Crash.Net F1 News
British GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.2
11 July 2011
Q: (Adam Hay-Nicholls – Metro)
Mark, Christian Horner has said that you should be fine with the team orders at the end and if you and Seb had raced until the end you would both have ended up in the fence. Do you agree with that? Was it the right call? Does this mean realistically that you are out of this championship?
I am not fine with it. No. That's the answer to that. If Fernando retires on the last lap we are battling for the victory so I was fine until the end. Of course I ignored the team as I want to try and get another place. Seb was doing his best and I was doing my best. I don't want to crash with anyone, but that was it. I tried to do my best with the amount of conversation I had. One-way conversation obviously as I wasn't talking too much back. There was a lot of traffic coming to me, but I was still trying to do my best to pass the guy in front.
Q: (Adam Hay-Nicholls – Metro)
Do you remember roughly how many messages you had?
Probably four or five.
Q: (Sarah Holt – BBC Sport)
Fernando, you've been saying for quite a while that you thought Silverstone was going to be a turning point for Ferrari. What did you know that the rest of us didn't and how personally important is it for you to get your first win this season under your belt?
Well, what I've been saying over the last couple of races is that for sure the team has been improving a lot – there was one part of the championship in which we put new parts on the car and they were not quicker so the wind tunnel was not telling us the truth, so we lost a little bit of ground there in the first couple of races with upgrades on the car. Then it seems in the last three or four races every new part on the car is working fine, so they are steps forward for us and very good news, not just for this year but also for next year's development. We are very happy with this and it seems that here we brought quite a big aero update and everything is working fine. Both Felipe and me feel much happier with the car. It's something that in the last three or four races we were feeling and I was saying. Victory here is very special. As I said, I think here in England motor sport is very big. People understand this sport, people love motor racing. There are hundreds of different categories here, classic cars, different things that only happen here in England, because they love motor sport. So winning here, in front of these people, is great from a driver's point of view, and Silverstone, with all the historic races we've had here and the good fights for many big names that have raced here.
Q: (Mike Doodson – Honorary)
Fernando, apropos what you've just said, it was a really thrilling experience for everyone here to see you push that old Ferrari right to the limit and I want to thank you very much for that. I would like to ask, if you would have been 60 years older, do you think you would have wanted to race a rather primitive old car like that as much as you enjoy racing your modern Ferrari?
Yeah, yeah, I think I still love motor sport, I still love cars. I also had the privilege to be with John Surtees last week in Maranello with his car as well, sitting in that car. I think it was obviously a different sport, much more dangerous. The level of power and grip is totally different now. When I drove those cars, there is a huge amount of power for the grip that you have. We are talking about 450-500bhp on a tyre that is this (indicates small amount) wide. I think every car, or every steering wheel that you have in your hands – it doesn't matter if it's from 60 years or 30 years ago, it doesn't matter if it's more dangerous or less dangerous – you don't feel that. You just want to drive and to be flat out and enjoy driving. I perfectly understand the adrenaline, the emotion of that time and I'm sure that it's very similar to what we feel now. We are lucky now that safety has improved a lot.
Q: (Julien Febreau – l'Equipe)
To all of you: how much do you think the change to the off-throttle regulations this weekend played a role in global performance of your own cars?
For me, nothing. I don't think it's a big factor. We saw one McLaren fighting for the podium until the last moment. We saw Red Bull, Ferrari for the other positions on the podium and, as we saw 15 days ago in Valencia, I was second. I didn't see any Force India or any Sauber or anything fighting for victory because the rules changed. It was more or less the same.
I think it's hard to measure for us, firstly from a data point of view and also from a feeling point of view, because this is a different track compared to the tracks we've been to previously. To really find out, you have to test one thing against another, so on-off. But I think, as Fernando said, it didn't make a massive difference in terms of driving, driving style. I didn't have to change anything so I think the influence wasn't huge. Sure you can see a little loss here and there but, as I said, it's not changing the driving.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association)
Mark, after last year's win here, you came out with a classic quote: Ônot bad for a number two driver.' I was wondering, after today's comment from the team: Ômaintain your position' on the last lap, do you feel like a number two driver again today?
Not really. I just want to race to the end, so with four or five laps to the end, they started to chat to me about holding my position. Of course, they want the points, but I also need to try and get some more points as well.
Q: (Marco Degl'Innocenti – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Seb, what did you think at the moment when Mark tried to overtake you?
What do I think? I tried to stay ahead. Obviously, we were racing each other. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Sure, from a team point of view, if you have the cars quite isolated in second and third, the first car is away, the fourth car is pretty far away as well, so from the team's point of view, there's no point in racing and trying to do something stupid because the points for the team are the same, the difference between second and third is not massive, but naturally we try to race. What can I say? I was trying to defend my position which I did. I was struggling, Mark was faster. And then there was the chequered flag.
Q: (Peter Windsor – Clarkesport)
Fernando, where would you place the Ferrari now in terms of fast and slow speed performance, perhaps relative to Red Bull or indeed relative to where you were four races ago?
