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Thursday press conference - Spanish GP - Pt.2

Thursday FIA press conference from Spain with Kamui Kobayashi, Nico Hulkenberg, Pedro de la Rosa, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel
Drivers: Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Pedro de la Rosa (HRT), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull).

Questions from the floor

Q: (Alex Popov – RTR TV).
Question for Pedro and Fernando, about the Spanish Grand Prix in general because here and there we read about the difficult situation in Valencia, the difficult situation in Barcelona and now we have two grand prix but in the worst situation we will finish with no grand prix at all. Your thoughts about it.

Pedro de la Rosa:
I've said a lot already since the first time we were told that Spain would have two grand's prix, that it was a historical moment and a unique situation and we should be very, very proud of it. I still say the same answer: we still have two grands prix in Spain this year, and we should, all of us, be very proud, very happy and maximise this moment and then wait for the future to tell us what will happen – which is completely out of our hands, you know? This is all I can say. I'm very happy to be here, this is a Spanish Grand Prix, but also a Spanish Grand Prix with a Spanish driver in a Spanish team – so let's forget about what might happen in the future because, as I said, I have absolutely no control over it.

Q: (Mike Doodson – Honorary).
Gentlemen, Michael Schumacher persistently criticises the Pirelli tyres, or at least the policy of Pirelli. To us and the fans it's clear that Pirelli has been a major ingredient in the improvement of the quality of the racing this year and last year. Do any of you share Michael's concerns about the tyres or do you think he's just making excuses for not winning?

Fernando Alonso:
I think Seb should answer, being German.

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah? I think, y'know, we get a completely different impression inside the car than you might get outside the car. So, you're always talking of two different worlds. I think for us quality of racing, if you compare racing today, you have to, I think, look after your tyres a lot more than probably you had to three, four, five years ago. For us, if you take, for instance, 2009 where we were allowed to refuel, we had new tyres and the tyres lasted longer, in that they didn't see that much degradation. It's a different quality inside the car because you can push nearly every lap similar to qualifying, whereas now I think the racing is different: we fuel the cars up, they are much heavier, and if you have a heavier car there's more stress for the tyres, so it puts the whole thing in a different window. If you put a new set of tyres on with 20 laps to go, or 15 laps to go, which is, let's say, the stint length, earlier, a couple of years ago, it's a different world for the tyres. The tyres do see more degradation and then we start to slide and then one guy slides more than the other because he puts his tyres on two laps earlier. It creates a different type of racing, more overtaking, which I imagine is seen as better quality from the outside, simply because things happen. I think it depends what you really want. We have more overtaking. Fernando is good with numbers, so like Fernando said earlier. I think the races today – over the last two years since we have changed a couple of things – has become much better. Also for us. I had a race here where I was following – how many laps is the race, 66? – I think I was following Felipe [Massa] for 60 laps out of that and I couldn't pass. Nowadays you know that your chance will come in the race and that's changing the position inside the car as well.


Fernando Alonso:
I don't know. I agree with Seb but I don't agree that Michael has continually criticised Pirelli. Michael said one thing and what has been written in the press has maybe exaggerated what he said. I read what he said and I don't see any big problem with that.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Fernando, you have a very different car from this race. Let's suppose this car does not correspondent to that criteria…

Fernando Alonso:
We'll see, we'll see after the race, because we don't know what car we have. Obviously we have new parts, but everybody has new parts. Because it's Ferrari, there are quite a lot of expectations every race we go to. It seems like only Ferrari is bringing new parts. We have a step forward, we believe, on what we had in Bahrain, but we also know that it's not the last step we have to do. It's a continuous work, that we need to start here in Barcelona, making a step forward and try to improve our qualifying position and our race pace, but in Monaco we have to bring new parts. In Canada (we have to) bring new parts. So we will not bring a new car to every race as it seems that we brought here in Barcelona.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
But just to finish the question: if the car does not correspond…

Fernando Alonso:
I answer you on Sunday.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Yes, but just to finish: considering your car has completely new ideas, a revolutionary car, do you think this could be the end of the season for Ferrari and you will start thinking about next year's car?

Fernando Alonso:
I don't think so. I don't think so. We need to see how the car works here and if it works fine, it will be a good step, the first step of many that we have to do during the next couple of races. If the step is not good enough, because the others improved the same or more than us so we remain in the same position, we need to work harder, for Monaco and for Canada, and bring more new parts in a more aggressive approach or whatever, because the championship is long and we will never give up in May, after four races.

Q: (Livio Orricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Do you think the basis of this car could be used for next year's car?

Fernando Alonso:
I think so. Yes.

Q: (Gary Meenaghan – The National)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
19.04.2012- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
22.03.2012- Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
20.04.2012- Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
20.04.2012- Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
19.04.2012-  Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
24.03.2012- Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012

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