Reproduced with kind permission of the FIA
Drivers - Charles Pic (Caterham), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Giedo van der Garde (Caterham), Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Felipe Massa (Ferrari).
Q: Charles, your second Formula One season, now of course with Caterham. What are your feelings about that? Do you feel that youre making progress yourself now that you are in your second season?
Charles Pic: Yeah, of course. The first races were a bit difficult for us and then from China and Bahrain especially we made steps forwards and the car was working much better and I think we are still in this positive mood. We have to keep working like that. Monaco was not an easy one for us. I think the pace and performance was quite good, especially in the race, but then we had this issue with the gearbox. Overall Im happy with the evolution we have had.
Q: To some extent you are the team leader, in that you have more experience than Giedo. Is the progress with the car being driven by you?
CP: No, I think when you do progress its driven by everybody in the team. Its a team effort and teamwork, driven by the two drivers and all the team.
Q: Jean-Eric, youve already had a busy morning. What have you been up to already today?
Jean-Eric Vergne: I was at the Polytechnic school, with the FIA for the Action for Road Safety campaign and we had a bit of a chat with the students about safety, the Golden Rules and it was nice. I drove a simulator, so yeah.
Q: Well, you obviously had a very good qualifying in Monaco and followed it up with a good race, it was the fourth time youve finished eighth in a grand prix. The question is whether the car is suited to here and can you carry over that performance to here?
JEV: Yeah, hopefully. Everything can happen in Canada. Last year wasnt really a good race for me but you know I think we can carry on the momentum. Definitely the car is getting better and better every race. We obviously dont have anything new here but I think the whole package that we have is good enough to make a good race again here. I think the improvement on the car is going to continue for the whole season and Im really pleased with that.
Q: And the improvement with you in qualifying, thats important?
JEV: Definitely. You know, you need to work really well during the whole weekend and to have a good qualifying, especially in Monaco, is really important. I think Im just improving race by race, its as simple as that.
Q: Giedo, a good performance again in Monaco. Here we are at another temporary circuit, but a circuit you dont know. Can you carry over that performance from Monaco to here?
Giedo van der Garde: Well see by Saturday. I think so. The progress is going quite well. We knew that our first four races would be tough but the last few ones we made good progression. The relationship with the team is getting better, the work relationship is good, so I think we can do a good job here again.
Q: You said earlier on in the year that youd need probably a third of the season to find your feet. Are you finding your feet now?
GVDG: Yeah, as a rookie its not easy to come in and the first four races were just to learn as much as possible and now the progress is going really well, the relationship with the engineers is really well, with the whole team. So Im a happy man at the moment.
Q: Again, this is a new circuit to you. Are you finding it difficult to learn circuits?
GVDG: We did some practice on the simulator and I like more or less always a street circuit, so lets see how it goes.
Q: Pastor, a big accident in Monaco, any after-effects from that?
Pastor Maldonado: No, no, Im OK. I was OK. It was a reset.
Q: Weve had a third of the season. Are you seeing progress at Williams?
PM: Yes. I mean, it was quite difficult to understand the car since the beginning of the season. Especially from the first race. Weve been fighting a lot to try to fix the problems. We fix the problems but they are not easy to show. We have been working very hard, 24hours a day in the factory, especially in the wind tunnel. The problems are coming from aerodynamic. Weve been trying to make some progress. I think we understand now a bit more the car and hopefully this race should be much better for us.
Q: What difference should a new chassis make?
PM: The chassis is more-or-less the same. Just some new parts, aero parts. Hopefully we are going to solve not all the problems but have a step forward. We have been expecting that for some time.
Q: Felipe, we saw you last in a [medical] collar. And you also have a new chassis here. Tell us a little more about that accident.
Felipe Massa: It was two accidents actually! It looks really similar, if you look from the television, but it was completely different accident. The first one, it was, I had just locked the wheels, went over the bumps and then I went straight. I hit the guardrail first and then I went straight. And the second one, I had a failure in the suspension. It was two different accidents in the same place. It looks very similar but it was two different things. The good thing is that Im fine. I just felt a little bit of pain on my neck after because two crashes on the same place, in the same direction, yknow? But it was just muscles and its fine. One hundred percent fine.
