British GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.2
7 July 2012
Drivers: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing), Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
Questions From The Floor
Q: (Mike Doodson – Honorary)
Michael, some of your most memorable wins have been in the wet. This circuit has a reputation for holding water. It did take a very long time to drain. Do you have any criticisms either of that or of the fact that the circuit is unpredictable from place to place as you go along, perhaps less predictable where you've won in the wet before?
First of all, a compliment to all the marshals, they managed to get the track in pretty good shape with all the sweeping and drying up. There was almost no standing water when we went back out again. That was a good job, so in case of heavy rain tomorrow, I hope they're going to be ready, in between the safety car or whatever they have to decide. But I think on some circuits they have that situation and they did the best from what was available today.
Q: (Manuel Franco - AS)
Fernando, you said in Spanish that this pole is dedicated to someone special, is it for Maria de Villota?
Yes, obviously she's having some difficult moments, her family as well and I think all of us, this weekend, we are all racing with a little bit of sadness about the news at the beginning of the week from Marussia and from her. Anything we do this weekend hopefully will bring strength to her and her family, and we wish her a very good recovery.
Q: (Leonid Novozhilov – F1Life)
Fernando, first place in qualifying in the rain; was this difficult or not very difficult for you?
Yes, yes, it is very difficult, always very difficult to be on pole position, but on days like today, it's difficult for everyone. I think from pole position to 24th, we had a very difficult time in the car, because, as I said, you don't know how the grip will be in the next corner. We had a lot of rivers on the track, especially in Q2 and it's not just to find the last tenth or half a tenth of a second; just to complete the lap is difficult. Very stressful qualifying, but it's the same for everybody and today we have been lucky, as I said.
Q: (Carlos Miguel – La Gaceta)
Fernando, for tomorrow, will it be difficult for you on intermediate tyres and what are you afraid of in the race?
Well, I think the car should also be competitive on extreme wet tyres, but as I said, in Q2 I did a lap exactly the same as a Toro Rosso whatever the lap. I started the lap one second behind him and I finished the lap around 0.8s behind him, and I was in and he was out, for virtually nothing. So I think with normal visibility, I think we should also be competitive with the extremes. For sure ideally we would like a dry race because you maximise the pole position a little bit and you have a bit of free air, especially in the first stint if you do a good start. If it's wet or changeable conditions as we've the whole weekend, grid positions are not really important, because on lap eight it could start raining or drying up or whatever and someone at the back may have nothing to lose and could maybe change tyres or whatever and finds himself first or second. It's more difficult but let's see. I think we felt competitive on the dry, inters and wet so we will see tomorrow what we can do.
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe)
How do you prepare yourself for a race which could be very wet? Is there a way of thinking differently, or driving differently for the whole of a wet race?
Obviously the concentration is a little bit different to a dry Grand Prix, so you've got to have that in mind. Some of the straights here are not very straightforward in terms of… like out of turn seven, going through there with compromised visibility, standing water, so dry Grands Prix still obviously require immense concentration and focus to put everything together but in the wet you have more balls in the air and you need to be ready for that and also be flexible and focused and I said before, controlled aggression and stay composed. You know that the grass doesn't have much grip so best stay away from that if you can and get to the flag.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Fernando, we saw you take the P9 position in Q2 when there were yellow flags for Grosjean. Could you explain what happened at that moment, if you feel that you're safe(from incurring any penalty)?
Yes. I didn't set a green sector in that particular lap with the yellow. I backed off in the area where they were taking away the car, so I don't have any worries.
I've been asked to ask you is if any of you will be following Wimbledon after the race tomorrow?
Absolutely. Federer for seven, honestly it's a great final. Whoever wins it's a great story. Obviously for Andy, first Grand Slam, first Wimbledon and for Roger, obviously he's a phenomenal sportsman, to match Pistol Pete (Sampras) on seven. He's a real inspiration, Federer. He would be good to watch.
What time is it? I would like to watch it if I have time, but I would prefer not to have time!
Q: (Marco dell'Ignocenti – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Could you not imagine that if the weather conditions and track conditions were similar tomorrow to today, would you not fear a very boring race behind the safety car?
In that case we're going to watch Federer and Murray!
Hopefully not, not only for us, I think, but for the fans. As Michael said, they've been amazing all weekend with these weather conditions and they deserve a normal race tomorrow, so even if it's wet, not stopping the race or nothing like that, hopefully.
Charlie (Whiting, race director) has learned a lot in the last few years and has done a very good job in certain conditions, so he know what wet tyres are capable of, the extreme, also factor in the visibility so they are the two main things: standing water and visibility. If they are under control then we race, if they're not then we don't. After that, we work through the tyres and the race is OK. Tomorrow is obviously a big day for Charlie tomorrow to communicate with us like he does a good job over the last few years, no problems.
Q: (Silva Arias – Argentina)
Fernando, it's very nice for you as well to get pole position after two years, as you said before. How important is it for your team as well and for your confidence and everything?
Yeah, yeah, definitely very important. It's nice to be on pole position. We know that the conditions were not normal. They were very tricky so we are still aiming for pole position one day on a sunny day and no factors around which will prove the level of competitiveness that the car can have and that's what we want, but until that point arrives, today's pole position is very welcome and as I said, it's more for the history of Ferrari etc. Two years is a long time.
Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport)
Michael, you were looking strong yesterday in the wet today as well. This morning, at least from the lap time it was a different picture. Is it just an impression that the Mercedes is better in the wet and if so why?
The question is how much fuel was in the cars this morning, so I think it is a hypothetical situation, to judge what you have seen in qualifying with what you have seen this morning.