QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe)
Lewis, you said you were good on the track and McLaren is good also. Is it your best chance at the beginning of the year to beat the Red Bulls as they are not so good in Montreal?
I would like to think so but again they have been fast at every circuit. I think they have been incredibly successful on all the circuits so far, so you have to assume they will be very quick here as well. But perhaps, as in the last race, maybe the gap will be a little bit closer compared to places like Barcelona. I am expecting to see that through a lot of the field. I would definitely say, looking at the next few races, that this is definitely one of the better ones for us.
Q: (Dave Stubbs - Montreal Gazette)
Lewis, this race will feature two DRS zones. How is that going to change the complexion of this race as you see it?
We use the DRS in qualifying, so we use it everywhere we can. I think the great thing here is you see quite a lot of overtaking here. You have the great long straight coming out of a hairpin. I definitely think it is not always easy to follow through corners still as you still need downforce. But the DRS, having it in two places, I think will enable people to get even closer. It is a long, long straight. I don't know where they put the DRS zone exactly for those straights. I think it will just make racing even better. Of course the FIA will assess if it is too easy or not too easy. I think we will work together with them to make sure the zones are set in the right place so we don't just whizz past people halfway down the straights. I think so far this year it has been fantastic for racing and enabled people to get close to actually make safe manoeuvres, so I think this weekend you will probably see that as well.
Still regarding the two DRS zones, do you think it would be maybe a more exciting show to have the second zone at the Wall of Champions, so that whoever gets past in zone one can try to fight back in zone two.
Yeah, I guess it will make it much tougher. When you overtake one person you overtake them but then they are able to use DRS in the next zone. It is going to make it much harder as when you make an overtaking manoeuvre usually you are able to pull a little bit of a gap by the next lap so hopefully they are not right behind you but here you won't have. They will be right on your tail so I guess strategy and depending on where you use the DRS and the way you overtake it is going to be interesting, I would assume everyone would probably wait, just stay behind them and not even bother overtaking on the first DRS zone and wait for the last one so for the rest of the lap they are able to pull away.
Q: (Francois Drabli – Pole Position Magazine)
Lewis, yesterday you were driving Ferraris at Mont Tremblant race track in the Laurentians, so do we see a trend there?
No, no, no. I was just at a friend's house and they were the only cars that he had, so I had a little bit of a go.
Q: (Francois Drabli – Pole Position Magazine)
Did you have fun go-karting at the same time there ?
I didn't do any go-karting. I had planned to go there and just have some fun and he has a lot of cars, so I was going to get to drive a McLaren – the GTR longtail – but I thought it was probably just wise to just drive a road car around a couple of laps, so I only did a couple of laps, but I will definitely be going back at some stage to make sure I can use all the rubber that he has and all the brakes he has and it's free, so it should be fun.
Q: (Marco degli Innocenti – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, we have learnt that there has been an exchange of letters between you and President of the FIA about the issues in Monaco. What's your mood now, don't you think that you are too often a sort of target for a lot of criticism for your behaviour, not necessarily as a driver? Don't you feel a little under permanent judgement?
No. Well, last week, coming back from the Grand Prix, I had some time to reflect on my behaviour and my weekend and again, just a feeling of it just being a bad day, a bad weekend in the office, so I wrote a letter to the FIA to apologise, and I also spoke to the drivers. I just felt it was necessary to do that, I think it was the right thing for me to do and to be able to put everything behind me. This is racing, you know. When you're competitive – and this is the pinnacle of motor sport – and it's not easy to overtake in this sport, and so every manoeuvre you make is definitely questionable. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't. So it's inevitable when I do quite a lot of overtaking quite often, so sometimes it's going to be right, sometimes not, but I think the stewards are doing a great job. Since I've been in Formula One, it's been improving, the consistency of the rules, the approach of the stewards with the new racing driver, I think it makes it much better so while I would prefer not to be up at the stewards' office so often – and trust me, I'm trying my hardest to stay out of there – my whole life I was always in the headmaster's office so I'm used to it. I would just try to improve and learn from the situations that I get myself into.
Q: (Martin Samuel – The Daily Mail)
Question to you all: Rubens Barrichello, speaking as the chairman of your association, said today that the drivers were not opposed in principle to racing in Bahrain. Can I ask you gentlemen if that is true and if so, why is it not a matter of principle to race in Bahrain?