head. Youíre such a young man but you still youíre wise head on young shoulders. You really kept your head in the most treacherous conditions when others didnít.
MV: Well you learn, isnít it, over the years. Of course very happy with the whole performance today.

Q: Congratulations. Sebastian, well done, you must be so pleased with that, 20th to second.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, thank you. It was a long race, at some stages it felt like it was never-ending. But it was a lot of fun. It was very tough with the conditions. It was very tough to read what was the smartest move, but yeah, Iím just happy.

Q: Did we hear that you had a little turbo problem early on? You seemed to be struggling for pace and then it really came good.
SV: It took a while. I donít think there was a problem but in the beginning with the intermediates I really couldnít get the hang of it. Eventually then I got going so it was good that the afternoon took so long. Obviously I stayed tidy for most of the race but yeah, it was a long one. I donít know if I can recap the whole race now but congratulations to Max, I think he drove superbly, but for us it was just go and get the next car and the next car and the next car.

Q: When did you first smell a podium?
SV: I think before the last safety car, when I realised that I was quite a bit quicker and happy to pass people, it was quite straightforward. I was a little bit faster and could time it right. I saw a lot of people being cautious into the first corner and thatís where I was really giving it everything and it worked to get really into DRS range and I had good moves down the back straight but I donít know, this race was so longÖ

Q: You need to watch your back.
SV: Yeah, exactly.

Q: OK, thanks a lot, Sebastian. Daniil, well done, a podium. Not your first podium but a very enjoyable podium for you.
Daniil KVYAT: Yes, it is amazing to be back on the podium. Incredible for Toro Rosso after so many years to bring as podium to the team is amazing and the race was crazy. Finally I managed to put everything together to get this podium and Iím really happy.

Q: Any big moments? Any scary things going on out there?
DK: It was a horror movie with a black comedy. At some point I thought the race was done for me, but then it came alive again, it was an incredible rollercoaster. A bit like my whole career!

Q: And youíre expecting your first child soon as well.
DK: Yeah, she was born last nightÖ

Q: Oh, fantastic, congratulations.
DK: Thank you very much.


Q: Many congratulations Max, what a bonkers race. How does it feel? How does it compare to the other six wins?
MV: Are you going to keep asking me that question: Ďhow does it feel compared to the other onesí? I donít know. Itís always different. Itís always a different feeling, but this was really good, because it was very tricky out there. We had to stay very focused; we couldnít afford too many mistakes. I mean now, after the race, I can say I did that 360 for the crowd, but at the time it was a bit tricky out there with the medium tyre, very low grip. I think the information between myself and the team was crucial today. I think we made the right calls and that gave us the victory also. Once I was ahead of the Mercedes cars you could really see the pace we had, because I was stuck in the dirty air in the4 first few laps behind Valtteri but once you are ahead you can basically save your tyres a bit more and everything was a bit more under control. But yeah, good victory.

Q: Great victory. Congratulations. Sebastian, your 50th podium for Ferrari. Itís been a bit of an emotional weekend for you if you think what happened yesterday and youíve charged through from the back today. Just describe how it feels?
SV: Well, obviously after the disappointing day yesterday, where everything was ready: the crowd was ready; I was ready, the team was ready. Obviously we didnít have qualifying, so starting last today I was very excited about the race in these conditions. Anything can happen. Obviously the racer turned out a lot crazier than I thought beforehand but yeah Iím very happy obviously. Iím very happy for the team first of all. Itís a tough period for us. We are pushing very hard, we are doing mistakes, we are not where we want to be, but we need to keep believing in ourselves, in our abilities, our strengths, and Iím confident that our days will come. Obviously today very happy for myself, at my home race and it was great to see the crowd, especially at the end, every time I passed in the car they were really excited. I really did enjoy that. A crazy race, a lot of decisions to make, a lot of communications between the car and the pit wall, but I think we stayed calm and tried to do the best at the time. Most of the time we were right, sometimes we were wrong but we kept it clean and I think that was the key and in the end I really started to come alive in these mixed conditions on dry tyres, we were quite comfortable and able to make good progress, because I think two safety cars to the end I was still not even in the top 10 and I was thinking Ďwhat happened?í But it was a day like that and a race like that, so Iím quite happy.

