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Press conference - Antonio Pizzonia 26 Aug 2004

With Antonio Pizzonia (Williams).

Q: How do you think your return to Formula One racing has gone?
Antonio PIZZONIA:
I think it is pretty good actually. It is always difficult to come back after one year without any kind of racing. I think at Hockenheim I struggled a little bit, especially at the beginning of the race, you know everything was a little bit quicker than I was expecting. Hungary was a bit better and I think it is going quite well and I am quite happy. Obviously I want better results and more points so I'm working for that.

Q: What had really changed, do you feel, since you were last in Formula One?
AP:
I don't think there is a lot of change you know, it is just about getting used to it again. Obviously, the first lap is always very quick, there is a lot of things going on at the start as well and I think it takes a little while to get used to it again. Like I said, Hockenheim was a bit difficult, Budapest was a little bit better and hopefully here will be even better.

Q: The race in Hungary, was that quite difficult for you in the fact that it is so difficult to overtake there?
AP:
It was. In the beginning, it was a bit disappointing really because we had such a good qualifying. We had a very good strategy for the race but obviously the start didn't really help us. The fact of being a difficult circuit for overtaking didn't help, but during the race things were going a little bit better, I managed to make up two positions and I think the race was quite good also. But obviously we were expecting to be a lot higher than where I was.

Q: So what happens in the future? Are you literally racing on a race-by-race basis at the moment?
AP:
At the moment, yes. All depends on how early Ralf will come back. I think he is going to be testing after the race here in Monza for three days and we will see how he is going to be after the test. If he is ready he will be racing at Monza as far as I know.

Q: And presumably you still have your testing contract until the end of the year?
AP:
Yes until the end of the year.

Q: What about next year? Are you looking for, having proved yourself again in the last couple of races and hopefully this one, are you looking for a race seat?
AP:
Yeah. I want to be racing again for sure. At the moment I still have a contract with Williams but I will see. At the moment I am only concentrating on the race here and I think I still have a lot to prove. Hopefully if I have a good result here, things will change a little bit. It is already changing, getting better, but I think we are still not there yet. I think I want to be racing for a good team. If I have to be racing for a small team again I would rather be testing.

Q: So is Jaime, your manager, talking to big teams at the moment? Are they talking to him?
AP:
You better talk to him. There is not many seats left for sure but we are talking to a few teams. But like I said I want to wait a bit more until this one and I'm very confident we are going to have a good result here.

Q: Now why is that? Because it was interesting because we saw on BBC Ceefax in England that Pizzonia wants to win here…
AP:
I want to win every race, not only here, like everyone else. We all want to win. I want to be on the podium here and I think we can do it. It is a good track for Williams here, it is a good track for us. Obviously we didn't race here last year so it is going to be similar to how it used to be. I know there is a new part on the track but that is not going to change a lot. But I think it is a very good track for us so hopefully we are going to be doing well. The team has been doing a great job at the last two races and hopefully we can keep up the pace.

Q: And you think it is a good track for you too…
AP:
I did two races here, probably four races here already and I always had good results here. I know the track I would say better than Hockenheim and Budapest in the wet and in the dry and it should be a good weekend for us.

Q: One thing that has changed on the car is that front section of the car. Have you noticed a change, is it better? It seems to be. Juan Pablo for example doesn't think it is much better…
AP:
It is a small difference. We knew it was not going to be a big change, it is a small difference. It is a bit better but we are probably going to see a bigger difference here because all the high-speed corners and it should be better for sure.

Q: Other developments, are they coming through despite the testing ban?
AP:
There is a lot of people at the factory working flat out all of the time trying to improve the car so that at every race we have some new parts. Here we have some new parts as well. They all should go in the right direction. I still don't think we are going to be able to match Ferrari's pace here but we hope to be a lot closer.

Q: What about the test at Monza? Are you still going to be involved in that or is it going to be just Juan Pablo and Ralf?
AP:
I'll be there as a spare driver, but at the moment there's no plan for me to test if everything goes well. If Ralf has a problem then I will step in and finish the test and probably race again.

Q: If you are used in that test you'll probably have an indication that you are going to race as well…
AP:
That's right yeah.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News) Did your relationship with Juan Pablo change when you went from a tester to being a team-mate and a competitor?
AP:
Not really. We get on really well, we always did, and we still do. I'm sure my relationship with him is a lot better than his relationship with Ralf, which is good for the team.

Q: (Dan Knutson) Does he help you as much as he did when you were testing or is there no difference there?
AP:
There is no difference there really. We don't talk a lot about what we are doing. Obviously I know what he is doing all of the time because my engineers try to follow both cars and see what is the best. He does the same thing. But we don't really talk that much about what we are doing. Sometimes a little bit but not that much.

Q: What do you think of Rubens' chance of winning the world championship because Rubens still says he has a chance?
AP:
It's a long championship, there is not many races left, but I think it will be difficult. I don't think it is impossible but it will be difficult for sure. Michael is dominating everything and he should win the championship.

Q: Rubens does say that he still has a chance. I guess he is an eternal optimist perhaps…
AP:
He has a chance. Mathematically he has chance. But it would be difficult.

Q: (Alain Pernot – L’Auto-Journal) What do you think about this track? It will be the first time you compete here in Formula One, what do you think about that and what are your expectations?
AP:
I've been waiting a long time to drive a Formula One car. It's a special place for sure. The first time I raced here was probably 1999 in Formula Renaults and it is my favourite track. It should be even better in a Formula One car so I'm really looking forward to having a good weekend here.