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Thursday press conference - Bahrain GP - Pt.2

Thursday FIA press conference from Bahrain with Charles Pic, Jean-Eric Vergne, Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.

Drivers: Charles Pic (Caterham), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Paul di Resta (Force India), Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Jenson Button (McLaren).

Questions from the floor

Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer).
Charles, a question for you carrying on with the Heikki stuff, we spoke to him earlier and he said that one of the things he'd been told to look out for was balance problems with the car. Have you had the opportunity to talk to him about any struggles you've had with the car or would you prefer he went in blind and delivered his feedback that way?

Charles Pic:
No, I didn't speak to him for the moment. I think what will be interesting is tomorrow when he will drive the car because as I said, he's got a lot of experience and he will be able to bring his experience and also knows the team for three years. I think it's always good to take, and then after we have to be focussed also on the race, to make a good weekend.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action / National Speedsport News).
A question for Felipe: by now you're very used to having a world champion as a team-mate. Describe to us the challenges, the pressures and the satisfaction of working with and competing against a guy who's the champion and therefore one of the best in the world.

Felipe Massa:
Yeah, I think for sure I had most of my career a strong team-mate. I think many people say it's not good to have but I think it's positive. You always need to do the best you can and if you don't do the perfect job you know you're going to be behind. And I think in terms of experience you learn a lot by working with a good team-mate, a strong driver. I think to be honest, for maybe most of you guys or many people around the world is maybe everybody's talking about him as the best driver, y'know? So, you know you have a lot to do, you have a very important job and I think that's good. You're always under pressure because you need to be perfect everyday. But I think, I like… think it's nice, I think it's important and we always need to grow, we always need to get better and better and that's still what I'm trying to do all the time.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Felipe, at the beginning of the last race you were fighting with Alonso for second place. Then after the pit stop, with the medium tyres, you suffered a lot. You said you had graining. What's the origin of this graining – the way you drive, the set up you chose? Could it be predicted during free practice?

Felipe Massa:
Well, for sure I had a big problem with graining in the last race, with the medium tyres. It was something that I was already having at the beginning of practice on Friday. It was a little bit less graining on Friday, but I had it anyway and for sure, the track gets better up to Sunday. I had a lot more grip at the rear of the car so the graining was even more in the race. I started the race concentrating very much on not over-using the front tyres, because of the graining, but then the graining started and I was not pushing because I was trying not to use the front tyres. I lost the second stint because of that. And in the third stint I had the graining and I started to push and I cleaned the front tyres and then the car started to be very quick after a while. So for sure the direction I took - saving the fronts - was completely wrong. I suppose to push a little bit harder with also a bit of traffic in the second stint and very concentrated not use the front and that was wrong. The third stint and the second last stint was not as much of a problem as the second stint but in the second stint I lost many positions, I lost a lot of time to these guys in front and I lost the opportunity to fight with them. For sure, it's something that we understand and it shouldn't happen again.

Q: (Khodr Rawi - F1Arab.com).
Jenson, do you think the big chance for you to score big points at the moment is to take a gamble on strategy in qualifying and the race until the pace of the car improves?

Jenson Button:
Yes, I think we've been improving since the first race. Every race we have made improvements and I think maybe these circuits suit the car a little bit more, in terms of where we have to put the car in terms of set-up. But to finish fifth at the last race and to beat some very quick cars, I think to do that we had to try something different. We beat every single car on the grid, at least one of the drivers, which is positive I think. P5 is not where we want to be, but I think we have to take a lot from last weekend and yes, we had to try a different strategy, we had to try and do a two stop. We felt that it was the quickest way for us to the end of the race but it was very tricky to make it work because of the stint lengths that you needed. If you didn't make the stint length you dropped into a three stop race. By that point, you're pretty much out of the points so we had to make it work. A lot went into the strategy and trying to understand what we have to do with tyres and the lap time we have to do. It was a tricky weekend but in the end a good result I think we should be very happy with. And here, yeah, I think we have to wait and see. It's tough on tyres round here, it's hot, it's tough on the cars in terms of cooling so we have to see first of all what downforce people are running and how the degradation is, to see what we do with the car. Here, I think it's probably more likely that everyone's going to be running the same sort of strategy but we have to wait and see.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
18.04.2013- Press conference, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138
18.04.2013- Press conference, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
18.04.2013- Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06
18.04.2013- Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW35
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
22.03.2013 - free practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
18.04.2013- (L-D) Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW35, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
18.04.2013- Press conference, Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F138 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28

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