Brazilian Grand Prix: Podium celebration

Transcript from the podium interviews at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Round 20 of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship, at Interlagos featuring race winner Lewis Hamilton, second placed Nico Rosberg and third placed Max Verstappen interviewed by Martin Brundle.

Lewis, what a race!
Lewis Hamilton: Not too bad, huh!

You were out front but calling for the red flags and aquaplaning coming up the hill… talk us through it a little bit?
LH: Firstly, as you said, I want to say a big thank you to all the fans that came out today because that was a long, long race and they stood out in the rain and still at the end there were even more people at the end than there were at the start, so I appreciate all the support here in Brazil. They are always so welcoming to us and their hospitality is second to none. For me, I was generally just chillin’ up front. When it rains it’s usually a good day for me. Today it was tricky for everyone, there were definite opportunities for aquaplaning, which everyone did, but I want to say a big thank you to my team. We’re creating history in this team. This year the stuff that we’ve done, the results we have got are just incredible and I’m so proud to a part of it.

You talked about water coming in your crash helmet following the safety car early doors, was that your only drama today?
LH: Yeah, that was the only drama: no mistakes, no issues, no spins. It was kind of interesting to hear along the race how many people were spinning and that, but I didn’t have that problem so I’m really happy about that.

Nico, second place, not what your were looking for but it will do today in the championship. You head to Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time with a 12-point lead, what are you thinking standing here?
Nico Rosberg: Yeah, of course, it didn’t go my way today with the win; Lewis just did a great job. But for sure, yeah, it was very difficult conditions out there and I can live with second today for sure.

Max was pretty handy out there. He was pushing like crazy and taking some rather unusual lines and you must have been thinking: “just leave me alone, I’ve got a championship to win.”
NR: Yeah, and then I arrived on the straight and I saw him pointing 90 degrees towards the wall! I was like “what the hell?”

We saw you also once having a bit of a scary moment up the hill?
NR: That is true, yes. But it worked out fine to stay on track.

A tough call for the race direction today, safety car, red flag. Do you think they got it right?
NR: It was on the limit, but in the end, yes, they got it right. They did a good job of judging it but it was quite a fine line out there.

Max, may I shake your hand, because that was some kind of incredible performance, and he’s already been voted driver of the day by the fans. What an adventure you had this afternoon.
Max Verstappen: Yeah, it was an incredible race, of course, with the red flags, difficult conditions, especially the last straight, really slippery. And then in the final re-start I managed to overtake Nico and I was in quite a comfortable position over there and then I had a massive moment…

Talk us through that.
MV: I don’t know, maybe I clipped a bit the kerb, had a massive moment, locked all four wheels, managed to keep it out of the guard rail, continued still in second. Then we decided to pit for intermediates but unfortunately it started to rain afterwards and it didn’t work out. But then after that, I think I was 15, 14, I don’t know what I was, and some great overtakes afterwards to come back on the podium so yes, of course, amazing.

You were just using a different race track to all the other all afternoon – wherever they went, you went somewhere different.
MV: Well, I couldn’t see when I was straight behind them, so I had to take another line.

That big incident you had up here, how much luck and how much skill to keep it out of the barriers?
MV: 50-50 I guess.

I thought you might say that. Well, you gave us a thrill. The bravery when you guys just could not see. Did you guys see his incident?
NR: I just saw him pointing 90 degrees towards the wall.
LH: I saw both of theirs on the TV.
MV: He was watching the TV!

Well, you were cruising out front, Lewis. The showdown, then, in Abu Dhabi, 12 points, what’s it going to be Lewis, how do you go to Abu Dhabi?
LH: Well, I’m hunting. I’m hunting and all I can do is do what I’m doing right now. The team have been giving me a great car and finding the reliability has been really good, so the results are really showing that. I’m going to go and give it everything I’ve got. Abu Dhabi is generally a really good track for me. But right now I’m just going to live in the moment. This has been my dream since the first time I watched Ayrton race, when I was five or six years old, so to win here…

Your first victory in Brazil of course.
LH: Exactly, exactly. And it’s the 44th grand prix here, so it’s kind of a lucky weekend.

Where would you put this in your 52 wins, one of the tougher ones? One of the very toughest, top five?
LH: For me, one the easier ones. It was a very easy race generally. Usually in the rain here it’s the hardest but honestly I didn’t have any spins, I didn’t really have any moments and it was pretty straightforward. Silverstone 2008 was way harder than this.