Questions from the Floor

Q: (Adrian Huber - Agencia EFE)
Fernando, will you be happy tomorrow repeating this position or will you be looking for something more?

Fernando Alonso:
You never know in F1. I think a podium position, we tend to agree in the team, if someone tells us two or three days ago, before coming to Barcelona, or after the Mugello test, that in Barcelona you will be on the podium, I think we all agree, we all be happy with that position. Today, obviously with this position, that dream or that target is closer. But I think the race is very long tomorrow and we saw even in Bahrain, Kimi started ninth, (11th), he was P10 or P11 in lap one and he nearly won the race in the end, so the positions are not crucial anymore as previous years. I think it will be an extremely tough race tomorrow to take care of the tyres again. Degradation, DRS, KERS to overtake. Pitstop strategy, we will see probably a lot of pitstops for everybody. The more pitstops you have, the more risk you have to have a problem in the pits. There are a lot of factors tomorrow that we need to take account. It will be a difficult race. A podium, I think, will be a good result for us and happy.

Q: (Leonid Novozhilov - F1 Life)
Lewis, are you happy? What are you feeling now? What do you think about tomorrow, this position?

Lewis Hamilton:
I really feel fantastic. I'm very, very happy. Normally you can always be happy with a pole position of course, but for some reason even more so this time than maybe any other qualifying that I've had, except for the first pole position I have had in F1. Just because, as I was just saying, you're always looking for that perfect lap, and I really, really felt that I got everything just, just sweet there and got absolutely everything out of my car. I didn't miss apexes or anything like that. It's an incredibly feeling when you have that. It's really just a very unique experience. But tomorrow's going to be a tough race. As you were just saying, Fernando had a great start here last year and it's such a long drive down to turn one - but he was also saying people are coming to win from quite far back, or to compete for wins from quite far back, so tomorrow's just going to be about looking after your tyres, getting the right pitstops at the right times and really being patient, I think, at the most important times during the race.

Q: (Fulvio Solms - Corriere Dello Sport)
To all three drivers; they have chosen new rules and tyres to have an unpredictable F1. Do you think this championship is just unpredictable, or technically less logical as well?

Fernando Alonso:
I don't think they choose the tyres for the championship to be unpredictable. We have the tyres that we have.

Lewis Hamilton:
I'm not sure that they were expecting it to be as it is, but I definitely think that it is a bit unpredictable at the moment, massively close. There have been several different winners in the races and you can make such a big difference, if you don't finish one race but then you win the next race, it can still keep you in contention so it feels for me - out of all the championships that I've been in - it feels to me to be one of the most exciting ones. Regardless if I haven't won yet, it just feels like one of the best, I imagine, for people to watch.

Pastor Maldonado:
I think that the tyres are the same for everybody so all the teams and all the drivers are working hard to adapt ourselves, even the cars to these tyres and to get the best performance we can.

Q: (Marco degli Innocenti - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Pastor when you reached Williams, there were a lot of people, among journalists too, who expressed doubts about you and they said that you have got the seat because of your rich sponsors and so on. Now, are you convinced that you have proved that you are one of the top drivers, thanks to your qualities?

Pastor Maldonado:
I'm think that I'm lucky, I'm lucky to have not only a sponsor behind me but also a country behind me, pushing me so hard. Here I am, doing my job, doing my best, trying to improve every time. I have a mission, which is to be back with Williams to the top, so here we are. We still need to keep pushing, to keep improving and I think that is possible.

Q: (Silvia Arias - Parabrisas)
Pastor, congratulations, I want to know about the start tomorrow. What do you think? Is it going to be easier to attack Lewis at the first corner, or defend from Fernando?

Pastor Maldonado:
I think it's going to be a very tough race, because not only us three but even the other drivers have a very close pace. Our strongest point was always race pace so hopefully our car will be very consistent and pretty good in the race. I hope to continue like that, I hope to stay in the position, the podium is very important for us, the points, so it's very important to keep calm and to do good race.

Q: (Laurentzi Garmendia - Berria)
Lewis, we have such a close championship in terms of times in qualifying, but I think your gap was over half a second to Pastor. Does it surprise you? It looks like a dominant car.

Lewis Hamilton:
Yes, I'm definitely surprised to have such a big gap. I wasn't surprised that it was a good lap because it felt that I switched the tyres on the right way and I feel that I extracted everything but yeah, considering that all the sessions are so close, all the teams are so close, I definitely wasn't expecting to have such a big gap. That's quite a big gap for us but we definitely can't take it for granted. I think we'll go to other races and it will be slower and in some races we will be faster but we really, really hope that with the continuous upgrades that we get we can try to maintain the pace that we have, especially through qualifying but most importantly to try and improve through the race.

