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FIA post-race press conference - Monaco, Pt 3 01 Jun 2003

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari in the press conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Monaco Grand Prix, Race Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 1 June 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.


Q: Kimi, how much are you waiting for the new car and do you think you could have been in front with it here?

Kimi RAIKKONEN: Of course, it will be nice to get the new car because you always have to remember we are still with the old car against all the others with their new cars and we can still give a good fight against them and do podium finishes. But I think we need to have a good race in the next race and then with the new car I am sure we can fight for the win big time but I guess we need to wait and see.

Q: Juan Pablo, an Italian newspaper wrote today that you are in contact with Ferrari to drive for them after the end of Michael's contract. Is it true?

Juan Pablo MONTOYA: Yeah, someone told me to look at the Gazetta dello Sport and see what's in and I had a look and I couldn't believe it. There is no talk for the moment, to be honest, there is nothing.

Q: Michael, given the expectations of the 2003 car, is this weekend a surprise and a real setback?

Michael SCHUMACHER: I think it is nothing to do with the car, honestly. It is nothing to do with the car so there is no surprise if sometimes we don't win a race, that's the way it goes. These certain conditions, probably it is fair to say in the tyre side, it is fair to say we didn't look too good this weekend.

Q: So it was just strategy and tyres then was it?

MS: To some degree, if you look at our pace we were not far off but we were not in front and I would put that down to the tyres.

Q: Michael, it may be hindsight, but looking back at yesterday obviously you qualified relatively heavy. Was that a bit of a miscalculation with the one-lap pace of the tyre?

MS: I don't think it was a wrong calculation we did because if you see with the more laps I managed to jump two positions because I was longer out and I put in very fast lap times. We probably, if we could have known that, we should have put in just a little less fuel to jump Trulli and then it would have been a little bit easier but how you know that...You have to make up your mind and sometimes you are better, sometimes you are a little bit worse and that is the way it goes.

Q: Juan Pablo, you mentioned a little bit of pressure on you this weekend. It is a long time since Williams won here. Did you know that and were you aware of the pressure on you to bring this race back to Williams?

JPM: It wasn't only bringing this race to Williams but trying to get another win for myself - I was more concerned about that than Williams, to be honest, but as we are in the same team I guess it was well worth it.

Q: Juan Pablo, do you think you are realistic to enter in the fight for the world championship?

JPM: Well, at the moment I am a bit behind them on points but if the car starts performing every race like it did this race and the last race then the chance becomes bigger and bigger and bigger. It seems the new Ferrari doesn't have the big advantage that they had last year when the car came out and now we will have to see the new McLaren.

Q: Kimi, in a different situation in the championship could you try to pass Juan Pablo at the end of the race.

KR: Yeah, if I had a chance then for sure I would go for it but I didn't have any real chances and then it is stupid to take any big risk and especially now. Maybe in some other circuits it would have been more easy to try something but here it is pretty much impossible to overtake anywhere.

Q: Juan, with all the history and glamour and difficulty of Monaco, every Formula One driver wants to win this race. What does it mean to have won the Monaco Grand Prix?

JPM: Winning in Monaco is a bit like when I was in America and I went to Indy, you know, it is like the most special race you can win and being the only street course in the championship it is very special. It is a great atmosphere, it is a bit different to every other race and to win here, and Monza is very special as well, and to come here and win is fantastic.

Q: Juan, do you think this is more a victory of the tyres as the Michelins seemed to adapt pretty well to this track, or is this the Williams getting better?

JPM: Well, we were ahead of Kimi so it shows the car is more forward, the last test was quick, I was the same time as David one of the days and the other days I was quicker than them so it shows the car is going in the right direction. We had a really good car in the race and a good strategy as well so I think the team is really getting their act together.

Q: To Michael, were you using the same kind of tyre on Thursday and Saturday because you were really fast on Thursday and Saturday not so much...

MS: If you don't mind I will just tell you that we use Bridgestones.

Q: Michael, may I just ask you what happened in between say laps 38 and a bit later on like 46 or 47. You seemed to be a bit off the pace, just lapping over 1m16. Were you just struggling in traffic or was it something with tyres?

MS: No. I guess it was something within the tyres because in certain periods I simply couldn't achieve the lap times anywhere.

Q: Kimi, how good was the car through the race, particularly thinking of the engine? Were you able to push it as hard as you expected to right from the start or did you have to take any care with it?

KR: No, everything was working well but if you are behind someone it is going to be a more easy life for the engine and the car if you than if you are going to push 100 percent but I didn't have any problems with the car, the engine or the tyres. The car was running really well and handling-wise it was perfect.

Q: Michael, you said your Ferrari is a fantastic car, maybe better than the old car. After this race, have you the same opinion or not?

MS: I don't think I need to answer this, huh?

Q: To all of you, at the beginning of the race it seems the last corner of the track was not so clean. Was it a problem for you?

JPM: Nope.

KR: It was a little bit slippery but it was pretty much okay.

MS: Just to say, if you saw after the Porsche race I think all of us were expecting a lot worse conditions but actually the marshals did a good job.

Q: Juan, how tough has it been for you to wait for two years between your first and second wins?

JPM: It has been a bit of a long time but there are a lot of races where we have been competitive and I have been unlucky, something would break down or something, but that is the way races go and it shows if you keep trying it is going to come and hopefully the third one won't take that long.

Q: Juan Pablo, when you were standing on the podium what was going through your mind?

JPM: It was pretty neat. It is the first time I finish in Monaco in Formula One. The first year I lasted three laps, the second about forty-something and, you know, the first time I finish the race I win it it is pretty good. Last year we had a good chance. We were pretty competitive. David got the jump on me at the start and this year I got the jump on Kimi and that seemed to help.

Q: Michael, last year you had a great technical advantage. This year you are not leading the championship and you were third in this race. Is it the new regulations of have the others caught up?

MS: I think simply the competition is much closer. It is very clear. If you see even other races, like Barcelona last year, we were miles ahead and this year it was a tough fight so it has just got much more together.

Q: Michael, the last ten or fifteen laps it was great for us and the crowd, it was very exciting. But as you were closing up you must have known that you were depending on a mistake to happen for you. Were you enjoying chasing the other two?

MS: Yes. To some degree you do enjoy catching up then you just wait for your opportunity because the race finishes when the chequered flag comes out and not before. From my point of view I wanted to race until then and see what happened because I knew those two guys were very close and maybe one tries to overtake the other and something occurs from this.