Q: And no dent in your confidence?
FM: No. For sure no. One hundred percent confident for here.
Q: How important is a good result here for Ferrari? Because it wasnt a very good result in Monaco.
FM: Yeah, I think its very important. We didnt have the weekend we expected in Monaco. Just looking forward to going back to a good weekend - for both: for me, for Fernando, for the team. I hope the car works well on this track and we can fight for another podium again?
Q: Nico, has the euphoria of Monaco finally worn off?
Nico Rosberg: Unfortunately yes! It goes quite quick in this sport. Already a couple of days afterwards, the focus went completely to Montreal. I mean, first of all understanding what we did right and wrong in Monaco and then preparing for Montreal and trying to get the most out of this weekend.
Q: But you seem to be on a roll with pole positions. What chances?
NR: Yes, well, qualifying has been very good. Our car has been the quickest car in qualifying for quite some time now. So, as a speed, I think we just have a very, very fast car. So Im confident Ill be quite far up the grid again in qualifying here. It is a different situation a little bit here: its lower downforce so that could mix things up a little bit, different track and everything so well have to wait and see - but qualifying should be good, yeah.
Q: It is a very different circuit in terms of demands; high speed and low grip as opposed to low speed and high grip, so it should be interesting to see if the car works here as well.
NR: Yes - and thats why we need to be a little bit carefully coming here. It could be a little bit of a different situation. Some other teams might be stronger or whatever. But in general were going to be there or thereabouts.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Kate Walker - GP Week) Nico, I understand youre not allowed to comment on an awful lot of aspects of the recent tyre test, but one thing that we were wondering is because it was a Pirelli-specific test - you werent testing new components, anything like that - why were you and Lewis doing the driving rather than (test driver) Sam (Bird)?
NR: Dont know. That was what the team decided. I think also for Pirelli its better if we are in the car, because its more representative because Sam doesnt drive much, so for sure he wont be able to go on our pace and bring the Pirellis through the laps exactly as we would, who had the experience of the Grand Prix that weekend. So definitely for Pirelli its an advantage to have us in the car, I would say.
Q: (Alex Popov - RTR) Nico, there are a lot of completely useless statistics but one that is interesting about Canada is that you have qualified 6-0 here against your team mates and Lewis has qualified 5-0 against his team mates, so how important will it be on Saturday for you?
NR: I didnt know that. Its a track I like, definitely. I enjoy this track. Im confident coming here and qualifying is going to be exciting and important also, but a little bit less important at this track (than Monaco) maybe because you can overtake and tyre degradation is going to be an issue, so theres going to be a lot happening in the race. But anyway, as in all tracks, even with this statistic or no statistics, its always a big challenge to try and be ahead of Lewis in qualifying because hes obviously very, very quick.
Q: (Alex Popov - RTR) For everybody, would you comment on Sergios race in Monaco? Do you agree with Kimis views or not?
JEV: Im not going to comment.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Felipe, why have you never got on the podium here, is there a special reason for that?
FM: So, why I never made a podium here? I think my best result was fourth. I think last year was pretty much in the right direction as well, I just spun but I was pretty quick during the weekend. Why, I dont know. But I will try, definitely, one hundred percent.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Nico, if you say it was just a normal test, why were you and Lewis using anonymous helmets?
NR: Dont want to comment on that. Sorry.
Q: (Luis Fernando Ramos - Racing Magazine) Nico and Felipe, the more experienced of the drivers; if its dry tomorrow you will try these new Pirelli tyres in free practice; is this a track too specific to draw any conclusions or will it be OK, you can draw conclusions from here and use them on other circuits in the season?
NR: For sure you can draw conclusions, yeah. Hopefully we will get a few dry laps and it will be good to try them and understand a bit more of what is to come and what to expect in the next races.
FM: I dont think it will be so easy to have a conclusion. First of all, its maybe raining; you can forget about a conclusion and you need to see how many laps you can do on the tyres to understand (them), so its not also an easy track to understand. Its a track that is getting better all the time, during practice, so it wont be so easy to get a conclusion, I think.