Q: (Mike Doodson - Honorary)
Fernando and Lewis: I think we all agree that it's a good thing when Williams is doing well in F1 and both of you have had moments this year when you've been racing with Pastor or the other Williams driver. I wonder if either of you or both of you could tell me where the car has strong points that you've noticed while racing with it on the circuit.

Lewis Hamilton:
I can't remember exactly what your strong points are but for me it's fantastic to see Williams up here, really, really very happy for them. I know Sir Frank quite well since I've been here and I'm a huge admirer of him and his team and to see them up here again, I think F1's just not been the same without Williams being at the front, competing. So it's good, it's great for them and for the whole team. I've always thought they had quite a good car, it always looked quite beautiful but I think this year it's performing as well as looking good, so we'll definitely be on our toes to try and make sure we're ahead of them.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, I don't know. Obviously I fight a little bit more with them than Lewis probably in these four races. The car looks strong in race pace as Pastor said and basically taking care of the tyres. I remember in China they did like 32 laps with the same set of tyres that no one could adapt to. Apart from the car, they are doing a very good job, setting up the car with the engineers - I know some of them, very talented and a fantastic job from the drivers as well. Pastor has this year proved, not only today, but many times this year that he's doing a fantastic job, also with Bruno but less lucky sometimes. In Australia, on the last lap, Pastor crashed behind me but I was already fighting in the top five so it's not new that he's fighting in these top positions so well done to all of them.

Q: (Jaime Rogriguez - El Mundo)
Fernando, after the last free practice this morning, did you imagine that after qualifying could be fighting for pole? When did you feel the real change in the car?

Fernando Alonso:
No, obviously this morning's practice we didn't think we could be in the top five or top six. I think P8 to P12 was more or less our position after practice, same as after yesterday's practice as well, that we were fastest in the morning and P14 in the afternoon, so we were something in between those positions in practice as well. Yeah, I'm happy and a little bit surprised to be in front of one McLaren, both Red Bulls, both Lotuses, so definitely this is not what we were expecting but qualifying went like this, it went our way this time and as I said, today means nothing if we don't finish the job tomorrow.

Q: (Carlos Miguel - La Gaceta )
Fernando, are you worried that you might not to be able to finish the race in the same position you are in now, or are you worried the rhythm of the Renault - because they were very strong on Friday - and maybe some of the guys behind. I ask about Kimi because I think he could be a contender for the race.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, yeah, definitely, the Lotus will be a threat tomorrow, starting fourth and fifth. They've been quick all weekend so tomorrow no surprises if they are fighting for the podium or even for a race win. Sebastian is P8 so he will be fighting for a top position later in the race. With Jenson and Mark having the possibility to chose which tyres to start on, I'm sure that they will prepare something good to recover position because they have the pace. They had the pace yesterday in FP2 and I'm sure that tomorrow they will be quick. The race will be tough to maintain positions because we believe that there are quicker cars behind us but let's see what we can do. On the other hand, this is not an easy track to overtake on,

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
The forecast for tomorrow is significantly cooler, can that change the picture that some cars which hadn't been up to speed today might fall into the operating window of the tyres tomorrow?

Lewis Hamilton:
I think it could be the opposite. If people are struggling today to switch their tyres on then potentially they would struggle even more if it was cooler but that is a real tricky situation to be in, that sometimes three tyres come in and one, your left front doesn't work and then you just have understeer and you don't get the time. If it is the case and it's cooler tomorrow it will be tough for everyone, even the guys who did switch their tyres on today.

Fernando Alonso:
Maybe rain.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo)
To all drivers: you approach the times that you registered in winter testing today, with the same tyres but 20 degrees hotter asphalt. Can you make an analysis about this?

Lewis Hamilton:
Did we do these times in the winter?

Fernando Alonso:
Yes, 21.6s for Grosjean in winter I think. We did 22.2s, we did 22.5s today, something like that. I think the cars improved a lot between February and now but the temperature... we know that the hotter it is the slower you are. It happens in the winter as well. If you do your best time at 9 'o clock in the morning, then you cannot repeat those times in the afternoon. In a way that shows how much the cars improved for everybody from February to here. It's good.

Pastor Maldonado:
I agree. I think today was a bit more windy, which is a penalty for everybody.

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