(Conducted by David Coulthard)
Q: Valtteri not a bad weekend for you, first in the sprint yesterday and third today from the back of the grid. Talk us through the race?
Valtteri BOTTAS: Yeah, starting from the back it’s never easy. I told the team that I was going to be on the podium today and that’s what we did. I’m glad that we got more points than Red Bull and yeah, otherwise we maximised from where I started. Obviously a shame with the crash between Lewis and Max, we lost some points there, but from my side it was good fun.
Q: You mention that crash. Did you see it at all on the big screens?
VB: I didn’t see really what happened.
Q: We’ve got a replay for you if you want to see it for the first time. Any initial comments?
VB: I don’t know. It’s unfortunate.
Q: I understand it takes time to digest. Ahead of the next race weekend I guess you now just focus on finishing out your career with Mercedes with the best possible results?
VB: Yeah, thanks. A strong weekend from my side, the pace has been good, so it will be nice to have one week of rest and then we’ll go again.
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Q: How important is this win for you?
Daniel RICCIARDO: It means everything. I definitely try not to, like, make or dictate my life happiness around the sport, because it’s been three and a half years since I won, so I’d be pretty miserable most of the time if I just based my happiness on winning races. I think, like, through it all and a lot has happened since Monaco 2018, so to be back here in this moment that’s why we love the sport. It makes all those crappier days worth it and it’s as simple as that. There’s a high that you get from this moment right now that… I’ll probably watch this interview in a few days and I’ll be like: ‘Oh, I actually said that?’ I’m still floating right now to be honest. That’s what it does. And that’s what draws you back. It’s wild.
VB: It’s the wine.
DR: Ha! Valtteri thinks it’s the bubbly. There is probably a bit of that. It’s just wild but I certainly… There have been lows this year but deep down I never lost faith or the belief. I think I also just needed to step back and I think that’s where having some time off in August helped. I truly think that helped this weekend get to this position.
Q: Valtteri, no shooey for you up there on the podium?
DR: He’s done one before.
VB: No! Never done it! Always managed to dodge it.
Lando NORRIS: Sneaky guy.
DR: Didn’t you do it in Baku?
VB: No, I managed to…
DR: No way! I thought you’d done it! That’s why I didn’t give it to you.
VB: It’s not my thing!
DR: Ah c’mon, you’re dating an Australian now! You have to have some sort of…
VB: We don’t have shooey’s at home, y’know!
DR: Aw, I’m sorry.
VB: Don’t be sorry! I’m happy!
DR: Next time!
Q: Well Valtteri, that was a huge race for you. When was the last time you went from 19th to third?
VB: Never, I think. I think it was probably the most positions gained, maybe in my career. I don’t know, I’m not the best with statistics but yeah. And honestly, although some people might think it’s easy to overtake here in Monza but actually it isn’t. When there’s a few cars in a row it’s not that easy, so I’m happy at the progress we could make today and, of course, we did have a good car, good pace and good strategy, starting with the hard tyre in my case was definitely the right choice and could go along and take the opportunities and then, once we went to the medium it was time to attack and push. Just at the very end the medium started to push a bit but by then things started to stabilise but overall I did everything I could today and this weekend overall. So, for that, I’m happy.
Q: Was there ever a moment on the medium tyre where you thought the win was on?
VB: When I was progressing quite quickly, in the beginning of the medium and then I could see both of the McLarens were actually pretty close and I was catching. Then once I was behind Pérez and really in the train, of course I was trying everything I could – but of course the last few laps, the tyre started to drop and that was it. But I think it would have been tricky to get past the McLarens. Honestly, they’ve been strong all weekend and they have their strengths, especially on the straight line and, like yesterday, Lewis, he was trying everything he could but couldn’t get by so I honestly think it was the maximum today we could reach.
Q: Various journalists have asked about Emma Raducanu’s victory in the US Open. She’s a Formula 1 fan and can we just get your thoughts on her achievement in New York?
VB: I haven’t seen the game. I didn’t actually know it was on, but it sounds good. Congrats.
DR: (Laughter) I love your honesty.