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FIA Saturday press conference - Austria, part 2 17 May 2003

(L to R): Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren, Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari and Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams in the press conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Austrian Grand Prix, A1-Ring, Austria, 17 May 2003

1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m09.150s
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLAREN), 1m09.189s (+ 0.039s)
3. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1m09.391s (+ 0.241s)

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

Q: Michael, do you think it had all gone away at the second corner?

Michael SCHUMACHER: No not all gone away. I knew that I lost a little bit of time but to me not a great deal because I got the car back just enough not to run too wide on the kerbs and there lose a lot of traction, so no, I knew that it would be close but seeing how close and seeing what we have done, it gave me good satisfaction.

Q: There is only one corner before the first intermediate point but we were just working out you were actually fourth quickest when you got there and then you had the moment as well so it was quite something to get it back...

MS: Well, the fourth quickest, I think it was only Kimi who was exceptionally quick in that area, who was about two tenths quicker than the rest and then everybody else was within hundreds and thousands and probably so was I at fourth, but yeah, on top I had the moment. My personal situation showed me a good sector time so I was not worried for the first sector at least, it was just down to the last sector to keep the tyres together and just have a clean run and not have the wobble in the last corner as yesterday.

Q: What is it about the kerbs here, it is almost as if they tempt the drivers to use them more, particularly the first and last corners and a little bit in the second?

MS: The last corner, I think, is probably the most specific case because you can use quite a bit of it on the inside and sometimes it drives you wide and if you go beyond the first section of kerb you come to this very special sector of kerb and that just pulls you out and if you go there you lose a lot of time. You are sort of tempted to over-push a little bit all the time and yeah I have struggled and as we have seen some other guys.

Q: Is that going to be the case in the race or less so?

MS: I think I have made enough experience yesterday so I hope that is enough for me.

Q: Kimi, are you looking forward to the view on the grid tomorrow a little but more than you did in Spain?

Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I think so. It is much better now. In Spain I was at the other end and it wasn't really a good race for me but now everything seems to be okay and it was quite a good qualifying.

Q: Did you think you had done enough for pole position?

KR: I knew that it was going to be close and, okay, it was a bit unlucky that we didn't get the first place but the front row is always a good place to start.

Q: It seemed to be a very clean lap. How was it?

KR: Yeah, it was a pretty good lap. It was the first time this year that I got my qualifying lap together and it was quite a good time for that. It just helps you during the race if you can start on the front row or even on the second row and there is an interesting race coming tomorrow.

Q: So, knowing what your strategy is going to be for the race tomorrow, how is the feeling starting from the front?

KR: I think we have a very good chance to win the race. Of course, we don't know what the other teams are doing but we are quite confident that we have a good strategy for tomorrow.

Q: Juan Pablo, given that you have had a fairly difficult weekend you must be pretty pleased with third?

Juan Pablo MONTOYA: Yeah it wasn't, you know, that difficult. The car was pretty good yesterday - it wasn't quick enough but it felt pretty good. Today we did some changes and it was a lot quicker and I think we have a really good race car and it will be interesting tomorrow.

Q: What about the lap itself?

JPM: It was okay. The first sector I took a bit easy because everyone was making a mistake in turn one. In the morning I did a pretty similar time to Kimi but it was right on the limit and it is so easy to lose the car there that I know how to do a sector time without making any mistakes and it seemed to come off.

Q: Given that the car is reliable, at least we saw at the last race it was reliable, what are the chances for the race tomorrow?

JPM: I think it is very good. Like I said, I think we have a very good race car and we will see how good it is.


Q: Some of the later drivers seemed to be a bit all over the track. Michael, as you were the last one out did the track seem especially dirty or slippery to you?

MS: Indeed, there was quite a bit of dirt on the circuit accelerating out of the first corner which you naturally carry into the first corner and then the exit of turn one was not particularly clean as well but that was the same for Rubens.

Q: Were you told to take it a bit easier because of that?

MS: No, you always drive to your circumstances and that is that.

Q: Juan Pablo, when you came around the final corner here David Coulthard had been off and there were some stones on the circuit there. Were you aware of those?

JPM: No I wasn't and it was a bit of a surprise when I turned up and I saw all that but it didn't seem to affect anything.

Q: Kimi, yesterday you were one second slower than Michael but today you were almost on the same time. Was it set-up or fuel level?

KR: No, I would say we had some difficulties yesterday with the set-up and this morning we found quite a good set-up and improved in the second practice and I think that is the difference. We have always been not so quick compared to other cars on Fridays but we seem to always find the time for Saturday. The Friday is always more practice than anything else and providing you get a reasonably good time on Fridays it doesn't really matter.

Q: Finally, for the two Michelin drivers, yesterday your team-mates were complaining about the graining on the front tyres. How is the situation today?

JPM: Well, we get a little graining but on our car this doesn't seem to affect the pace too much.
KR: Yeah, I think the situation is much better than yesterday and I don't think we have anything to worry about for the race.