F1 » 30 August 2012
Belgian GP – Thursday press conference – Pt.2
DRIVERS – Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Charles Pic (Marussia), Vitaly Petrov (Caterham), Pedro de la Rosa (HRT), Michael Schumacher (Mercedes), Jenson Button (McLaren)
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR:
Q: (Mike Doodson - Honorary)
Michael, congratulations on the 300. When you were with the red team, I think you set a record for reliability. I think it was something like more than 50 races without a single mechanical retirement. With the current team, things have been quite the contrary. I wonder if you have thought about trying to move elsewhere, which is what somebody, let's say 20-years old would be doing at that stage of his career?
I haven't thought about that. Maybe I should! First of all, you have those moments when things do run against you and I have mentioned that at any time I have full trust in the guys because they all do their utmost. Nobody wants to retire, everybody does their best job but then we have prototype cars and unfortunately things like this do happen. I don't mind too much about this, because I was aware, reasonably early in the season, that we wouldn't be fighting for the championship so to retire is not a big deal for me at that moment, not being in the championship anyway. Much more important is that if you would be in the championship, then it would obviously bother me much more. So, no, I look forward to the rest of the season. We still have a lot to go through and a lot to improve on, a lot to understand. The team is pushing hard to go forward in order to make our process a much more reasonable step forward compared to what we have been doing. Already we have achieved quite a bit more but I think it needs a bit more of that. And then reliability.
Q: (Adrian Huber - EFE)
Michael, congratulations again. You said just now, forget about the 400 but having all the records in Formula One, can we maybe think about 326/327? Can you remember all of your races? How many can you remember without looking at the stat sheets?
I don't know how many I would remember; certainly not all of them, that is very clear. How many it will be in the end? We will have to find out. Don't know yet. Certainly go to the end of the season.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri- La Gazzetta dello Sport)
My question is similar: when does the point come when you decide if you're going to continue or if Mercedes decides whether they want to stay with you? Do you already have a deadline, or are you already starting to talk about it?
I think we made a very clear statement some time ago that by October we will be able to give an indication and nothing has changed since then, so no news I'm afraid.
Q: (Ian Parkes - PA)
Jenson, just following on from the earlier question and your answer regarding not supporting Lewis at this stage, Martin Whitmarsh has today suggested that there could come a point at some time this season when you might be asked to support Lewis. Is that something you would consider further down the line if the situation dictated, or does your personal attitude just say no, I'm not going to do that at all?
Personally, I think it's a pretty pointless conversation right now. If I was 40 points behind Lewis in the championship and he was leading, do you think they would turn round and say 'you've got to support your teammate'? It's not a big margin, it's less than two wins. Half the grid is in front of their teammates. All their teammates are not going to turn round and say 'yes, we're going to help my teammate win the championship' because you still think you're going to have a good chance. And until that chance is gone you're going to fight for it. I'm not here to just race around and just help my teammate win a championship because none of us are. We're here to fight and we're here to do the best job we can for ourselves first of all and also for the team. I think it would be a pretty boring championship if there's only twelve of us actually fighting for a victory and the rest of us were there to help our teammates. It's not the sort of formula that we should want. So yes, I'm going to be fighting all the way until I either win the championship or it's not possible.
Q: (Vladimir Rogovets – Znamya Ynosty)
Michael, we know that all drivers are very very superstitious. Do you have a mascot without which you cannot sit down in the car? Maybe for Spa you have a very special mascot.
I've had one for more than 20 years. It's my wife. She comes tomorrow.
Q: (Oana Popoiu - F1Zone.net)
Michael, do you remember the feeling you had on your first podium, and how was it different after that?
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