23 May 2012
Monaco GP – Wednesday press conference – Pt.1
Charles, you've won in GP2 and in World Series here, can you imagine what it is going to be like in a Formula One car? Is it going to be a big difference?
I think there will be some for sure – but the track stays the same. So it will be my first experience here in F1, this is a very nice track and a little bit special because it's not allowing any mistakes from the drivers, so I think it can be a really interesting weekend, especially for us. It's interesting to see our pace on a type of circuit like that, it is quite different to other circuits – so yeah, we'll have to see.
You had a difficult start to the season: no pre-season testing – or virtually none – how do you think things have gone in the first quarter of the championship?
Good. I think our main aim is trying to improve the car race by race. It's what we make, we still have to work very hard and continue to push like that to try to make it better. On my side I have many things to learn. It was not easy for the first few races without any testing but I made my best and I feel better prepared race after race. We have to continue like this.
Mark, your first podium here, you always remember your first podium I'm sure. Is this a very special circuit for you?
Yes, it has been. I think winning here in F3000, a couple of podiums, obviously the nice victory in 2010, so it's an amazing venue, it's an amazing weekend. It's quite stressful for the mechanics, all the teams, obviously you guys, everybody getting around, it's amazing how we still manage to hold an event here in such tight confines of the Principality. But it's a great sporting event and one that's very popular for all of us. And, yeah, I'm looking forward to driving the car. It's always great to drive here, so tomorrow we can get on with it.
We've never known a season like this before and I think it's the same for all three of you, it just doesn't seem to be consistent. It's just up and down. Is that a bad thing or a good thing as far as you're concerned?
It depends on who you are. I think for the purist, I think people are taking a little bit of time to get used to it. Obviously, no one's really got any momentum yet in terms of results in teams. But obviously there are a few people that follow the sport that love it like this. It depends who you ask. If you want to have lots and lots of different teams being competitive that's the way it is at the moment, which I don't think is too bad. But let's see. I think ultimately the main teams will still do well at the end of the season.
Michael, sadly you have a five-place grid penalty here. But on the other hand you have been back there before, even further back, three or four years ago . And you saw what Lewis could do from there two weeks ago. What are your feelings about the race itself coming up?
Well, basically, I think we're going to be in a position to be competitive. As a general track profile I think it's going to suit ourselves. Indeed, I have been coming from the complete back and gone forward to fifth position I think. Let's see from where I finally manage to qualify and start the race and what can be done. It is certainly not ideal, but it is what it is and I look forward to it and I'm going to have some excitement pretty certainly.
You've got a phenomenal record around this track, as you have around most current race tracks, and you have won here more often than anyone else in recent history. How do you get the ultimate performance around here?
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