I think everybody has similar issues with the tyres. All winter, conditions, they wore out very quickly but I thought they had better grip on one lap than last year but then they go off more quickly. But it's difficult to say with the conditions we've been running over the winter testing, so it might be a completely different story here. Balance-wise they are quite similar to last year.
I don't really have much more to say about it. The tyres are a little bit different, it's not a big drama, everyone's in the same boat so it'll be interesting to see how long the supersoft tyre lasts, if there's a little more graining than there was last year. But again, everyone's got the same tyre. I haven't seen any discrepancies between each tyre.
On the subject of supersofts, do you enjoy the challenge Seb, of having to go with a tyre that has never been used here before?
We didn't use it in winter testing either; we haven't used that tyre. I think generally, as Kimi said, it will be interesting to see whether the temperatures make a difference or not at all. We are keen to find out and then we'll know a little bit more.
(Ian Parkes – PA).
Fernando, you've agonisingly missed out on the title twice in the last three years. Do you carry the pain of those near-misses into this season? Does it serve as motivation for you to drive you on this season?
Well, I think I feel privileged to fight for the world championship two times in the last three years. Not many people have the opportunity to be on the podium and to enjoy the podium ceremony in F1 and even less people have the opportunity to win races and very few people have the opportunity to fight for a world championship. So I feel lucky and privileged to have those opportunities. Sure, we lost two times in the last three years, in the last race and we want to have again the possibility once again to fight for the world championship, hopefully this year and hopefully this year change the final result. But this is just a normal thing for the sport and this is maybe some extra motivation for me and from the team, to really have one happy result at the end.
(Michael Wittershagen– Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
Question to Sebastian and Fernando: could you please tell us what you think of each other as a person and as a driver?
Well, I think as a driver, really not much to say: three times World Champion beating all the records in terms of wins and fastest laps and pole positions etc. 2011 was nearly a record championship and this is not only about the car or about the package. You need to perform, even when you have the car that is available. Seb has won everything perfectly in the past years and for that he is World Champion and he's a tough rival and contender for the next couple of years. As a person, we obviously don't spend much time together. We are of a different generation. We didn't race together in go-karts or anything like that. He's a normal – or looks like a normal guy – and nothing more so all good.
Thank you very much. I think, as a driver, I don't have to introduce Fernando. I think he's one of the most respected and most accepted drivers in the world. I think in all circumstances he has the ability to be on the limit. I think he's a very intelligent driver and I think that's the reason why he was always fighting for the championship until the end, in many years of his career. Fortunately we had the upper hand in the last couple of years but surely he's trying his best to give everyone a hard time again this year, and as a person, as he said, we don't spend that much time together, hardly with any of the drivers. It's probably what people think or expect from the outside but there's obviously not a lot of time during the weekend but in private – I don't drink coffee so I'm not inviting you for a coffee but I can invite you for a Red Bull
if you want to talk.
At least you're on one each other's Christmas card list now for the future.
(Alex Popov - Russian TV).
There is strong opinion about the new qualifying, in Q2 especially, because there are fewer cars and the tyres are very soft, so maybe it's better to preserve the tyres than get into Q3? Do you agree?
In Barcelona we were still qualifying all together. Just start the race. The tyres at the back of the grid... don't worry about Q3, we don't worry about Q1 or Q2 either. You need the tyres to finish the race.
Can any of you see an advantage there in missing out on Q3, potentially in the first few races?