F1 » 21 March 2013
Thursday press conference – Malaysian GP – Pt.2
Drivers: Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Giedo van der Garde (Caterham), Jules Bianchi (Marussia), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Max Chilton (Marussia)
Questions from the floor:
Q: (Trent Price – Richland F1)
Question for Esteban: very impressive 30-lap stint on the mediums in the race, obviously you weren't able to compare data with Nico but did that come quite naturally because the Sauber's renowned for being quite easy on its tyres. Was that something you put down to the car or something that came naturally for you?
Are you referring to the long stint?
Yes, I think from that point of view, I think the tyres are playing a big role in the race and it's something that I really focussed a lot to try to find the best compromise into the speed and the long stint I could do. It was a very long stint, at the same time we found out we had a slight flat tyre through that stint, so it also was the balance was switching a little bit, especially at the last of the stint. So, I think it's just a matter of finding the right compromise of how quick we can be and also how long we want to keep the tyres. As we can see, Kimi did a very similar strategy and he was able to be a lot quicker, so there's something that definitely we can find and we will be looking into that.
Q: (Alex Popov – RTR)
Question especially for Valtteri and Esteban. You have a very tough challenge inside your team because Pastor already won the race and Nico nearly won the race in Brazil. You prefer this situation or you prefer the situation with a little bit less level for your team-mate for the first year?
I prefer it. Pastor is a very good reference. He is a quick driver, it's his third year at Williams now and definitely for me it's good to compare to him and good to see from him if I have some things to improve. Hopefully we will be close and hopefully I can keep up in the beginning of the season and I try to improve and then get better. Definitely a good reference and I prefer that.
I think a little bit the same as Valtteri. I think it's good to have a good reference, especially knowing that Nico is a very quick and consistent driver and yes, it was not the ideal situation for him not to do the race in Melbourne but it would be nice to have that
reference up until this race but now in this race let's hope for a good reference to get that reference and try to move on.
Q: (Ben Edwards – BBC)
A two-part question for Max and for Kimi. Max, first of all, can you talk to us about the difficulties when you're being lapped by the leaders? What you've got to learn, what gets more difficult from that point of view? And Kimi, with five rookies out there, did you find any problems yourself when lapping the guys coming into F1? If you could just talk about that.
Well, the team over the winter testing did give me some guidance of the best way to do it, and they did say it is an art and it will take you a few races. I definitely felt, at the start of the race in Melbourne, when obviously the blues started to come earlier because we had to do a nose-change, I was getting the blue flags earlier than expected. Our races are planned to be as fast as you can to the blue flags and then your race slows down – and that came sooner than we thought. But, I could definitely tell after 20 laps, the blue flags, where to do it. And the time you can save – and it is a huge time-saver. Obviously you don't want to disrupt the leaders because their race is more important than ours but our race is still important, so you need to do the best for the team by not losing too much time. I think after the next few races I'll be fully comfortable and you just naturally know where to do it and lose the least amount of time possible.
Last year for sure there was some cars and teams that were not very easy to get past when you were lapping them but at least in the first race it seems to be a bit better. So, I have no complaints on that. Of course it's some days difficult to let people past, to move off the way quick enough but for sure everybody's trying to do their best and if something goes wrong obviously they get penalised – so it was OK in the first race at least.
Q: (Ben Waterworth – Richard's F1)
For Kimi, been ten years since your first victory here in Sepang ten years ago. Special place for you here in Sepang? And win be a perfect anniversary present for it?
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