14 March 2013
Thursday press conference – Australian GP - Pt.2
Question for Lewis. Obviously we can't take a lot from testing but obviously Mercedes did quite well towards the end of the times. Are you pushing quite hard to get time out of the car or are you feeling comfortable with it? Are you feeling quite snug?
I feel comfortable in the car. I feel we've definitely made some really good steps forward. We've still got a lot of work to do. Obviously, normally when you go to a new team it takes a while to get settled in but I'm still working as hard as I can to make sure that feels as comfortable as possible. I think it just takes time and as time goes on I think I'll get even more and more comfortable in the team.
What's been the one thing that you've appreciated more than anything since you've moved to Mercedes? What have the team done or allowed you to do that's made you feel more comfortable?
Just a little bit more time at home. Training and to spend with family and friends. It's been good.
Q: (Manuel Franco - Diario AS).
Question for Fernando. Ferrari can win this race?
I think difficult to know. No-one knows who can win this race at this moment. We have to wait and see for answers to some questions that winter testing doesn't answer. I think there are top teams with a little bit of advantage. Maybe it's not the same as last year where we saw seven different winners in the seven first races. It was a little bit mixed on the grid. I think this year with the consistency in the rules I expect the five top teams to have a little advantage and not to have many, many surprises in the first races. But from these five top teams I think it's very difficult to see really after winter testing who has this extra two- or three-tenths that can make you win. At the moment I think it's very close and very difficult to choose one favourite.
So, would you say ten drivers go into this race with a realistic chance of winning on Sunday?
I think so. I think Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull show up some potential in different days in testing and different parts of races last year. I think difficult to choose.
Q: (Carlos Miguel Gomez – La Gaceta).
Question for Fernando. After Barcelona, we see in Barcelona you have the best time in the last sector. With these conditions could this track be very good for the Ferrari?
I don't know. I think winter test, as we've said many times, very difficult and dangerous to make any conclusions. I think in terms of sector times and things like that, a lot of different tyres for every team, a lot of different fuel loads etcetera and different moments of the race. We are happy with the job we have done in the winter. We more or less did the programme that we planned – even though we had some weather changeable on some days – and we arrived here with our hundred per cent of the potential at the moment in the car. We don't really miss anything, that was a problem before. So, hopefully it's enough to be competitive and this circuit in particular I like a lot. I have been always very comfortable here and with good performance, the same in Malaysia, these first two races can be a good opportunity for us to score some good points. But I don't know how quick we can be.
Q: (Richard Fowler – motorsportretro.com).
Mark, it's the 60th anniversary of the race here at Albert Park. What would it mean for you to win at home and join the likes of Jack Brabham and Alan Jones as a winner of the Australian Grand Prix?
Any grand prix victory is special. I'm lucky to have had that feeling a few times now, which is great: Monaco, the British Grand Prix, those are very prestigious races. This is for sure up there in the top three of events a driver wants to win: your home grand prix is for sure very special. It would be a sensation feeling to be able to do it. But as you say, all that, anniversaries and the nice, fuzzy stuff, is not really going to make it easier for me. I realise I've got to put together a clean weekend and pull it all together and make all of the right decisions. We're capable of it but we're also mindful that it's a very tricky weekend to execute – especially with it being the first event and things like that. But looking forward to it.
Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer).
Question to any of you who want to answer it. We've heard a lot about the new tyre compounds that Pirelli have provided but the new tyres also have different weights, which has affected the front-rear balance of the car. To what extent has that affected your handling on track, downforce, things like that please?
Tagged as: Australia , Australian Grand Prix , Melbourne , Daniel Ricciardo , press conference , Kimi Raikkonen , Toro Rosso , Fernando Alonso , Red Bull Racing , Webber , Mercedes , Lewis Hamilton , Mark Webber , Sebastian Vettel , Ferrari
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