23 March 2012
Malaysian GP - Friday press conference - Pt.1
Friday's FIA press conference from Sepang in Malaysia with Riad Asmat, Monisha Kaltenborn, Gerard Lopez, Martin Whitmarsh, Stefano Domenicali and Christian Horner.
Team Representatives: Riad Asmat (Caterham), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber), Gerard Lopez (Lotus), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Christian Horner (Red Bull).
Riad, if I can start with you, just a quick question about Melbourne to here. I think you were perhaps a bit disappointed with the performance in Melbourne - are things going to be better this weekend?
We're hoping so, we found reasons why we were disappointed in Melbourne but obviously that's been sorted. Obviously I still want to second or two definitely, but I think for sure we'll show some good pace for this weekend. We're prepared for tomorrow and we'll see where we go from there.
Does that mean Q2?
We always try, because my head is on the block.
Monisha, first of all the result in Melbourne was what you should have had a year ago I guess. It that the feeling?
No, we don't want to think about a year ago actually. Indeed we have this time a very good start to the racing season. Our drivers showed an excellent performance during the race, we weren't that happy with qualifying but we're glad that overall we could get confirmation on the potential of the C31 and that it's a good basis for developing further, which will be key this year.
Gerard, you have obviously hired Kimi Räikkönen. When he was perhaps going to Williams, allegedly he was asking for a share in the team. Does he have a share in the team at Lotus? Did he ask for a share of the team?
No he didn't and no he doesn't. It's that clear. I don't know where that came from. It probably came from his previous negotiations but we would not hire anybody, a driver, by selling shares of the team, that's kind of a nonsense thing.
You wouldn't want to give a shareholding to a…
No, I mean he's a driver, and that's it, so you pay him as a driver. You don't make him a co-owner of the team, that's kind of an odd way of dealing with drivers. It would be for us in any case.
Martin, I mentioned this yesterday to Jenson, it was interesting in the preview to the race Lewis talked about how Jenson had the ability to light up the tyres in Melbourne at the start of the race when he pulled away and also after the safety car. Is that something you've noticed? Is that something that's been manifesting itself in testing?
I don't think we've noticed it as a particularly significant phenomena. Clearly it depends where you are with tyre heating but I think in that race both drivers were able to get the tyres going pretty quickly. They're very different conditions from here, obviously. It was pretty good for both of them, I think.
So that's not going to be something that's an issue?
Well I think circumstance here is quite a lot different - I think it's pretty easy to over-heat the tyres here.
Stefano, give us an update today. Have things changed, has anything changed in comparison to Melbourne?
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