F1 » 10 November 2011
Thursday press conference - Abu Dhabi GP - Pt.1
Abu Dhabi GP Thursday FIA press conference with Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso), Paul di Resta (Force India), Timo Glock (Virgin), Heikki Kovalainen (Team Lotus), Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault).
Drivers: Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso), Paul di Resta (Force India), Timo Glock (Virgin), Heikki Kovalainen (Team Lotus), Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault).
Tonio, one or two changes in the team. Have you seen differences within the team and how the team has reacted?
I have to say the team is changing, on-going at the moment, the structure is improving every time and I think there are a lot of changes for next year, plans on-going in the next month. I think the structure improved a lot during the 2011 season, we are focussed on 2012. We want to improve and get better in the field and I feel these changes are going in the right direction for the future. Still nothing completely clear how will be the line-up for next year in terms of the set-up of the team, but I think we are going forward.
Your future? Would you just clarify that? Did you say something has not been decided yet?
No, I was talking about the team, not about me or the other drivers. For me I always said I have a long-term contract with the team. We started with this adventure and we knew that it could not be just a one-year situation if we wanted to improve. The team hired me to help them develop and bring experience in the team and I think everything is going well and everything is looking positive for the future so not much to say about it.
So you are hopeful of staying and going forward?
Yes, I believe so.
Heikki, both drivers have been confirmed for next year. You seem to still be making progress as well with the team. Again, a certain amount of optimism I would have thought?
Yeah, absolutely. I think we made more progress than the other two new teams in these last couple of years especially this year. We need to take the next step, but I think the team is making the right kind of moves back at the factory and in terms of the structure of the team to go forward so I am confident and I am optimistic that next year we will move another step forward. It has not been too far away, actually, in the last few races. I have been able to race some of the cars ahead of us so it is not that much we need anymore to join the pack and then the middle of the field and to be ahead of them we need a bigger step. Hopefully over the winter we can make another gain compared to the teams directly ahead of us.
Tell us your view of the way Tony Fernandes works. He seems to be a particularly dynamic guy running goodness knows how many companies. Not only the racing team, Caterham and even Queens Park Rangers.
Yeah, he is an exciting guy. He is not afraid of making decisions and taking an adventure into an unknown. I think that, quite often, is how the good leaders and successful businessmen, how they work. To make a successful business you have quite often got to do something different to what the group of people is doing and he is certainly doing that. This morning was a good example of how Tony operates. I sent him a text regarding Caterham, his car company, and I said we should do that. He just texted me back, 'Done, tell Riad (Asmat)' and so, the deal was done. That's how he works and I believe he meant that. I really enjoyed working with him and it was one of the reasons I joined the team and I have enjoyed these last two years. He is a funny guy.
Timo, do you feel you have done a good job this year overall? Obviously it has been a very difficult at the back of the grid and what are your thoughts on next year as well?
Yeah, I am happy with my performance in general. I think I got the maximum out of the package we had. I just did my best in qualifying and the race. Sometimes we were a bit unlucky in the race, like in India at the last race. In general, as I said, with the package we got it out most of the time and now we have to keep concentrating on working for next year and make improvements like Lotus did this year and move on.
Tagged as: Glock , Toro Rosso , Heikki Kovalainen , Timo Glock , Virgin , Abu Dhabi , press conference , Force India F1 , Vitaly Petrov , Sébastien Buemi , HRT , Vitantonio Liuzzi , Petrov , di resta , Paul di Resta
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