» BACK TO CRASH.NET

Crash.Net F1 News

Canadian GP – Thursday press conference – Pt.1

7 June 2012

PRESS CONFERENCE:

Q:
Paul, if I might start with you, a good weekend with both cars getting into the top ten in Monaco. How good is the dynamic between you and Nico [Hulkenberg]? Is there a fair amount of pushing one another and a good partnership?

Paul Di Resta:
Yeah, Monaco was a good weekend for the team. Obviously where we qualified... we went forward and were lucky with some cars not finishing. But, I think to achieve what we did there was a massive result for the team. I think me and Nico have a good relationship, we're obviously pushing each other along but also trying to develop the car because we feel that we're a little bit behind the likes of Sauber and Williams at the moment. And to overcome that we need to be doing a good job in the race. Over the weekend you've got to maximise what you have, and that's what we're going to try to achieve again this weekend.

Q:
Do you feel that you just need to hit the Pirelli sweetspot, or is it more than that? Is it, as you say, the development, and even do you look at the results of Maldonado, Sergio for example in Malaysia, and say 'hey, that should be us.'

Paul Di Resta:
I think the tyres are difficult, we're not going to deny that but I think we've achieved that at some tracks and that's where we saw some good results for us. Certainly Bahrain, we got the car in an operating window but I think it's a bit more and we need to understand the car a bit more in terms of what we're bringing in terms of upgrades. That's what we're trying to achieve. But I have every confidence the team will achieve that because last year our development rate went very high from mid-season, so we're certainly hoping we can do that this year. I don't believe we're getting the maximum out of the car yet but we'll try to achieve that this weekend again. It's a different philosophy, obviously, being a bit lower downforce here. So hopefully that will suit us slightly better.

Q:
And are you expecting to go up a gear in terms of development in the middle third of the season?

Paul Di Resta:
I think so. It wasn't a secret that we struggled at the beginning of the year, to what we initially first thought. Since then we've rapidly moved on. If we can do that… I think we bought a good upgrade to Barcelona. We obviously developed that forward over that weekend. Monaco was difficult to understand how much so I think here will probably be a truer reflection on what we can expect for the up and coming races.

Q:
Jean-Eric, first of all I understand you are nearly a Canadian, you have been here so long.

Jean-Eric Vergne:
Yeah, I can fake the accent.

Q:
Tell us what you've been doing, because you've been here a few days

Jean-Eric Vergne:
I got invited to a nice hotel at Sacacomie to the north of Montreal. I was in the middle of nowhere and had a few days relaxing, doing some sport, it was quite nice.

Q:
And the Cirque du Soleil?

Jean-Eric Vergne:
Yeah, I was there yesterday with Daniel Ricciardo. In the morning we were training, learning a couple of tricks with the guys in their factory, and then at night we get invited to the show. It was quite amazing to see.

Q:
And how much have you learnt?

Jean-Eric Vergne:
I learnt to go high, and there was a circle thing [German Wheel], you had to go inside, upside down. Motorcycles as well. It was OK.

Q:
In terms of racing, obviously you had a good race at Monaco, overtaking Michael Schumacher. That must have been a pleasant moment. Looking at your qualifying. You've been out-qualified by Daniel 5-1 but you've out-raced him 4-1. Is that a fair assessment?

Jean-Eric Vergne:
I have to say qualifying is quite hard, compared to what I was expecting. I guess it's going to come: I have the speed, I can show it in the racing. Monaco, unfortunately I hit the wall before I could make a good lap, so, yeah, I wouldn't say unlucky but I pushed a bit too hard and didn't get a proper time. It's just a question of time, I have to take it easy, I know I have the speed and I know I have a car to be able to be in the points sometimes. So yeah, I think that will come.

Q:
I read that you say this is your favourite circuit – but you've never raced here…

Jean-Eric Vergne:
On the Playstation! It's a track I like; I've been driving on it as well in the simulator and I quite enjoy driving on it. I hope it's going to be the same in reality tomorrow.

Q:
Sergio, you only did three laps last year. Do you remember much about the circuit?

Sergio Perez:
Not really, it is not a circuit that I know well, not really from the few laps I did in FP1 last year, because after the accident I could not race here. So, I had to go back home after FP1. Hopefully this weekend can be a lot better. I think we have a very competitive car and we can fight for a podium here.

Q:
Have you done a lot of laps on Ferrari's simulator?

Sergio Perez:
I've done some laps in the simulator as well. I think it's a circuit where it will not be a problem to get up to speed because I've done enough laps already in FP1 last year.

Q:
Since Malaysia, things don't really seem to have slotted into place. Malaysia was such a high point but it doesn't seem to have continued. What's required to get back to that situation?

Sergio Perez:
I think it's just a matter of putting everything together. We have enough speed, we have had very unlucky races since Malaysia. Like China, for example. The only weekend we didn't have the speed was in Bahrain. We had a lot of degradation. All the other weekends, Barcelona I was in fourth place but then I had a puncture; Monaco in qualifying we had the speed to fight for a win, I think, but then we had a problem with the steering wheel and I just went straight. I think the speed is there and everything is there and it's just a matter of luck. We have been very unlucky in the last few races.

