F1 » 23 March 2013
Post-qualifying press conference - Malaysian GP - Pt.1
Felipe, in terms of the information you were getting about the weather, can you track your thoughts through the course of that qualifying session and how you thought it was progressing for you?
I think it was pretty good. Even on the… we go out, I did one timed lap and it was a pretty good lap straight away with the conditions, which was more water on the track. And then I stop, I change the tyres, looking at many people stopping as well. I go out with a new set, track was already quicker because already the dry line starts to appear. The rain was a bit less, so even in one lap you find a completely different track, so the track was much quicker. I managed to put a good lap together. Even if already I have a bit of graining in my first timed lap because the track was too dry maybe for the Inters. So, maybe I was suffering a little bit on the second and the third sector – but I mean maybe everybody was having similar problems. Anyway, the lap was good, so it was a good start for both of us. I think maybe since a long time we don't start both cars with a good pace as well in the top three. I think it's a good job for the team as well. For the team that was preparing this car in the winter as well. So, I'm really looking forward for the race tomorrow. It will be a difficult long race. Anything can happen with degradation, with strategy, with rain. But let's concentrate to do the best we can tomorrow.
From what we've seen so far in the practice sessions, obviously the tyre degradation different for some teams from others, how decisive is the strategy for tomorrow and what are your thoughts on what we're likely to see?
Very important. I mean, we know how these tyres behave with the high temperature. For sure you have teams which suffer a little bit more than the other teams. So, we need to concentrate on doing the right job. For sure, if I do the right job it can also be many positions at the end of the race.
What about from your perspective Fernando? What have you learnt so far from the practice running that will help you in the grand prix tomorrow?
Well, I think we need to use all the information we have from yesterday in the long run pace and also in this morning a little bit. Also, in qualifying, I think all the laps you do in this race track are important due to the changes that constantly you have: the temperature, the weather conditions, etcetera. So for tomorrow I think we expect some rain around – like all the afternoons here, so if it arrives before the race, at the start of the race, in the middle of the race, at the end of the race, we don't know, so we need to be ready for any change. The only good thing, the only positive thing that we have is that the car performed really well in both conditions: in rain and in dry conditions. So, we are not afraid of what is coming from the sky. Whatever arrives, we will take it and hopefully we will be competitive.
Talk a little bit about the timing as well of decision-making. Obviously today it was important to get the timing right. Wet conditions like we had here last year when you won the race, it was really important – because it's a long lap here – to make the timings right. How important is that within the team to get the decisions clear?
It's very important. I think here the characteristics of the circuit are quite… extreme let's say, in terms of tyre stress, so to do a extra lap with the wrong tyre can cause you a lot of time – or more than at other circuits. So we need to be spot-on the decisions tomorrow. We need to be very concentrated because there is no room for mistakes tomorrow in the race.
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