Obviously it's difficult to say. We need to analyse the race a little bit better – sectors etc – but I think we were between one and 1.5s behind Red Bull, especially in qualifying four races ago. In Barcelona, I think I was 1.2s and Felipe 1.6s or something like that, so the average was there and here, with similar characteristics, high-speed corners, exactly the same tyres, the soft and the hard, we were much closer so definitely an improvement. Here, for whatever reason, we were quick in sector two all weekend which is the high-speed sector, so maybe that means we have recovered a lot in that part and now we need to concentrate a little bit more on our strongest point that it was the slow speed corners where we need to make improvements.
Q: (Byron Young – Daily Mirror)
Seb, isn't this a sham? You're the World Champion, you're supposed to be best driver in the world and Red Bull are reduced to begging on the radio to make your team-mate slow down, so he doesn't overtake you, suggesting the results aren't really what we've seen. How do we know you're a worthy champion?
I finished second, I think. As I said earlier: Mark tried to pass me; I could stay ahead. Clearly you could see he was quicker at that stage. If I wasn't racing, I would just wave him past. Sure, the last thing you want is to do something bad for the team. If it would be the other way round, there's no point – of course, I would like to overtake Mark at that stage but there's no point trying to do something stupid, especially from a team point of view, so I don't see why there is a big fuss really.
Q: (Byron Young – Daily Mirror)
But this is motor racing, it's about beating a guy on the track, not the team deciding who wins what.
I think we were racing, it was not a scheduled 'I move right, you move left, I move left, you move right, I brake here, you brake there'. As Mark said, he stayed flat out and tried to race me, as hard as he could, didn't find his way past. To me, at this stage, it's quite amusing.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Fernando, if Hamilton didn't keep behind Sebastian and Mark, your race would be different and in a normal race, if you had to use the hard tyres, how would your Ferrari react?
Yes, that's a good point. After the first couple of laps with the intermediates, we didn't need to use the hard tyres any more so we chose to do the whole dry race with the best performing tyre, which was the soft on this occasion, so there's a question mark how the car would have performed with the hard tyre. In FP3 and Q1, we were very, very competitive with the hard, so we approached the race with no problems and no doubts as we had in Barcelona. There was a big problem but here we were convinced that we were okay with hard tyres but obviously it was just a thought. And without Hamilton keeping Sebastian behind, obviously the race was a little bit different, for sure. We had to push more to open the gap. With Lewis there, the race was a little bit more comfortable for us and we could drop the revs a little bit and take a bit more care of the engine, the tyres and things like that.
Q: (Sean McGreevy – CSMA Magazine)
Fernando, this is a great way to celebrate 60 years since Ferrari's first win, but what does today's win mean to you personally and the team?
It obviously means a lot for all the guys, the people working for Ferrari who are the sons or daughters of the guys that were here 60 years ago. They are working in the factory, with the same mentality, with the same passion for racing that is in Ferrari's DNA – of all the workers there. For me, as I said to the team on the radio, I feel very proud of them, of this recovery, always fighting to win races. In spite of a difficult start to the year, (they) never give up, they keep working, they keep showing the Ferrari brand and the Italian flag on the rear wing everywhere we go, very proudly. So, for me, it's special to race for this team and to give them the maximum capacity and my maximum abilities to give them a good result. This is teamwork and I'm very happy for them.
Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto Motor und Sport)
Sebastian, you struggled in the end with your tyres; was it just because they had two more laps on them than Mark's tyres, or was it a set-up thing? Or was it something general because it was a similar story in Montreal when Jenson was catching you up?
I think it depends firstly on when exactly do you stop. I don't know when the others stopped, so it's hard for me to say whether I was doing better or worse than the others. At the end of the race, I was racing against Mark. As he said, he was in a similar position with tyres, so it's not as if only I was struggling. And then, to be fair, it was quite difficult at the beginning in wet conditions, semi-wet, at least, and then moving on to the dry tyres with still some wet places, so really only the third stint was the first dry stint where I was stuck behind Lewis. To judge the car then is quite difficult. At the pit stop, at least, you can change front wing angle, which can be quite useful around here with these high-speed corners. Obviously I didn't get a proper read because I was stuck behind another car, so in hindsight I think I would have done things differently for the last stint, but I didn't get the chance to read the car before and then, yeah, towards the end just tried to get the car to the chequered flag, because there was no chance of catching up 15 seconds in 15 laps. I was quite isolated at the end, then I lost quite a lot in the last two laps compared to Mark behind.
Q: (Joris Fioriti – Agence France Presse)
Fernando, one year ago, you were in the middle of the team order crisis; are you enjoying now the fact that politics are involving Red Bull?
I'm not happy with any politics, not to me and not to Red Bull. I don't think there are polemics. What you try to ask here to them, they answer very well, so there are no polemics but I'm sure tomorrow you will write something.
Q: (Joris Fioriti – Agence France Presse)
Mark, you were one of the few drivers who actually defended Fernando Alonso last year, saying that it was normal that there were team orders. Have you changed your mind about that or was your track behaviour the answer to my question?
No, I stick by what I said last year. Obviously, they had one guy trying to stay in the championship fight – Fernando. Felipe was not having the season that he's having this year. He's doing a bit better job. Fernando was much, much quicker, it was in the middle of a grand prix and he [Massa] released him, so this is pretty straightforward stuff.