On the atmosphere at the Williams team’s factory in Oxfordshire after his first visit since winning the race in Spain a few days before:I arrived at the factory this morning and everybody I have met has been congratulating me and there seems to be a lot of optimism about what we can achieve this season. We had a gathering this morning with all of the people in the factory to celebrate our win and this allowed me to thank all of them for their hard work.
On whether he now thinks that he can win further races this 2012 season, starting with his next race, at the Monaco Grand Prix:We will certainly do our best. Our package is definitely getting better and although we don’t have the quickest car right now, we are improving very quickly. I have always liked Monaco and after Sunday I am certainly full of confidence.
On how last year Williams scored only 5 points, but now has a competitive car that has won a race, and what has caused such a dramatic up-turn in his performance:We have a new technical team and they seem to be making a very positive impact already. I also have more experience now compared to last year and this is certainly helping me. I don’t think there is one single thing that has led us to improve this year, but a number of little changes that when put together have made us more competitive on track.
On how he showed no signs of nerves when battling with Fernando Alonso in Barcelona, and did he learn valuable lessons from his situation at the first race in Melbourne when he crashed out on the final lap:In Melbourne I was pushing very hard to get as many points as possible for the team and perhaps pushed a little too hard. After last year the team were desperate for a strong start to the season and I wanted as many points as possible. I learnt from that and the experience certainly made me a stronger driver in Barcelona. Fernando is a tough competitor with a lot of talent so it was a tough battle but this time I came out on top.
On how some people said that he was a paid driver who entered Formula 1 because of his sponsorship backing, and how his win has answered these critics:I am very lucky to have such amazing support from Venezuela. The finances I can bring have helped me reach Formula 1 but also help develop the car and that is crucial in being successful. I don’t focus on these comments, preferring to do my talking on the track and do the best job I can for the team. Hopefully my performance in Spain has shown that I have the talent to be one of the best drivers.
On how there have been five winners in the first five races and if he thinks this unpredictability is good for Formula 1:This has been one of the most competitive seasons we have seen in many years and to have such a strong level of competition between the teams and drivers is a good thing in my opinion. It is boring for fans when one driver dominates, and this season feels a bit like GP2 with the driver being able to play a big part in the performance of the car. The tyres also allow teams to play around with different strategies so there is always the opportunity to move up if you take a gamble. We have worked hard on getting our tires to perform well and this was certainly the case in Spain where I could do a longer final stint than others.