Sunday April 29th, 2001
Q: Michael, Explain how you felt as you went past Mika on that last lap.
Michael Schumacher: Simply sorry, because I think we both have done a very good race, very entertaining until the last pit stop. Then he jumped me at the last pit stop because he did a better last section in his second pit stop and I was a bit in traffic and having a bit of trouble on top of that.
But anyway, we have done a great race. It reminds me back to old days last year. Then seeing him then retiring on the last lap, with five corners or whatever to go to the end - it's shocking, because he's really done everything right and then something like this... I'm sorry for him. I went to see him because it's not the way you like to win a race honestly, but then sometimes it happens in racing. It's happened to me and it has now happened to Mika, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
Q: You mentioned to had some problems after the second stop. You were losing about three seconds a lap; what were the problems?
MS: I had a huge vibration, most likely in the tyres, and I was thinking the tyre was delaminating and I was obviously very careful, especially down the straight. I was going very slowly, not to risk anything, a tyre explosion or whatever. We had enough of a gap and we were thinking that maybe we would come in and have another pit stop to change tyres, but then at a certain point, it stopped increasing and I thought that for the last couple of laps it would be safe to continue which it was, but it was still a worry until the end.
Q: Juan Pablo Montoya, welcome to the press conference. How did it feel to stand on the podium and see the Colombian flag being raised on a Formula One podium?
Juan Pablo Montoya: I think it's really exciting. The first four races have been very hard for me. We have been competitive in some of them not so much in others. Here, I wasn't expecting to be on the podium really. I started eleventh. The start was really good and moved me up a lot of places and then I just kept pushing all day long.
Q: Was that a launch control start or a Juan Pablo Montoya start?
JPM: That was launch control.
Q: You've been saying all week that you've had problems getting the car settled around this circuit. Was the car much better much in race trim?
JPM: It was a bit better but it wasn't massively different. The car was quite tricky to drive and compared with Michael and the McLarens as well, they're in a different league this weekend. There's a lot of work to be done for the next race.
Q: Jacques, welcome back to the podium, the first since 1998, the first podium for BAR. You must be absolutely delighted.
Jacques Villeneuve: Yeah, it's great. The whole team, everyone in the team has worked really hard for the last three years, and the beginning of the season has been really really hard and to finally get a podium is great. I think it's the boost that everyone was needing.
Q: Obviously a couple of cars dropped out, where do you think the true level of performance of BAR is at the moment?
JV: Well, we couldn't have gone any quicker today. The car was hard to drive but it looks like it was difficult for everybody, so we're a little bit lucky that a few cars dropped out, but then the team did a great job in the pit stops and that allowed us to jump Trulli at the first pit stop and then we just hung in there.
Q: Michael, you had a set-up problem today, you had a problem at Imola, you had a set-up problem back in Brazil. You've managed to pull off a superb victory but are you slightly concerned about these issues and reliability problems creeping into the team?
MS: You probably read much more into it than there is, but that's natural. I'm not concerned at all, because what happened in the last stint with the set of tyres, I'm pretty sure we will find the reason and solution for that. Otherwise the car was perfect. As you saw, it was a close fight and battle with Mika and things were going in favour until then. I'm not concerned for the rest of the season.
Q: Michael well done, can I ask what you said to Mika?
Michael Schumacher: I simply said sorry and I wanted to apologise. It belongs to him to be sitting here, he hasn't made any mistakes and sometimes racing is hard but to some degree that's the way racing is. It's a shame for him it happened so short before the end, if it happens sometimes 20 laps in the race it's less hard to take but this way must be very shocking for him.
Q: Do you think your tactics were wrong in that he managed to get ahead of you?
MS: No I don't think so. We were particular slow with the last set, if you look to our performance up to the last set of tyres we were fast enough, faster actually. I was pulling away from Mika after the first pit stop and it should have happened again. For whatever reason that wasn't the case and I would put it down to the problem I had afterwards, whatever vibration factor or the reason is it slowed me down. I had three sets of tyres, they should have been equal and for whatever reason they weren't. Plus I had a bit of traffic as well to go through but because I was slower anyway I had to work a bit harder so it was a combination of things but on the other side that's the way the way it goes and you have to live with this and whatever way they did it Mika was better than us.
Q: Was there any warning about what happened to Rubens passed on to you?
MS: Yes. After I had the vibration anyway the team felt a bit concerned and asked me to slow down, that's why I was so much slower afterwards. Until that last set of tyres everything was perfect, I was pulling away with the fuel and the tyres we were a bit faster but if one set is not right then you lose everything.
Q: Were you using both launch control and traction control?
MS: Human and launch control and then traction control!
Q: Were you using launch control and traction control, Juan Pablo?
Juan Pablo Montoya: No. We only had launch control... and it seemed to help!
Q: You said the car was average?
JPM: It was good in the race, it's been a very difficult weekend, we never really got the car handling the way I wanted and I think on TV you see the car was sliding a lot. It made my laps a bit difficult.
Q: Jacques, you pushed hard and then fell back - what happened?
Jacques Villeneuve: The car was not too bad at the end of the first run, then the next two sets the car never really got its grip back. At least I had a good fight and could keep up with Juan but every lap was just pushing and it needed one or other of us to make a mistake.
Q: You've had some technical problems this week, was it a cautious race?
JV: No, we weren't in a position to do a cautious race because we needed points and a podium.
Q: Juan Pablo you started aggressively but did you get instructions as people dropped out to go more cautiously?
JPM: In the beginning I had to move up one way or the other at the start and I took it quite aggressive and it paid off. The first pit stop was quite good, I got Jarno, then I felt like I was going to pull away from Jacques but I didn't but all day long I was pushing 100%. I was a bit surprised when Ralf spun. I've had problems all weekend with braking and all weekend he was braking a bit later than me, that's where he was making time up, and I was trying every lap to get to grips with the car. I had a big moment where he spun actually, and after that I just decided to back up a little bit.
Q: Juan and Jacques, tell us about your starts.
JPM: I nearly touched with the Saubers because I went down the middle and they went there as well because there was a Jordan really slow or stalled and when that happened I had to back off a little and see what happened.
JV: The start went okay but I braked very early into Turn 1 and Juan got me there, it woke me up. So I was awake then for the rest of the race! We didn't lose launch control today, we had some problems with it. The start was just acceptable, not very good I lost a bit of distance on the guys in front of me but nobody passed me and I was just concentrating on the guys ahead and just took Turn 1 too cautiously.
Q: Jacques what did you think when you saw Mika parked at the side of the road?
JV: I was just trying to count how many times he had lapped me and if there were enough laps to get back. I didn't know he was in the lead because earlier Michael had been lapping us before Mika.
Q: Michael, you said earlier on TV you lost some races on the last lap - when did it happen the last time?
MS: I didn't particularly think I said I lost some races on the last lap. In my racing career there has been unlucky circumstances. In '93 I think I was leading Monte Carlo pretty easily and because of a penny detail I had to retire and so there will be other examples I guess in my time.
Q: Michael, do you think you had a performance advantage over the McLarens?
MS: It was very close. Up to the second stop I think I had four seconds and I think under normal circumstance that should have been enough to finish up front.
Q: Was the vibration with the front or the rear tyres?
MS: It's difficult to assess but I think it was from the rear.