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FIA post-race press conference - Monaco, Pt 1 01 Jun 2003

Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams in the press conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 1 June 2003

POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE - JUNE 1, 2003
1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1h42m19.010s
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (MCLAREN), 1h42m19.612s (+ 0.602s)
3. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1h42m20.730s (+ 1.720s)

Published with permission from the Federation Internationale de l' Automobile.

TV UNILATERALS

Q: Juan Pablo, emotional scenes at the end there. Tell us about the pressure from Kimi during those closing stages...

Juan Pablo MONTOYA: You know, the hardest pressure was when then told me I had to get a gap on Kimi before my stop because he was going longer than me. It was quite hard. I managed to pull away from two seconds to four and a half before I stopped but then, when I managed to get a couple of laps into the stop until his stop I still managed to get ahead of him and then I just backed off a little bit and just paced myself. It was good. The car seemed to work really well. I want to thank all the mechanics. I think BMW and Williams did a fantastic job and the Michelin tyres behaved brilliantly all the day. It's really good. Everybody needed this. Ralph got the pole yesterday, I got the win today.

Q: At the start, and indeed after the re-start behind the safety car, Ralf seemed to get away from you a little bit and then you hauled him back in again.

JPM: Yeah, he seemed to. Before the start of the race he decided to use higher pressures, he picked up the tyre pressures and he was going to be quicker in the first few laps. I knew that so I just based myself on that, so after three laps, when the tyres came up, I was fine.

Q: Kimi, you were on the front row but Juan Pablo got the jump on you into turn one there...

Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I'm not very lucky with second place on the starting grid. I always seem to get bad starts. Okay, the race was a little bit just following Montoya to try to get past but here, you don't have any chances to get past if they don't make any mistakes. I knew that I would run a little bit longer on the pit stops but on the first and second pit stops I always had traffic when he went into the pits and that completely destroyed the chance to try to get past him.

Q: Michael, it looks as if you started with between six and ten laps worth more fuel than McLaren and Williams. Do you think that was a great strategy given the car that you had today or could your strategy have been different?

Michael SCHUMACHER: In the end, you always seem to be more clever. The fact is that if I wouldn't have been stuck behind Trulli, I guess I could have kept the situation more close to Kimi, being out longer then I would have probably managed to get him but that meant that I had to have more fuel and this automatically means I would be behind Trulli so however you turn it, in the end, that's what we did and out of fifth position, finishing in third position is reasonable. We try everything but we have to say clearly that this weekend we probably weren't strong enough.

Q: Juan Pablo, you've just won the Monaco Grand Prix, just try to describe your emotions and feelings right now.

JPM: Really, you've got to say that I had quite a few races where I had a chance to win. The last one was Melbourne, I threw it away, so there was a bit of pressure not to basically make any mistakes. It was definitely worth waiting for. I won Monza and now this. It's fantastic. I'm so happy. It's just unreal.