Hungarian GP - Thursday press conference - Pt.2
25 July 2013
Drivers: Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Paul di Resta (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Gerhard Potochnik - Kleine Zeitung).
We are talking about the future; a few days ago Red Bull and Bernie Ecclestone announced that there would be an Austrian Grand Prix next July. Can you tell us your thoughts about this?
I was there maybe two years ago or something the last time. It looks slightly different. The circuit is exactly the same, I think. It's a nice place to go, I think. It's not a very difficult circuit because it hasn't got many corners, but it usually produces very good racing because of the layout of the straights and the tight corners. I'm more than happy to go back there.
Paul, a new venue on the calendar, does that excite you?
Paul di Resta:
A new event, yeah. I've never been there so I don't know what to expect but it looks a very good track from what Kimi said.
It looks interesting, obviously another track, hard to know what to expect but it's always interesting to go to a new place.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat).
Kimi, if it's really going to be 40 degrees for the race, is that really going to be too hot for you and your car? Is it a big risk for your record of finishing races?
It's the same for everybody, obviously. It will be a bit more tricky for cars and everything, brakes, everything for the drivers, but it's not the first time that it will be hot when we are racing. If it's going to be that hot we will see what happens. It was meant to be hot today and it was raining. Things change quickly.
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action/National Speedsport News).
Kimi, following on from the earlier question about Red Bull; you don't like to do PR, Red Bull likes its drivers to do a lot of PR. How much PR work would you put up with if it means you have a winning car?
Obviously you can't have a guarantee what will happen next year with any team or any cars. There are a lot of rumours about PR days but we have ten and some other teams have a hundred. I've been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes and if you count things that you do during the week and during a weekend and you put everything together, everybody has a different way of counting the days. I'm sure it's not – at least in my knowledge – the difference between the teams is in days and it's not a deciding factor.
Q: (Michael Noir Trawniczek - Rally and More).
Kimi, when you are choosing the package and the right team, what sort of questions do you ask, how technical is it, do you visit the factory, things like that? How do you make your choice?
I think it's like I said earlier, it's a combination of things and it has to be right on racing and outside of racing. Basically everything just has to feel right and I think in the end it comes down to whatever I think is the right choice and there will be no guarantee that the choice will be the good one in the long run but I'm fine with it, whatever the outcome will be; you live with the choices.
Is any choice for next year complicated by the fact that the engine regulations, the rule regulations have changed quite drastically?
Obviously it would be much easier for everybody to more or less get an idea what will happen next year without those big changes but that's how it is. It really depends on whether one engine manufacturer gets it right and one wrong, then it might be a long season for some teams and an easier one for others but I don't know. You hear rumours but that's all I know about it.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Lewis, your team didn't take part in the Silverstone test; how does it affect your team and you and Nico from a driver's point of view?
To be honest, it doesn't really faze me. I think it would have definitely helped if we were there and we have an understanding of how to set up the car with the new tyres and to see what kind of characteristics they have and how they behave on long runs and all those kind of things but we will try and find that out this weekend. At the end of the day, it is what it is and we will just try to do the best with what we've got. It's a great team, I have no doubt that we will make up for the lost time.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association).
Gentlemen, you may have seen the story last week that Sauber are due to fast track a young Russian by the name of Sergey Sirotkin into F1. If he is on the grid at the start of next season, and he gains the necessary super licence, he will be 18-years old. Is 18 too young to be racing a F1 car?
It's a difficult one because I don't know the driver very well. It's difficult to say. I think it's more up to the team and not to us.
Yeah, I don't really know the background of this driver so it's difficult to say.
Paul di Resta:
It's unfair to say anything. I don't think anybody knows too much about him because he's not been in racing cars too long.
But is 18 too young to be a Formula One driver, if you take away the individual concerned?
Paul di Resta:
You can never say never, can you? People surprise you with what they're doing. If that's a decision I'm sure there's a reason behind it.
I wasn't ready at 18. I was pretty good at 18, so...
I'm sure there will be and has also been an 18-year old, I guess. For sure they will take him if they feel it's the right thing, so I don't see that age will be the problem. It's about experience and that. He might be ready, he might not. Time will tell.
He might need a good teammate to look after him, Esteban.
Well, very difficult to judge. What Kimi said comes down to experience, results. I think all of that should be taken into account.
Q: (Jose Maria Moreira – Organizacion Editorial Mexicana).
Esteban, will Sergey Sirotkin and the Russian backers affect your future at Sauber?
Well, that doesn't really make a difference to my current season so to be honest, my focus is here, it's on this season and I know very well what I have with the team, what has been my path with them over the last few years and what we're looking into in the future.
Q: (Gergely Denes – F1-Live.hu)
Kimi, last week there was some Twitter chat between Lewis and your team, a photo postcard of you and Roscoe, Lewis's dog. Are you aware of that and what is your opinion of it?
It's the first I've heard of it. I don't have a Twitter account, I don't have any other things. I don't really have a comment.
You weren't the man putting #where'sRoscoe on the side of the car?
(Sighs and points to the team's PR man)
Q: (Peter Vamosi – Vas Népe ).
Lewis, what is the difference between Nico Rosberg as a teammate in GP2 and Formula One?
I wasn't his teammate in GP2. I was his teammate in go-karts. It was more fun when we were in go-karts, that's about it. We're both older and wiser and yeah, we don't play as many games and kid games and all the silly things you do as a kid. He's more competitive now than he was back then.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat).
Lewis, if Kimi goes to Red Bull, would he be an even harder competitor for you than he is now?
I think Kimi will always be one of the hardest competitors here. He's a fantastic driver, he's got great experience and he's constantly proving his abilities and I think whatever car you put him in he's going to be a fighting force in the field and of course he's doing a great job at Lotus, they've done a great job this year and over the last couple of years. I think whatever he decides either way, he will have a strong car and I just hope that we're competing with them.
Q: (Joo Gabor - Index).
Kimi, we can divide your Formula One career into two; which one have you enjoyed most, the first one to 2009 or the second one now?
I don't really count it as two. I did something else that I wanted to do between them and then obviously I wanted to race again. It hasn't really changed much. Obviously the team's different but I've been in different teams in the past and every team has a good side and some things that you are probably finding not that much fun. Obviously when you have decent results you have more fun that if you have bad years. I would say that is very similar, more or less the same people, same stuff. I have no real difference between earlier teams and how it is now.