FIA Saturday press conference 19 Jul 2003
POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE - 19 JULY 2003
1. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1m21.209s
2. Jarno Trulli (RENAULT), 1m21.381s (+ 0.172s)
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (MCLAREN), 1m21.695s (+ 0.486s)
Published with permission from the Federation Internationale de l' Automobile.
Q: Rubens, after yesterday I guess pole looked a long way away from you.
Rubens BARRICHELLO: Well, yesterday was just a little bit of a mishappen in a way because it was a condition where nobody had the track exactly the same. I wanted to try things different and it worked out because I tried something completely new for that lap which taught me that it didn't work so I could start on a different route this morning. But having said that, there is a little bit more pressure for you to be out as one of the first guys and you cannot make the same mistakes. So at the end of the day you have to be committed 100 percent and forget about it but there is still a little bit of pressure so it is even more enjoyable.
Q: What is the feeling in the Ferrari team now because after the French Grand Prix there was a lot of talk of the work ahead of you, the work that needed to be done because of the pressure you are facing from Williams and McLaren, and Renault. Do you feel you have turned the corner now?
RB: Look, Ferrari is a fantastic team, a fantastic group that works very well on its car. We have brought so many new items to this racing track, it is going very well, especially for me - I think Michael had a problem in qualifying. My car is running fast and I am very confident for tomorrow's race. Anything can happen. We are only going to know when we get it to Hockenheim if it is only for Silverstone because it suits our car, but I don't think so. I think Bridgestone did a fantastic job as well on the tyres and everything on the car is better than the last race.
Q: Jarno, a fantastic performance in the second outing for your new helmet design, the first for the new aero package on the Renault. It has all come together.
Jarno TRULLI: Yeah, I am extremely happy but also surprised about my performance because I have been struggling all weekend with some trouble that stopped me improving my performance and car set-up. But then we got on top of it for the qualifying. It is good to be second, unexpected but it is the best way to thank the people who work in the team because we have a new aero package for this race and also an engine upgrade so the whole thing is working very well.
Q: How do you see the Michelin vs Bridgestone race tomorrow?
JT: I think it is closer than ever, probably. It will be an interesting race. A few different drivers on the first two or three rows so I think it will be a big battle.
Q: Kimi, a great result for you considering you were the only top team not to test here at Silverstone before the Grand Prix.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, because we were testing the new car in Barcelona and we haven't had any tests here this year. Of course that is not so good for us but that was the decision and it didn't cost us too much actually.
Q: Have you got the best out of the car or is there more to come?
KR: I think so we have got the best out of it. Yesterday we had a bit of a set-up problem, a little bit wrong front parts on the car, but today we started to find the way and we got it right for qualifying. I am quite happy with the car now and in the little bit longer runs it felt very good this morning so I think we are in good shape.
Q: Rubens, I thought the idea of the new regulations was that the person going early was meant to be at a disadvantage.
RB: Well, to be honest with you, I think the only disadvantage I had today was kind of a little bit of pressure from yesterday. As I said before, it was, yeah at the end of the day you have a spin so it is a mistake, but more than that it was a mishappen because I was trying something different and the car really caught me under the circumstances that I couldn't cope. I was trying really hard. So it was a bit of a pressure to go out just after one car and try hard but it shows even more that I kept it cool. The car is working very well for me. The things that I have chosen in terms of set-up are working and I am extremely happy. Silverstone has always been quite good for me in those terms and I hope I can complete my good feeling tomorrow.
Q: It is interesting you say the pressure was on you. We always think the pressure builds as you get closer to the end of the session, later and later. You suggest that it is actually greater going...
RB: Yeah, otherwise you would not do very well on Friday just to be first out but I think history tells you that the track gets better although it was very windy today and it was changing directions. We cannot say the track was better here or there, but when I went out it was very windy as well so at the end of the day, P1, fantastic.
Q: Especially after the problems you have had this weekend.
RB: Yes. And day after another you have to keep it cool. After such a long time it is just a mind game, you have just to tell yourself so many times that you do it because you really love it, the car is good, first, second, last doesn't mean anything just go out and do the thing you like. The car was running well. I was hoping I could keep in the top three, the time was good since the warm-up, so it was just agony waiting for everyone to finish their laps. It was much more difficult than any other time because it was just waiting, waiting.
