Drivers: Narain Karthikeyan (HRT), Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams).

Questions from the floor

Q: (Dan Knutson - Honorary).
Fernando, in Germany you told us how much better the car was. Could you expand a bit? Just how much has it improved since Jerez testing and what race was the biggest update?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, definitely we did improve the car a lot. I don't know how much, or I cannot quantify it in terms of lap time because it will be difficult. I think between two and three seconds maybe but obviously it's a number that cannot be very precise. I think the biggest improvement that we introduced was in Barcelona; the biggest updates were mainly the aerodynamics of the car - but we knew that in the first three or four races, when we were in China, Bahrain, the car was not doing what we were expecting. And when we arrived in Barcelona, everything became a little bit more normal for us and from that point, all the updates it was fine-tuning. But the Barcelona one was to make everything back to work.

Q: (P?ter Farkas - Aut?-Motor).
Kimi, we have not really heard anything about the infamous power steering lately. Have you and the team taking a step forward regarding that? And before, did you have any real life situations where you felt you couldn't achieve a better result because of the power steering?

Kimi Raikkonen:
There's no point to talk about it because I mean, when we say something people try to make a massive story out of it. Like I always said, it's not perfect - it's still not - it's improved a lot since we started. But still a way to go. It's OK to race, it's not like it's somehow going to make me one second faster or half a second faster if we going to get it exactly as we want. And this is... I know that I've driven better ones and there's definitely still things that we can improve. We're working for it, but it's not the easiest thing to get right. So we have to work on those and hopefully at some point we will get it exactly as we want.

Q: (Harry Kiner - ARA Radio).
Fernando, for you two questions please. In Ferrari team I heard they call you a maestro: is it true and how does it come? And managed to stay out of any trouble this year - how to you do it?

Fernando Alonso:
In Ferrari they call me Fernando normally. But always with Ferrari as we are already repeating it was a very good reception, welcome from day one. And it's like family for me. I'm in Italy 80 per cent of my free time and I have my best friends there working also in Italy now in the factory in the road cars, so I spend free time there. Most of the time as I said I'm better in Italy even than in Spain, so this is something for sure curious.

This year it has been not easy to go out of problems or troubles in the races because the grid is so tight, so in one-tenth you have four or five cars. In the races we are more or less at the same performance, it's not like last year when there were six cars and then a different group of cars and then a different group again. This year every detail counts, every pitstop counts, the starts... so I think it's a little bit more stress on the grid or between all of us, so we've been lucky in some moments of the Championship, in some manoeuvres, in some incidents and we've been finishing all the races in the points, which obviously helps for us. We obviously need to keep doing like this and hopefully have the whole season trouble-free.

Q: (Adrian Huber - Agencia EFE).
Fernando, your figures keep improving: nine years ago you won here your first race and last Sunday you won your 30th. Back nine years, did you imaging you will get all this? What were your feelings then?

Fernando Alonso:
No, no, definitely not. When you win your first grand prix it's just a lot of emotions going on. A lot of satisfaction, proudness of the team, of yourself, or family... a lot of thoughts are coming when you win your first grand prix. You cannot imagine that you will repeat that feeling or that happiness more times or very often. So when you keep winning after some years, some different teams, different regulations that have changed a lot from 2003 obviously: V10, V8... Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, refuelling, no refuelling. It has been a lot of time since 2003. If I look back obviously, for sure I never imagine to have the luck and the possibility to achieve the two World Championships and now driving for Ferrari.

Q: (Gabor Joo - Index).
Kimi and Fernando; Red Bull have these new engine mapping rules for this weekend. Do you expect Red Bull to struggle a bit?

Fernando Alonso:
I think it's a question for Red Bull.

Kimi Raikkonen:
I don't know what they're doing so we will see.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Kimi, when you look back at the two years that you were out of F1, do you think they have had any influence in your performance up to now? And what happened when you were leaving Hockenheim? We saw some pictures (of him tripping over a barrier he was trying to climb over)...

