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Brazil 2011 - Post race press conference // The top three drivers discuss their Grand Prix afternoon

Published by Christine

Questions to the top three drivers following the race on Sunday at Interlagos.

Winner: Mark Webber, Red Bull

Q: Mark, a win to take you into the winter, how are you feeling right now?

"Felt good all weekend. It would have been nice to have a race with Sebastian all the way through but I think he’s had a little bit of a problem. It’s a win that you’ll take, for sure, because I’ve had enough bad luck and whatever you want to call it. That’s the way that motorsport goes sometimes. So, very important win for me and the team again to finish on a high. I enjoyed the last few laps, to be honest. It’s always nice when you finally… I could pit a bit later and cover people off and do all that sort of stuff, so that was good. I enjoyed doing the last few laps. That was a nice way to finish."

Q: It got a little tight between you and Fernando after the first round of stops. He took three-and-a-half seconds out of you there. Were you ever concerned at that point?

"Well I knew he gained something out of that first round of stops. Obviously I went a bit longer than I would have liked to because Seb had the priority obviously on the first stop, so I was out of juice on the tyres at that point so I knew I was going to lose if someone else was going a bit shorter. In the case it wasn’t just to lose out a bit to Seb obviously I lost out a bit more to Fernando. I was a bit surprised at the margin, nearly three seconds or a bit over. He must have had a good stop and risked a little bit more here and there on in and out laps. I think I had a bit of traffic on my out lap as well, so, y’know, sometimes that’s just the way it goes."

2nd place: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

Q: Sebastian, you compared yourself to Ayrton Senna here in 1991, nursing a gearbox problem for a lot of the race. Describe the struggle you had today to get to the chequered flag.

"The difference is he won! Yeah, it was a real shame because I had a very good start and then a good feeling. I was able to pull a gap straight away at the beginning of the race but very early got the call that we have to manage a gearbox problem. And yeah, I had to turn down the engine, short-shift and it was just getting worse throughout the race so I ended up using higher gears pretty much everywhere and that’s why the comparison came into my head.

"Nevertheless, Mark drove a fantastic race, he deserved to win. I don’t really like calling this bad luck. Surely, if something like this happens it’s not in your hands. Still, I tried to do my best: tried to stay as close as I can; tried to keep the gap to Fernando for most of the race and then Jenson at the end. I think we had a pretty amazing season and I think it would be over the top being upset now. We take this second place and a one-two finish for the team, which is great and… yeah, it has been a phenomenal year and a very strong finish as well so now I think we are all ready for the winter and looking forward to the break to recharge our batteries and come back as strong as this year, hopefully, at the beginning of the season next year"

3rd place: Jenson Button, McLaren

Q: Jenson, a fighting drive to the podium today after losing a place to Fernando Alonso earlier on.

"Yeah, it was a difficult race for me on the softer of the two tyres. Fernando was very close out of turn five, so I covered the line into six. Normally it’s an easy place to block but I looked at where he was and then when I looked forward again there was lots of debris on the inside. I think it was Michael’s tyre and a bit of front wing. As soon as I saw that I didn’t want to drive through it. I couldn’t pull to the left because Fernando was already there, so I had to back out of it and just pull in behind Alonso. That was a bit disappointing and a little bit unlucky – but I just didn’t have the pace on the softer of the two tyres.

"We decided to put the harder tyre on for the last two stints and it worked pretty well for me, especially the last stint where I could hunt down Fernando. Ferrari, I think, struggle on the harder of the two tyres. I was able to make the pass but third was as high as we could get. I was qualifying every lap but I still couldn’t catch Seb."

Q: Jenson, you’re confirmed second place in the Championship, a strong end to a strong season. Where do you and McLaren go from here?

"Into a long winter, ready for next year. I think at this moment in time we shouldn’t think too much about next year this evening. We should celebrate what we’ve done this year. It hasn’t been perfect, no, these guys have been quicker than us, more consistent than us, but all round it’s been a reasonable season. We’ve grown as a team together and I think that we have a very good base going into 2012, so I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone for 2011, thank you to all the guys involved in the team but also the other guys who’ve surrounded me for the last 12 years of my career. Big thanks to them and bring on 2012."

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