Q: Well done. Dany, what a huge race for you. The birth of your daughter last night and what a way to celebrate that. At what point in the race did you realise the podium was on?
DK: Yes, thank you. It was an incredible race for myself, a lot of things going on. I guess it was the same for everyone. The beginning of the race was so-so, I think, I was always around the top 10 and I thought some points were possible today. The first when I chose to go on slicks, it was the wrong moment. The second time I think it was the perfect moment and when I saw that others didnít pit for slicks when I did i thought thatís our moment and I was right and I exited in P3. I had to overtook Stroll forP2 and then from there I just had to hope that quicker cars would take time to catch me at the end of the race. So yeah, Iím very happy with this podium. Itís fantastic also for the team Ė 11 years since the last podium, which Sebastian did in 2008. I think everyone is very happy today and we have to be happy. From my side of course I would dedicate this podium to my girlfriend Kelly and to my daughter.


Q: (Luke Smith Ė Dany, your careerís been on a bit of a rollercoaster over the past couple of years. To now have this result and this breakthrough, how good does that feel over everything thatís happened the last couple of years, and repaying that faith Toro Rosso have shown in you.
DK: Yes, youíre right. It was an incredible few years in my life. A lot of realisations in my life because it was sometimes tough times and I thought maybe Formula 1 was over for me, and maybe I thought, especially podium, I would never ever have it again, but life just proves that if you work hard and never give up, things are possible. I think thatís exactly what happened today. Even the race was tough for everyone, I managed to keep it cool and justÖ all these three difficult years, just felt like they crashed from my shoulders finally. I lost these chains today. It was hard work to reach this moment and hopefully I can send the message out there that Iím ready now to fight for this kind of moment on a consistent basis Ė and there is no stronger message than a podium like this.

Q: (Arjan Schouten Ė AD Sportswereld) Question for Max. Big drivers, big champs crashed today. Christian Horner just told Sky that under these chaotic, difficult circumstances, you always stand out, donít lose your head. Can you explain why you are always so talented under these circumstances?
MV: A lot of practice I think, from when I was young, in the wet. Working many hours together with my Dad who, I think, was also pretty decent in the wet. So he always gave me good tips. And not only driving in the wet. Itís also making decisions as well, while driving, and paying attention to whatís happening around you. And, of course, experience. In life, in Formula 1. I think if you do over 90 races, you have experienced a lot already and, based on that, of course, you can also make better decisions, I think.

Q: (Christian Nimmervoll Ė To all three guys. I guess this is a special result for each and every one of you Ė but itís probably even more special for Dr Marko because, at some point in your careers, you went through his hands. Can you probably remember a couple of stories with him? Tell us what he meant for your careers and sort of give us some thoughts on that.

Sebastian, why donít we start with you?
SV: Heís calling on a regular basis. Not any more for me so regular. I donít miss the early calls at 7am! ďHow are you?Ē

MV: ďIím in the gym!Ē
DK: ďRunning!Ē

SV: It probably pops up on your phone as a pre-select message: ĎIím in the gymí. No, I mean, obviously he has a great talent for spotting young drivers early on and certainly heís very tough and very straightforward Ė but I think you can learn to cope with that. Iím very grateful for the support that I had throughout my career from his side. I think itís the same for these two. Yeah. I have too many memories; too many stories. Some to share, some not to share, better not to share. Heís always been very funny and we still keep in contact and I appreciate him now as a friend very much.

Max, Dr Marko?
MV: Yeah, of course, we are dealing with Helmut every day still, so for me, of course he took the gamble of putting me in Toro Rosso when I was still very young. Iím still young Ė but back then I was very young.