Kimi Raikkonen:
I almost fell down. It was close! I was two years out (of F1). I was doing different things and I don't think that if I'd been driving two years in F1 I would be any different really. I maybe took a few practices, a few races to know everything exactly (when I came back). Of course it's a new team, so it took a bit to get to know everybody there and to get everything exactly as I wanted, but I think we're getting there now and it hasn't been too bad really. It's been OK.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat).
Kimi, what is the maximum to be achieved with Lotus in the Constructors' and Drivers' championships and which one is more important for you?

Kimi Raikkonen:
I will tell you at the end of the year. We will try to do the maximum all the time. I don't know where we're going to end up. We're doing pretty OK now. I think they didn't probably expect us to do so well as a team at the beginning of the year, and we try to improve and hopefully we will manage to do that. We're in the fight for the top three. We're now fourth in the team championship and I'm fourth in the drivers. We go race-by-race and on my side try to score as many points as I can, and try to help the team... I guess they want to be as high as they can in the team championship. For me I want to be as high as I can from my side. Both things really influence each other so we will just try to do better and hopefully manage to do that.

Q:
(Ian Gordon - The Times) Fernando, it's incredible to think that it's six years since your last drivers' title. A couple of points more in those years and you could have had four or five titles at the moment instead of two. What will it mean to you to win that third title if you do so this year, for yourself and for Ferrari? It will put you in a higher band of elite drivers, the Laudas and the Prosts.

Fernando Alonso:
Well, I think we need to wait and see when we have real possibilities of fighting for this championship. At the moment, as we said, we are happy with the points achieved in the first half but we need to keep working hard, we need to keep consistency and we need to keep doing good results. This can change very quickly, in two or three races and then we talk about very different things. Not much point to talk about the championship now. But as I said, when we finished Brazil in 2006, it was a dream for me to (even think to) win three World Championships in my career. If it's this year, in two years' time or in six years' time, I don't know but the third one will be very important for me. To have the same as Ayrton had - three World Championships - he was idol or my reference when I was in go-karts and some big names, as you said, Lauda etc so three is a pretty good number which I always dream of, and hopefully arrive sooner rather than later.

Q: (Carlos Miguel - La Gaceta).
Fernando, do you believe the new map rules could be good for Ferrari, because maybe Red Bull is slower with these new rules?

Fernando Alonso:
As we said before, it doesn't change anything for us. We will have exactly the same car as Silverstone or Germany and for them, we have no idea. I think they are having their press conference at four, so it's more a question for them.

Q: (Alexander Hoffstatter - Austrian Press Agency).
The Olympics are going to start tomorrow; do you like the idea of an Olympic F1 race or is it just not realistic?

Heikki Kovalainen:
I suppose you think I'm the nice man who will give you the answer. I don't think it's realistic but why not? I have nothing against it but how do you fit a race track in an Olympic Games? I don't know. But who knows? Why not?

Q: (Adrian Huber - Agencia EFE).
Fernando, at the very beginning of the year, you took the role of cheering up the people in your team. Do you have to calm them down a little bit now, or does everybody know how it's going to go?

Fernando Alonso:
People know, certainly, what is our performance, how many points we have, how we achieve these points, how many points we have in the Constructors'. Every race, when you do the analysis after each Grand Prix the numbers never lie, so we know what we have.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Fernando, it seems that this is the best season so far for you. How can you explain this? It is not only about the car, of course, but even yourself; have you changed something? Did your Malaysia victory mean that you changed something in the season?

