» BACK TO CRASH.NET

Crash.Net F1 News

Abu Dhabi GP - Thursday press conference - Pt.2

10 November 2011


Drivers: Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso), Paul di Resta (Force India), Timo Glock (Virgin), Heikki Kovalainen (Team Lotus), Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault).



Questions from the floor.


Q: (Alex Popov – RTR).
Heikki, does the change of name to Caterham mean that your business car will be very fast but not very comfortable?

Heikki Kovalainen:
I've been waiting for the Caterham already this year. They haven't sent me one yet but I'm sure I will get one soon. I'm quite looking forward to taking one to Finland; I have a fantastic road leading up to my log cabin house, so I'm going to test it there, I think, when there's a little bit of snow banks around, on studded tyres.

Q:
Will you have to build your company car yourself?

Heikki Kovalainen:
No, I don't think so. I have a good car crew; they will do it for me.

Q: (Alex Popov – RTR).
Heikki as a Finnish driver, your main target may be the Williams team next year?

Heikki Kovalainen:
For next year, the target ahead of us doesn't change – whoever is driving in different teams. Obviously you're referring to Kimi at Williams; I have no idea whether that is happening or not. What's going on there… it doesn't matter who is driving the cars in front of us. We are targeting the cars ahead of us, joining that group and hopefully sometimes being ahead of more than one team if we have a good day. That's all I can say. If Kimi decides to come back, I think the main difference for me will be that the parties after the races will be a little bit better.

Q: (Michael Stauble – SRG/DRS).
After 17 races with DRS, how would you rate it, has it improved the racing in your opinion?

Vitaly Petrov:
I think that it's definitely a big step forward. I think we will keep this for many years, five or ten years. I think it's a good chance for us to overtake and good for you to write something about overtaking, so I think it's a good step.

Sebastien Buemi:
I think it's definitely a positive. We've seen a lot more overtaking; we've even seen some overtaking in Monaco. It's definitely good. Sometimes it feels like the DRS zone is not long enough but I definitely think it's going to help a lot this weekend.

Q:
From a lapping point of view, is it better that the people who are lapping have DRS? Is that better from your point of view?

Timo Glock:
In general, it's not that big a difference for us. In general, it's quite difficult overall, in the race, to keep out of the (way of the) top five, especially if you have a safety car and we are in the middle of the pack and it's just a big mess. DRS doesn't make a big difference for lapping cars.

Heikki Kovalainen:
The only difference I see is that maybe sometimes they give us a big tow in a straight line when they go past, so it's definitely better for us.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo).
Sebastian, is the increased performance from your car related to the development of the blown diffuser?

Sebastien Buemi:
Yes, I think it's mainly because of that, but in general I think we improved the car very well from mid-season to the end now. I think we're now improving the car race after race and this is why we can actually catch up the other guys. We were maybe a little bit too slow developing the car in the middle of the year, but now I think we're doing a good job. It's only the second year that the team is building the car, so it takes a bit of time to get into the rhythm but I think we've definitely got a lot of lap time through the blown diffuser.

Q: (Alex Popov – RTR).
Vitaly, you mentioned the football team but which one of the team would you prefer to be your team-mate next year, stay with Bruno or maybe change or maybe Robert will be back: your personal preference?

Vitaly Petrov:
I think that if you had asked me this question last year, I would definitely have chosen the most experienced guy, because when Robert was with me in the team, I learned quite a lot from him, so I analysed the date, watched the video, listened to how he talked to the engineers and what he… At the moment, now, for me, it doesn't matter, to be honest. I already know how to improve the team in general, to set up and how to work with my team, so this is why for next year or for this year, it doesn't matter at all.

Q: (Gaetan Vigneron – RTBF).
Timo, what is your opinion about your team-mate for next year? Is it important for you to have the same one because it's better to improve the team or is it better to have a new one or it doesn't matter to you personally?

Timo Glock:
In general, I think it doesn't matter to me; it's a decision to be made by the team. Sure, on the other hand, if both drivers remain, then you have more consistency in the team but on the other hand, it doesn't matter to me, as I said. We have a long road in front of us so it's up to the team to decide.

Q: (Muthyalu Satyanarayan – Gulf News).
Most of you have grown up and raced in your early careers in Europe. Now, two or three years back, we had Abu Dhabi and now India, so how is this experience with venues shifting to this part of the world, Middle East and Asia? What's the experience of racing in these new venues?

Heikki Kovalainen:
I have a good answer for this one. I much prefer to be at these kind of warm races because the golf courses are fantastic. I would happily stay near Bangkok and just race from there; the golf courses are great. I arrived here on Monday already and I've played four rounds of golf already, so I'm happy for this direction.

Vitaly Petrov:
It's a good answer!

Vitantonio Liuzzi:
Maybe it's much colder in Europe but I prefer the European races. For sure, we have a different kind of circuit here in Asia, it's completely different, much more modern, beautiful circuits but I still love the historical circuits like Spa, Monza and the European races.

Sebastien Buemi:
I think it's good to try some new circuits, some new countries to visit. I think it's definitely a positive to come to these races and I think what we experience here is completely different. It's the best infrastructure in the world and it's definitely quite nice to be racing here, starting the race when it's still daylight and then we finish in the dark. I definitely think it's a positive.

Paul di Resta:
Yeah, I think it's always a good experience, but I think the questioner talked about drivers as well and I think given where junior categories are in Europe compared to Asia, it's not quite there yet but I think that is just generally through time and I think it builds up, the whole experience, how popular racing will get. Given how many people there are in India, I'm sure that with the first Indian Grand Prix, that will generate interest and for the future, you never know where that might lead to.

Q: (Alex Popov – RTR).
Sebastian, as I understand it, you used to live in Bahrain, do you still live there?

Sebastien Buemi:
No, I've lived in Monaco for two years but part of my family lives in Bahrain and that's why I moved there three years ago.

Q: (Alex Popov – RTR).
Is all OK there now; do we have a chance to go back for the race next year?

Sebastien Buemi:
I hope so. Bahrain is a nice circuit and I enjoy being there but first of all it has to be safe but I didn't hear anything bad for a few months now.


» BACK TO CRASH.NET