19 April 2012
Thursday press conference - Bahrain GP - Pt.1
Yes, absolutely. If you do 200kms of testing before the first race, every lap, every kilometre you do is like a learning process for us at the moment. I'm quite happy with the past races, I think we've closed the gap quite significantly: last qualifying we were three seconds behind; first race we had five and a half seconds, so there's a clear step forward and that's good.
The results seem positive and the car's reliable as well, how far can you go, do you feel?
I hope we can continue like this in terms of improvements but it will be difficult. European season everyone comes with new updates so we just have to work hard and continue the process we're doing at the moment. It would be great to have at every race a step like we had in China, so we have to see what we can do. We have some little parts here, which could improve the car again, so we're looking forward to it. I think we have a good baseline to really catch-up.
Is the big update coming at Barcelona like most people?
Yeah, we're working on it. It's not definite how much we will get out of it but at the moment we're getting new parts every race. If that continues I don't care how big the update is in Barcelona. If you can keep it up through the whole year that's more important.
Lewis, did you expect to be leading the Championship with three third places after three races?
Good afternoon everyone, no, definitely not. The target every year I think is to have consistency and sometimes it just doesn't go to plan but this year I think we've been quite fortunate. Finishing on the podium for the first three races has been fantastic for us. Obviously it's very early in the season. In previous seasons you've seen Championship leaders swapping and changing throughout the year so it doesn't really mean too much at the moment.
Do you feel your car is suited to this circuit? I mean it seems that the game has changed this year with less downforce. The tyres are just so, so important, even more than they have been before – is that the case?
I personally don't think they're much more important than in the past, I think last year we had similar tyre degradation and we had to manage the tyres in a similar way. If you look at the last race the people on a two-stop were slow at the end of the race and people on three stop were overtaking them. It was the same last year – that's how I won the race. This year the tyre window, the working range is slightly narrower than it was last year, which is making it a little more difficult for people to warm-up the tyres in qualifying, for example. It is a little more challenging but it's providing good racing.
And who is your main competitor? Is he [Nico] your main competitor having been the winner of the last race, or your team-mate? It's difficult to say, isn't it?
It is very difficult to say. You know, when you look at qualifying we're competitive there, Mercedes is now the quickest but it's quite close between a lot of the cars, but in the race pace then you look at the Red Bull being very quick, the Mercedes is very quick, we are quick, even Sauber's quick. It's a real mixture at the moment and it's just about trying to stay consistent and trying to maximise every opportunity you have.
Nico, sadly only a few days to enjoy the win from last weekend but very interesting, this is a circuit that you've done very well on in F3, in GP2, made your F1 debut here and had fastest lap – you must be looking forward to this weekend?
Yeah, for sure. This is a track I really enjoy, I've had some very good memories here but again it's just difficult to know where we're going to be exactly. In Shanghai of course we did very well but previously we did have a few issues in the races, so it's possible it's going to be a bit more difficult here.
Tagged as: Ferrari , Mclaren , Lewis Hamilton , Glock , Mercedes , Rosberg , Romain Grosjean , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Timo Glock , Felipe Massa , press conference , Bahrain , Lotus , Grosjean
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