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Indian GP - Thursday press conference - Pt.1

27 October 2011

PRESS CONFERENCE


Q:
First of all your impressions of India. Adrian, I know you have been here a few times and you've been here probably a whole week now.

Adrian Sutil:
Yes, so I know this country. Quite good job on the circuit really. I went around the circuit this morning and it all looked finished. Looks very interesting lay-out wise. It was still very dusty I have to say, quite dirty, so we will have to see how it is for tomorrow morning. But hopefully it is going to be a great event. For us it is very special and now since a few years we are doing better and better so India knows about our team here and now I think it is time to introduce Formula One here in India. Great weekend for us, many people watching us, and I look forward to it.

Rubens Barrichello:
I have also felt that the track is quite good. They have done a super job in a short period of time. We are going to go out tomorrow but like any new circuit there should be some dirt on it and some dust, but that's fairly normal. I am enjoying what I have seen so far.

Jarno Trulli:
Well I have to say I arrived only last night but the circuit itself looks pretty good. They must be really proud about having such a nice circuit in India especially for the future of this country's motorsport. The layout of the circuit seems very interesting. Obviously the question mark is about how dirty and dusty it is. I have been around this morning cycling and it was very dusty. I hope they can clean today and tomorrow morning and see how the circuit develops over the weekend. But it is definitely something that looks pretty good.

Felipe Massa:
I think it is very nice, I am enjoying being here in India and also to see the circuit. It is pretty interesting even all these hairpins with very wide braking point which you can choose two different lines. I think that is a very interesting even for overtaking and everything so I think it will be a nice circuit.

Narain Karthikeyan:
First of all, as I have been saying, I did not think in my racing career that I would be racing in India and here we are just around the corner. With the circuit, again like everybody else, it is wide in some places, I am sure lots of different lines you are going to see, lots of overtaking. It is definitely a very challenging circuit, with lots of run off areas and so on, so they have done a very good job, no doubt.

Michael Schumacher:
Equally to the other guys I think they have done a very nice job here. It looks very interesting. Just seen the safety car running around and saw the elevation change, some blind spots, so quite a bit of a challenge for us with high and low speed corners, good overtaking, so a good mixture of all that we like to enjoy ourselves on so I look forward to drive the car. That's the real feeling. That's the only thing that really tells you how you feel about it.

Q:
Interesting you mention the blind spot, particularly going up into..

Michael Schumacher:
Turn three.

Q:
Yes, into the hairpin. That's going to be interesting isn't it?

Michael Schumacher:
Yeah, exactly. It is a new sort of philosophy with this overtaking with getting the circuits very wide at the entry as we have the one line defend mechanism so if you go that far certainly the other guy choosing the outside line can take a good run at you at the end of the straight. It offers a good tactical perspective for overtaking, for having a good show, and hopefully make the Indian fans enjoy Formula One after this weekend.

Q:
Adrian, I guess you have been here for a few days doing promotions. Tell us about what you have been doing?

Adrian Sutil:
Well I was in Delhi first day, then I went to Mumbai. Always press stuff, appearances, just normal events for us, kind of Kingfisher events and it was quite nice to see how many fans we have got and how excited the people are. During the years it has picked up. I have seen that every year I come back here and people were more aware of what we were doing on the circuit so I hope it is going to be another step after this weekend.

Q:
What are your expectations from a competitive point of view as you have been particularly good in qualifying over the last couple of races, but not quite so good in the races?

Adrian Sutil:
Yeah, I think in Korea the qualifying was quite good again but in the race I just didn't have the right balance. We had a lot of understeer and that's why I couldn't go into the points. I think we have to try to address that here for this race. We have some modifications so hopefully that will help. I am quite pleased with the speed of the car, we are always around this top 10 area, but probably at the moment a little bit better in qualifying than in the race so let's see what comes out. I am confident for this weekend though.

Q:
Rubens, you have said you have tried this circuit on your home simulator, whatever that is, so what was it like to drive on the home simulator?

Rubens Barrichello:
I have actually built a small simulator at home as I am racing on the internet with different things which is great and I just adapt the circuit.

Felipe Massa:
He is racing for seven hours a day.

Rubens Barrichello:
He races for five-and-a-half. We meet each other on those games and he was the one that introduced it to me so that's why I am there. My wife is pissed off at him, not me.

Felipe Massa:
Mine too.

Rubens Barrichello:
We definitely won't end up being at the same house anyway without the wives. I try to adapt this Formula One game into India which was quite nice. I did 100 laps on it. You could see the elevation, turn three and the opening and so on, so it was quite nice. The team is looking forward to see as Pastor (Maldonado) has been on the Williams simulator with the track and there is a difference in time. The time that I set and the time that he sent and we want to see which one is better. He might go home to drive the Abu Dhabi one.

Q:
What sort of lap time are you reckoning?

Rubens Barrichello:
It is on the 26's, high 26's, low 27's

Q:
And Pastor reckons what?

Rubens Barrichello:
I think on the Williams simulator he was on the high 29's. It is not who is right or wrong, it is just the fun side. It was good to learn the lines and see what the car reaction is to the track and so on. It is going to be a little bit different as the track is dusty and the lines should be getting better all the time up until the end of the race really. Just such as Korea, for example, so I don't think we will have the full picture tomorrow.

Q:
Jarno, I guess the locals were all hoping that Karun (Chandhok) might have been driving for the team, but it is very important for the team that the regular drivers are in the car?