SV: Youíre not very young any moreÖ
MV: Getting old?
SV: Older.
MV: Older, yeahÖ
DK: You look quite oldÖ
MV: Already? I should retire in five years than I think. I look older than you?
DK: I donít know.
SV: I look older than you two.
MV: Itís fine. OK, so back to this story. Helmut is a real racer and he has a good eye of whatís happening still, at his age. So, it is quite impressive still, to see that. But itís also no nonsense. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake. If you do a good job, you do a good job. I think he prefers when you come up to him and tell him honestly if you made a mistake, or like something went wrong, than make a whole story Ė because thatís what he doesnít appreciate. Basically I grew up like that because my Dad was the same Ė or maybe even worse than that. SoÖ yeah. Itís good to have people like that in the team, of course, and in charge as well. For me, he is still very important and yes, of course itís great to have him around and experienced a lot of stories with him still Ė and hopefully many more to come.

DK: Helmet yeah, so many rollercoasters he organised for me in my career! Maybe more than them. Yeah, a special person in my life, of course our lives now, I guess. And, well, thanks to him very big time we are who we are and the personal improvement, the professional improvement I made thanks to him is huge Ė and obviously I appreciate what heís done for me. And Iím here thanks to him. Obviously stories, like Sebastian said, many to share/not to share. I think the most relevant today, it was raining I think once, again 7am, at a test and I was maybe three or four seconds off in my first wet test in Formula BMW at the time and he said: ďSo, youíre quite useless in the wet,Ē and just hung up on me.

MV: Youíre imitating him really well!
DK: Lot of practice! Lot of hearing. So yeah, there was that Ė and many others. He is always tough on you but heís always Ė most of the time Ė heís right. And maybe at first itís hard to take but then you analyse and you improve, simple as that. He always give you the opportunity if you deserve it and Iím very thankful for him.

MV: You still picking up the phone at seven?
DK: Yeah! I started to wake up at seven every day now, thanks to him.
MV: I just turn my phone off, pick up after nineÖ better. Anyway now, you have to wake up at likeÖ well, you wake up every three hours, go to bed, wake upÖ
DK: Well, now that youíre doing so well, you can even sleep until mid-day.

Q: (Joe van Burik Ė Racing News 365) Many congrats to all three, especially to Dany with being a father now. Question to Seb and Max though: youíve shown today that Mercedes can be vulnerable, in their home race in fact. Do you think this has in any way blown open the championship fight again?
MV: I donít know, they are so miles ahead in the championship.
Q: Youíre 62 points behind.
MV: Yeah, still quite a lot, isnít it? Itís more than two victories, and they are still the dominant team, I think. Today was just very tricky out there and itís easy to make a mistake, as you could see. Yeah, today was not their day. We managed to do a good job but we still have to work very hard to close that gap and actually really fight for the victory every single race so still a lot of work to do. But of course when you can, itís good to score more points than them.
SV: Not much to add. We still have a lot of races to go, a lot of things can happen but itís not like we can expect them to score no points for the rest of the season so pretty much the opposite - they will be up there. We need to make sure we improve and give them a much harder time and naturally if you put people under pressure then things start to move. So itís up to both of us, I guess, or us as Ferrari and them as Red Bull.