Q: (Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Serra) Felipe, you had a tough moment after the accident in 2009 when you had to come back and drive. Is it easier now or is it almost the same from a psychological point of view?
FM: Its completely different because I dont remember anything about my accident and now I remember everything (about my two in Monaco) but that wasnt the problem. I was fine so I just got out of the car and it was no problem. I think when you are OK you dont have any problem, you just jump in the car and you go out again. Its completely different from 2009.
Q: (Sean Gordon - The Globe and Mail) What are your favourite memories of Montreal, whether its on or off the track?
FM: I hope it will be this weekend. Well, I think it was a very good race that I did for Sauber in 2004, I guess. I was fourth, so it was a very good race. I think that was the best.
NR: Not sure, maybe the qualifying my first year; Im not sure if I was fifth or sixth, but it was a great qualifying that year, so maybe that was a good memory.
PM: I have no good memories of this track.
GVDG: I think my best memory is in 2001 when I was here for the Kart World Championship. It was my first race in Formula Super A and I won the first race, so it was a good memory. Long way back.
JEV: I dont really remember. Maybe my holidays here. Thats it.
CP: Last year it was my first time here. Qualifying was a bit tough for us but we had a good race afterwards, so I think it was last years race.
Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Nico, last year after Monaco you were 17 points behind the leader; now you are 60 points behind. Do you think you could still be in a better position for the rest of the season, right now, compared to last year?
NR: Last year, at the same point in time, I was quite confident for the rest of the season, because we were really in a good string of results. I think there were six races where I got the most points so at the same point in time I was quite confident, but looking back, of course, it didnt go well. Now, again, Im confident, yeah, because the car is very fast at the moment and its just a matter of getting a better grip on the tyres and trying to understand them better and better and were in that process at the moment. Its really not easy but I think hopefully were making some progress. We will see again this weekend. This weekend is going to be a big challenge for that but if we can get a grip on that then its going to be a good next couple of races so Im quite confident, yeah, maybe more confident now, then.
Q: (Pierre Durocher - Journal de Montreal) Nico, how concerned are you about the tyre wear on this track?
NR: It will definitely be one of the key aspects of the weekend. We have the supersofts again here, degradation is going to be an issue and possibly thats going to be the decider as to who wins the race, who has the best control over that.
Q: Which would you prefer: a dry or wet race, given the problems you have been having with the tyres?
NR: I dont know. Possibly even wet, yeah, because our car is really quick in the wet. Ive been feeling very comfortable in the wet this year, maybe even wet, yeah.
Q: (Ernesto Nigro - F1 Plus.com) In-season testing over the use of simulators; how much more effective would that be and would you welcome it back?
FM: It would be welcomed, definitely. A simulator is always what we have, to try to understand something, but its always a simulator so when you are in the real situation on the track, you definitely understand a lot better so it would be welcome.
NR: Just as Felipe said, its so difficult to get the simulator one hundred percent realistic so there are always several things that are better when you test the real car, more accurate.
GVDG: I think its also good for a rookie to have more track time, of course. Its how it is now.
Q: (Olivier Arbour - Radio Canada) To all of you: what do you think about Sergio Perezs driving; do you share Buttons view that he should maybe calm down, or are you more on Raikkonens side?
GVDG: If nobody comments I will comment. I know Checco quite well, we were teammates together in 2010. I think hes a real fighter, you know, and hes a guy who wants to win - everybody likes to win - but of course how he raced in Monaco, sometimes he did well, sometimes going over (the top) but I think its a tough call.
PM: No comment.
Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) This subject is old but its interesting to hear from all of you who never won the world championship up to now, about the Wall of Champions here. Is there any particular reason it attracts world champions there, is there any technical challenge that explains all the incidents we have there?
NR: Its a nice little legend, its a difficult corner, yeah, because if you go in a little bit too fast you get that second kerb too much and youre in the wall, so its a very, very challenging corner, but theres no reason to explain why a lot of world champions have gone in there.
FM: Its two different things: its a different corner, its a corner that if you try to be a bit too aggressive you can hit the wall but its two different things.
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