Jarno Trulli:
Yeah, I think so. I believe the team is trying to get the best position for the team's future. There is a lot of investment made by the team for the future, for next year, in order to make this step into the midfield and I think none of us wants to lose this opportunity to finish 10th in the championship. This, I believe, is the main reason for not giving Karun another chance. But it is not down to me, honestly, to talk about it. This race is the only thing I can think about.

Q:
Lotus is a very active team. Is the focus very much on 2012? Are you looking for a different role, for example, for next year?

Jarno Trulli:
No, not really. We are focussed already on next year's car as we have several new things coming in which should make us take a step forward in terms of performance. We really hope that we can do what we haven't done or what we were not able to do this year. We were expecting to be fighting the midfield and we were not quite there so for next year I think Tony (Fernandes) and everybody is determined to make this step and they are working very hard on next year's car and there are several deals in place in order to get a good package together for next year's car so we are very confident of making this step.

Q:
So you are suggesting a step rather than a jump?

Jarno Trulli:
It depends. If you look at certain results we don't really need that jump. We just need a little further step as we are in a situation that the car in front is slightly quicker than us and the car behind us are definitely slower than us so we just need a further step to be in the midfield. Obviously If you want to think about winning races it is different. You need a further jump but you need to take things step-by-step. Rome wasn't built in a day and the team was built just two years ago.

Q:
Felipe, some good races recently from the team. What are your thoughts on the recent performances?

Felipe Massa:
Well I think it was okay. We didn't bring so many pieces in the last races so the car was more or less similar four races ago, for example. But it is true that in some tracks the car was a bit more competitive than at other tracks. I would say the last two tracks the car was a little bit more competitive compared to Spa, Monza so I think depends on the layout of the track. Maybe we can be a bit more competitive, depending on the track maybe it was a bit more difficult, so we will see how it is going to be here and how it is going to be in the next two races as well. I hope we can push hard to see better results.

Q:
What tracks does it suit and is this one and the next two exactly those sort of tracks that suits?

Felipe Massa:
I think it is difficult to say as at some tracks we expected to be competitive and we were not so competitive and some other tracks where we expected to be in a difficult direction we were competitive, for example, in England, so we will see. It is difficult to say.

Q:
Narain, the expectations of a huge nation are on your shoulders. How are they?

Narain Karthikeyan:
Well I can say so many things, but the realistic thing with our car is to possibly finish the race and beat your team-mate. If you do that, I think at the moment, we can't expect much more. It is an historic and symbolic moment that an Indian driver is on the grid and, of course, there is a lot following Formula One for a long time. There will be a lot of fans here. It will be hard to explain but it is what it is. I want to enjoy the weekend, have a lot of fun, and try and do the best I can do.

Q:
What are your inner feelings at the moment. Massive excitement? Anticipation?

Narain Karthikeyan:
Yeah, lots of, thousands of requests for passes. I just need to relax and from tomorrow it is going to be different, you are in the car a lot. I just want to enjoy the whole atmosphere. My family, everyone is coming. All the sponsors and so on so it is a huge day for Indian motorsport and those first few laps tomorrow are going to be very special, yes.

Q:
Just give us some indication of the support you have had from India and from the industry as well?

Narain Karthikeyan:
Since I started in Formula Three in England I had the support of the Tata Group, India's largest group, and a few other sponsors. Once Formula One is here the exposure will create a big opportunity for the young drivers and for the whole motorsport infrastructure to grow. We are all looking forward to it. India is different to China. There has been a lot of interest in Formula One for a long time and and Michael probably has millions of sponsors here. It has been that long, since 1993, that it has been on TV live here and I think it is going to be very good for the sport and all the motorsport fraternity here is very, very excited.

Q:
Michael, we have always slightly thought of you as the fourth team but more recently you have been getting up there almost into third place in terms of the team. Can we expect more in the last three races?

Michael Schumacher:
I guess it is maybe more to do with nature of tracks that one suits us more than others so, therefore, we might have a chance indeed to go a little bit further forward than just being seventh or eighth. This track, honestly, probably plays a little bit in our hands and can be a little helpful. Qualifying usually is difficult but then the race we look a little bit stronger recently so let's find out.

Q:
And the next two after that?

Michael Schumacher:
Well, I have not really thought about it. Let's think about this one here.

Q:
There was quite a lot of excitement about the front wing that you used at the last race. What was it like for the driver? Did you notice the difference?

Michael Schumacher:
Perfect.

Q:
Perfect? No improvement to be made?

Michael Schumacher:
We didn't use a different front wing, quite honestly. It was as good as before.

Q:
So no change?

Michael Schumacher:
No.

Q:
Have you been to India before? Narain just mentioned there are a lot of fans of you here. Have you seen a huge amount of interest?

Michael Schumacher:
I only arrived yesterday so I haven't really been out in town and sort of got the social touch but certainly I want to go over the weekend and see a little bit more because when we have the opportunity and chance to travel to different countries I usually like to see a little bit more of the country. I have had a very warm welcome from all the people I have met so far. That is very nice. We had a press conference this morning, together with Mercedes, lots of interest and follow-up from the media side and I just look forward for the main fact. It is a new track for us and it is always a great challenge, but even more important is how are we received with the sport that we all love here in this new country. How do the Indian fans like what we are doing? We just hope we can enjoy them as much as we have an opportunity to do so.


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