Q: (Daniele Sparisci Ė Corriera della Sera) Seb, do you consider this second place almost as a victory from what happened yesterday, from what happened today? You did a fantastic job, congratulations.
SV: Well, I know that Max finished first so itís not a victory but starting last, I think, with the race that we had, I think we can certainly be very happy recovering and I think it was a very tough race, easy to lose focus or momentum but we kept it throughout. Iím very happy, especially also racing here. I hope that we donít lose this race. I think not only for me and Nico as German drivers, I think for the German crowd that we saw today and yesterday is very passionate, a lot of people turning up. It was sold out today despite the weather. I think we had a great race and it would be a shame to lose it. Obviously Iím not quite sure whatís in the future, whether thereís a chance to keep it but certainly when it comes to passion and effort that people put into this race itís pretty high up, so I hope that itís notÖ People make some decisions on common sense and not based on how much the wallet is opening. I think we have Grands Prix that we just mustnít lose such as Monza, such as the race at Silverstone in the UK. I think Germany and Spain have a long history of racing so it would be a shame to lose those and instead go to a place where they pay millions for the race to turn up but nobody is sitting in the grandstand. For us itís dull, as drivers so I think we rather enjoy here, close to the Netherlands with a lot of Dutch people comingÖ
MV: It was a bit tricky today because it was orange against red, you know those colours donít really match.
SV: Well, theyíre similar. I was taking the orange as well on my side.
MV: When they were going up, right?
SV: No, but I think itís great to see. Obviously for the Germans and the Dutch in particular it will be difficult to go toÖ I donít knowÖ overseas. Anyway, to come back to your question, itís certainly a tough time for us as Ferrari with days like yesterday because it shows that we have things that we need to sort out, we have things that we need to do better but I think in this period itís very important that we keep the morale, we keep supporting the team. From the inside that is happening, from the outside I hope itís happening as well. I know the tifosi are behind us but sometimes the headlines can shift in either way so itís important that we keep the support because I think things are moving, we are pushing very very hard and when it comes to passion I think we put a lot of effort and a lot of hours in; the people are very determined. Iím as impatient as everyone else to get the results finally but it will take a little while. We know what we can improve and thatís where we are working on but in the meantime I hope that people are a bit patient and give us that freedom in that time. But yeah, so in that regard it feels like a small victory today.

Q: (Lennart Bloemhof Ė Volksrand) It was pretty spectacular over there all day, where does this race rank in your top five of craziest races?
DK: I think it was clear enough how crazy it was. I think it was the first wet race in a while Ė and especially this year, so new tyres for everyone, no one knew how to use them very well at the beginning. The spray in the beginning was very high, then the track started drying, then it was on the borderline with slicks and it was very important not to make any mistakes. It was very easy to lock up the wheels under braking or just go a bit wide in some corners and I think today was just about avoiding those costly mistakes and making the right calls at the right time, so it was all about that but the race, I think, must have been quite spectacular to watch from outside. Lucky you.
MV: Yeah, bit like Brazil 2016 was also quite crazy, all the time switching between extremes and intermediates. Of course we didnít really get to try slicks, I think. Maybe some tried, Iím not sure but maybe not
SV: Not in Brazil, no.
MV: I donít think so. So itís maybe a little bit different to here but itís definitely been one of the most challenging ones.
SV: Well Iíve had a lot of races, also a lot of great crazy races but it was certainly among the craziest for a while. Max mentioned 2016 in Brazil. Always when the weather is really funny and you have all sorts of conditions itís very challenging. Today we had between three and five stops for everyone or some even more. Obviously I had a crazy race in 2012 in Brazil as well, Korea 2010.
MV: Malaysia in 2009?
Q: Red flag after 36 laps wasnít it?
SV: I had stopped a bit earlier than that, actually! I was out before, I spun out so it wasnít that crazy. As I said, itís mostly when the weather is up and down and you have to make those decisions. Itís very tough, you are on the fine edge but itís also very exciting because you know you can make the difference very quickly. Sometimes you have laps and laps and laps and youíre fighting for half a second that you can make up and other times in these conditions you can gain or lose five seconds and five places.

Q: (Christian Nimmervoll Ė Seb, a couple of drivers lost it in the stadium section today: Lewis, Nico, Charles as well. Does it make you feel any better one year after that the world kind of sees how quickly that can happen in conditions like this?
SV: Not really, no. I think that the answer is no. To protect them, I think they know what theyíre doing and mistakes happen so I donít think you should give them a hard time. It was very very tricky out there. I think we all had small mistakes here and there. Obviously some had a bit bigger ones in the wrong places but thatís part of racing so obviously nowadays a lot of people tend to judge everything very quickly but I think as much as they, I am not listening to all of those people. It happens in these conditions, itís part of racing, as I said.


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