Q:
Felipe, things seem to have come together for you at the last race. Can you carry that on and also take what you learned in Monaco to other circuits?

Felipe Massa:
Yes, sure. I think it was a better race, a clean race where nothing wrong happened. It was good pace from the first session. So, hope we can use that to do things even better here and all these races until the end of the year. I think it was a positive weekend even if we cannot be so happy to finish sixth, y'know? I think it was a good start.

Q:
Monaco is so much of a specific circuit, is it possible… did you really discover something there.

Felipe Massa:
Yes. We discovered things that for sure can be the direction for the other tracks as well. Definitely Monaco is different than many other tracks but I think it helped a lot to understand things that we didn't understand before and I'm really looking forward to understand that direction and be stronger and stronger all the time.

Q:
Do you regard this as a good circuit anyway for Ferrari?

Felipe Massa:
I think it's very difficult to say. Here is a track that you have a lot of slow corners, chicanes, hairpins and a very long straight. Looking at what's going on this season, every track is very difficult to say if this is the right track track for us or not. So we need good speed as well. It's something we have been working since the beginning of the year to improve, our speed on the straight. Here we know how important is that. So, we wait and see. It's difficult to say before.

Q:
Mark, obviously a winner of the last grand prix and you've been playing Action Man since then, how was the sky diving?

Mark Webber:
Oh yeah that was good yesterday, the first time I've done it. It was in a wind tunnel, so it obviously wasn't real sky-diving but it was great to catch up with Jon [DeVore] who is a phenomenal Red Bull athlete from California. He does a lot of… he was in the Transformers film with the wing suits, so those guys are incredible, what they did. We did a few tricks yesterday with a car and a parachute and it was really good, I enjoyed it. I don't know if I've got the bug to jump out of planes to be honest but I enjoyed it. But the highlight for me between races was going to the Isle of Man TT. It's an absolutely amazing sporting event if you love motorsport, it's a must to go to. And to see John McGuinness, a friend of mine, win again, all of the riders are obviously heroes but John's had such a great record around there it was really good to see all that come together again for him. Took some mates and we had just an absolutely great time. It was really good, last Saturday.

Q:
And some Action for Road Safety work this morning, I believe.

Mark Webber:
Yeah. I've been doing some work for the Action for Road Safety campaign. That went well.

Q:
You were a winner obviously in Monaco, you've done nine Canadian Grands Prix, just in case you've forgotten, you qualified second in 2010, finished third in 2011 and you've had only one retirement here. So what are your thoughts about this race? Is it a good one for you?

Mark Webber:
Yeah, I like driving here. It's a good mixture, in terms of the street circuit sort of feel of it, but also with low-ish downforce. Obviously the cars won't be in the Monaco configurations, so we'll have to look for the top speeds. Yeah, you still need a pretty good car here, there's no question about that. There's quite a bit of time to be gained and lost here if you get it together [or not]. I enjoy it here. It always throws up a bit of an oddball race. I think that we need to see how the marbles go, the brake wear, incidents, safety cars. It's always been like that the Canadian Grand Prix. Even 'the Nige' – I think he turned the car off at the last corner, so there's always drama at this event. So looking forward to it.

Q:
Jenson, talking of drama, you had it all here last year: qualified seventh, went back to last and came back to win. And yet apparently you're concentrating on qualifying. But qualifying seems to go out the window here.

Jenson Button:
Yeah, it did last year. It's something you obviously still want to do – get as far up the grid and make your life as easy as possible on Sunday. As Mark said, a lot happens around here. Last year we obviously didn't have the marbles but we had everything else we could thrown into the mix but we if we have a dry, hot race that's something we'll have to watch out for – we'll have a lot of marbles on the circuit, as we've found in previous years. It's a tough race, a tough race to get the car spot on but last year it definitely went our way.

Q:
Let's hope it goes your way this time because you are getting a little bit left behind in the championship. Is that something that you're feeling?

Jenson Button:
To be fair I purposefully haven't looked at the points for the past few races but I don't think anyone is streaking ahead in the championship. As we have seen it's been a very mixed bag over the first six races. But yeah, the last few races, I've retired twice and I've scored two points in the other race. They haven't been my finest weekends. So, yes, I need to score some good points this weekend to get it back on track. I think we all come here hoping for a victory, aiming for a victory, but as we've seen for most of the season just being consistently in the double figures in terms of points is key really to fighting at the front this year. Looking forward to the weekend. I have some very special memories here, especially last year, but also 2010 and back when I qualified in pole here before. So looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we've got to play with.

Q:
The McLaren GT car is also performing pretty well, I think it won both races in Navarra last weekend. Is that something that rubs off a little bit on the grand prix team as well?

Jenson Button:
We hope so! It's very different obviously to Formula One, but those guys have been working very, very hard for the whole season to get it competitive, so yeah, it's great that McLaren have had two back-to-back victories in Navarra last weekend.


» BACK TO CRASH.NET