22 March 2012
Malaysian GP – Thursday press conference – Pt.2
Sergio, there have been a few rumours these days of your name linked to Ferrari should Ferrari decide to replace Felipe. How do you take these rumours, and what do you think about them?
Well, it's only the first race of the season so it's very early to speculate. I'm really focused with my team, with Sauber. I think we have a great car and there's nothing more that I can say, just focused on my team, to try to make as many points as possible because we have a very competitive car and I was to trying to make the most out of the car we have. Melbourne was a difficult weekend for me because I had the gearbox issue so I couldn't do a lap in qualifying so I qualified last and finished eighth. So it was a good race, and hopefully this weekend we can manage a good weekend. And as for the rumours… they are only rumours.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Fernando, when you say that Ferrari and you are going to defend yourselves in this race, are you aiming for fifth or sixth position, as in Melbourne, or do you think you could do something better or are you looking at Lotus who had a pretty difficult race, and it could be problematic for Ferrari to finish in front of them?
We'll see. I think we need to wait and see at the start of free practice. We don't have a crystal ball to envisage our position. I think we need to see how competitive we can be here on this different circuit. As I said, we don't expect any big miracles from Australia to Malaysia because the cars are identical but who knows? In Australia, no one thought that we could finish fifth. I think there were two McLarens, two Red Bulls, McLarens (he may mean Mercedes), Saubers, Toro Rossos so there were a lot of people quicker than us. In the race, for different reasons, with some mechanical problems as Michael had, Grosjean crashed on lap three/lap four, Kimi was out in Q1 so there were some incidents in the race that helped us finish fifth. Here, with a normal race, maybe we will finish further behind, maybe with a more crazy race or rain or something, we can finish in front, so we have to play before we see what we can do.
Q: (Carlos Miguel Gomez - La Gaceta)
Michael, one of the last times you were here with Fernando was in 2003; as you may remember Fernando was a young guy and put his finger up to the rest on pole. Did you believe then that that guy could become a World Champion?
I don't know when I started to think that Fernando might be World Champion, but I think his talent has proved that from early stages onwards… I still remember a very good race that you did with Minardi - I think it may even be the first race in Australia. I think he proved his point straight away.
Q: (Carlos Miguel Gomez - La Gaceta)
And the second question is for the poleman of 2003 (Alonso): in which race do you expect Ferrari's big step forward?
I don't think it will be one race in which we change the car. This is up to you that you write that there will be a new car coming. I think at every race we will try to make improvements as we did over the last few years and it won't be just for us; I think everyone will make updates at every race. We just need to make ours work a little bit more. Obviously we have a little advantage from that because our car needs more speed and maybe it's easier for us to find than for some others whose cars are maybe more developed than ours. New parts will slowly come at every race and hopefully they work, but there's not one magic race or one magic moment when we think things can change. I think we will work day and night and as I said before; the team is very focused on that and I see great reaction from everybody, so I expect a strong Ferrari soon.
Q: (Alex Popov - RTR)
Pastor, it was a brilliant drive in Melbourne but in the early stage of the race you made contact with Grosjean and people at Lotus are very unhappy about this. Romain said you didn't leave space for him in the corner. Can you describe your point of view of this incident?
I think that I was completely in front. The overtaking manoeuvre was at the entry of the corner and I was quite surprised because the Lotus suspension seemed really fragile because the contact was minimal and it was not intentional. It was a clear movement, so it was a bit disappointing for Romain because he did a very good job, especially in qualifying. The car even looks pretty strong but this is racing.
Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association)
Pastor, you said earlier in the press conference that you're over your last lap accident; has it actually been easy to put that behind you these past few days, because I ask that more from the team perspective because you were on course to take more points in that one race than Williams managed throughout the entire season last year?
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