Q: What was it like watching Michael as well?
RB: Michael, when he went wide I knew at that time he would probably not have beaten me. But it is a bit of mixed emotions because you tend to say don't beat me but go well, because it is a team spirit. At the end of the day, I don't know if it was a mistake or something but he went quite wide so I knew that...The one that got really close was Jarno. When he set the time in P2 and I knew that his car is quite good on the slow speed, that was a bit worrying but the rest I had a bit of a peaceful time.
Q: Jarno, well done. It appeared you did not have any mistakes. Was it trouble free?
JT: It was a trouble free lap but I am extremely happy about the performance because I have been, let's say, struggling a little bit with some problems in the car in trying to find out the best set-up. It wasn't easy. Yesterday in qualifying I suffered some problems and we got on top of it right for the qualifying, which is extremely good because it is the best way to thank the whole team, which brought a new aero package and a new engine update, so it looks like we are showing that we keep improving and pushing because we want to finish our season high.
Q: What did you change for qualifying?
JT: Many, many things compared to this morning. I have had trouble doing the warm-up so I couldn't really simulate my qualifying but, you know, I am an experienced driver so I kept cool and I knew I had a good car and it was just a matter of getting a good lap. And fortunately I did it.
Q: And it will be a good car for the race as well?
JT: Yeah, I am extremely confident for tomorrow because I feel like I made the right tyre choice and in terms of strategy I am confident, very confident.
Q: Kimi, are you surprised with third on the grid?
KR: Yeah, a little bit. Actually I changed my overalls away already because I was not expecting to end up here. But no, it was good. We had had quite a lot of problems all weekend to try to find the set-up and I think this morning we started to get it better and better and then for warm-up it was quite good and we changed it still a little bit and it was perfect.
Q: One of our commentators described the lap as unspectacular, looked as though you were fuel heavy.
KR: Um, I think so we are in good shape for tomorrow. I think this is the best time I have done this weekend and it was the right time to do it. The car feels really good and I am very confident for tomorrow.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: Jarno, do you really feel that it's possible to win tomorrow?
JT: I think so. OK, Bridgestone now have got on top of some problems and now they are looking more competitive than they were for the last few races but with the new aero package and the new engine update, we feel that we can match the pace more, so it's a question of getting it right, get away from the first corner and try to be reliable and have a trouble free race.
Q: Question for Rubens; yesterday, for the qualification, you said you tried something new. Does it often happen often that you try something new for this very important moment?
RB: No actually yesterday, I can say that it was the fact that I had a problem, that I stopped earlier, didn't allow myself to try the other type of tyre. And because Friday is only about trying, I tried the other type of tyre and it was just different in a way. We made it a lot better. At the end of the day, I was much happier but what happened yesterday taught me a hell of a lot in terms of set-up and everything, because the tyre was really good.
Q: Question for Kimi; do you think this position on the grid could be a good chance to reduce the gap in the championship?
KR: It's not too bad now but the race is a completely different story. Everybody saw that Michael made a mistake and I don't know but without that, he might have been very quick. But then it's difficult to overtake here anyhow and it's better this way than the other way around but we will see what happens tomorrow.
Q: Michael tried to beat you and in this project, he's now behind Kimi and Ralf Schumacher. How do you analyse that?
RB: To be honest with you, I don't think he tried to beat me. At the end of the day, we go there not to beat someone; we try to be ahead of everybody. Of course, when you have your team-mate going quite well, it might have created some pressure, but I think Michael is already an old boy that has lots of experience. So I don't think he went there to beat my time. He did what he had to do. My lap was really good so in order for him to be on pole position, he had to try and if he hadn't gone on the grass we don't know if the lap would have been better; we don't know. We have to ask him.
Q: Jarno, this is the second time that Renault has been on the front row this year, but would you say that this is more important than in Malaysia?
JT: Well, it's always important to be on the front row. Definitely, this time has a different taste because we are approaching the end of the season and we are still proving that the team is growing up and is doing a good job. We keep improving our car. We've got, as I say, a new engine update, a new aero package, so we're not giving up. We know that we are comfortably fourth in the Constructors championship but we are still aiming for a better result for the end of the season.