Fernando Alonso:
No. Well... I think so far the results have been coming good and as I said, we've been lacking at some moments some details of the weekend and we have achieved a lot of points. I think I've had a very good season, like 2008, winning two races with Renault. 2009 with a car that normally my teammate was out in Q1, I was on the podium, things like that. In 2010, when I arrived at Ferrari, you always asked me if that was my best season, recovering until I arrived in Abu Dhabi leading the championship with that car, and last year you were saying that it was my best season with ten podiums in a car that was quite far from Red Bull and McLaren. And this year, at the moment, you are asking me good things but as I said before, if I have some or three races with some poor results, you will ask me why I'm not concentrated or something like that, so I will always try to do the best I can. I'm pretty happy with my last four or five seasons in F1, especially this one because at the moment we are taking care of all the details that seem to be quite important in this championship, because as I said before, the grid is so tight so you need to be close to perfection, let's say, every weekend. If not you lose more positions than in the past but apart from that, it's more or less the same performance so same approach, same preparation as the last four or five seasons.

Q: (Harry Kiner - ARA Radio).
A question for all of you, except Fernando; do you think that Fernando's going to make it this year?

Narain Karthikeyan:
I think Fernando is going very well, yes, he has all the support, so I think he should make it.

Kamui Kobayashi:
The championship? I think Fernando is definitely the strongest this season. We can see he's really strong. I think he will do it.

Heikki Kovalainen:
Fernando is definitely in the best position, but I think it's too close to call at the moment. I think it's going to be an exciting end to the season for everyone, not only for the teams, the drivers but also for the spectators.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Fernando is definitely in the best position right now, but like he said himself, you have one or two bad weekends and somebody else suddenly does well in those races and it changes very quickly. There are too many races to go, still, to look into it too much but then we will see what will happen at the end of the last race.

Pastor Maldonado:
Yeah, Fernando has been really consistent and strong this year, this half season. For sure, he's in the best place. I really wish him all the best for this season. He's driving so well and all the best to him and the Ferrari team.

Q:
(Harry Kiner - ARA Radio) And again, to you all, are you going to watch the Olympics?

Narain Karthikeyan:
The Olympics? No, I'm going back to India.

Kamui Kobayashi:
I think I'm maybe going to see a few sports but I'm no big fan of the Olympics so I will just watch some of the results.

Heikki Kovalainen:
Regarding the Olympic Games, yes, absolutely, I will watching them as much as I can. We've got a good few Finnish athletes there. Probably the most interesting for myself is the men's javelin event. We've got a few guys who are not necessarily at the top in the rankings at the moment, but hopefully the timing of their fitness and preparation is good enough, so that they can snatch a medal. That would be great.

Kimi Raikkonen:
I think it's hard to miss the Olympics even if you would like to. I will look at some on TV, but it's not really sport that I'm following. For sure, there will be some TV so I will watch it.

Pastor Maldonado:
I will just be supporting the Venezuelan team in the Olympics. I'm not that great a fan of the Olympic Games but for sure I will support the Venezuelan team.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, I think I will watch as much as I can, but obviously we are on holiday and if you go to the beach, you are not running to see the sport on TV. You see the replay in the evening or whatever.

Q: (Pablo Gorondi - Associated Press).
Fernando, considering the streak you've been on in the past couple of weeks, we now have a month's vacation coming up; are you afraid that this is going to disrupt the way things have been going for you? Or will you be able to take it up again at the end of the month?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, we considered the August break this year to be a little bit longer than normal and a good opportunity to catch some of the quickest cars, because more time is available for us. We think that we should find some extra performance that we are missing at the moment. So being a little bit late with the development of the car at the beginning of the season, being a little bit surprised in a bad way about the performance of the car at the beginning of the season, we need time and we need solutions to make the car faster and I think to have a longer period can only be good news for us.

Q: (Dorel Tant - MSSport1.com).
Heikki, would you be tempted to rally a car like Kimi Raikkonen?

Heikki Kovalainen:
You are always tempted, yes, but as we saw with Kimi, it's not so easy, especially to go straight into it at World Rally level, to the top. I think the expectations would need to be zero. It would be purely for fun, it would take a long time to achieve any level of competitive performance. At the moment, all my focus is on F1. I feel that since a few years now, my career is more back on track. I feel better here so at the moment, not even for a hobby am I considering rallying. Every effort is now to improve the results in F1. Maybe when I get grey and old I will buy an Escort Mk2 and rally at home, but that's just for fun.

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