Crash.Net F1 News
Canadian GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt. 2
9 June 2012
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Questions from the floor
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Sebastian, you said that now you are understanding the car better, you are putting everything together and you are surprised by the advantage. Does that mean that now you're feeling more confident, that you're reaching the level that you were at last year or is it still unpredictable?
It's not as if we have major changes and it's not as if we've had a completely different approach. I think we're able to learn from the mistakes we made in the past, we did it in the last two races, where qualifying was arguably not fantastic for us and I think - just looking at the whole grid - I think this year is very different. It seems that a little bit of a mistake here or there, maybe not getting the tyres to work 100 percent, you are quite far away. That's because 1), it makes a big difference to yourself, so you lose a lot of time and 2), there's not one car that might fill the gap, there are ten, so then you end up… instead of third you are not fourth but 13th, and then the race weekend is completely different. I think that's the reason for that.
Q: (Adrian Huber – Agencia EFE)
Fernando, how happy are you with Felipe Massa's sixth place? And secondly, you three guys are in the top three, does that mean that the championship is becoming a little bit more normal?
Fernando Alonso:For Felipe, of course, I'm very happy. I think he has all the support from the team, all the support from me, he's had some difficult races at the beginning of the year, the car was not the easiest car to drive and he hasn't been so lucky in some of the races at the beginning of the season, as I said, so now, from Barcelona, he's done quite a good job. In Monaco he was very quick all weekend and here as well so I expect this is the normality and it will be like this from now until the rest of the championship. The first four races were a strange case, not normal races. We will see. As we said on Thursday, the championship looks a little bit crazy, a little bit unpredictable, some different winners and some different car performances every Grand Prix, but when you look at the championship table, it's Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus. One thing is one single race, and then overall for the six races that we've done, the order is more or less not very different compared with what we saw in the last two or three years.
Q: (Jeff Pappone – The Globe and Mail)
Lewis mentioned earlier that as it's getting warmer, he's having a little bit more trouble and struggling. It's going to be warmer tomorrow and obviously you're learning a lot from Friday and today, but how much of that gets thrown out of the window for raceday and how much do you have to readjust your strategy and what you're doing in the car in order to remain quick?
As I said, it will be difficult for the tyres to survive a certain amount of laps, but I think from yesterday to today, for us it was a bit easier, a step forward. Tomorrow is going to be a little bit hotter… it seems so far this year, for us at least, the cooler it is, the more we were in trouble; the warmer it is, the better it is. I hope if it's warmer tomorrow, we can keep continuing that trend. We have seen that on Sundays a lot of things can happen so we have to be aware of whatever comes up and that explains the strategy and so on. Of course, if you have a plan in your head… but as we've seen many times this year, it can change quickly, so you have to react on the fly.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Sebastian, you are starting on pole position, you said that the gap has surprised you a little and yesterday you did 18 laps as far as I remember on the supersoft tyres on 'green' asphalt. It seems to be a very good package to start on pole position, a fast car, and even knowing that you have a very good car for the supersoft tyres.
We will see. Obviously it will be very important to have a good start. I think life is always a little bit easier when you are at the front so it will be crucial to defend that position and then we will see what happens. As I said, it's a long race, the track will be more or less green when we start. It has always been difficult here at the beginning of the race. This place is a crazy place, it has delivered some crazy races in the past and safety cars are likely etc, so you have to be aware of all that and take it into account for your strategy. Sometimes it can help you, sometimes it may work against you. You don't know these things. As I said, we have to look after ourselves and try to do the best we can, have clean pit stops and have the fastest race that we can.
Q: (Randy Phillips – Montreal Gazette)
Lewis, I believe that when you won here in 2010 you were on a two stop strategy. Given the conditions and the tyres and all the other factors, do you see tomorrow's race being a multiple stop – three or four stops – during the course of the race?
Lewis Hamilton: I think it's definitely possible we will have slightly more stops than we did in the last race so maybe a two or three stop, but we did see long runs yesterday that could lead into a one stop but here the likelihood of a safety car is usually quite high so with that in mind, people might prefer to do a one or two stopper, who knows? But it is dependent on the temperatures and how long the tyres will last. Yesterday they lasted quite long but today may be different and tomorrow may be different. I hope we don't have any problems with it, but we will wait and see tomorrow.
Q: (Mineoki Yoneya – La Vie Creative)
Question for all three: can I ask about your helmet? How did you decide on the colour scheme of your helmet and what does it mean to you?
I've changed the design many times. It might take too long… there's a football match starting in 15 minutes, German is playing, so if I answer that question now full length we will still be sitting here tonight. I've had so many helmets so far. I like to swap the design. The one I have currently I like, that's why I wear it.
Lewis Hamilton: I think that's the best and shortest answer I've ever heard him give! I'm going to say the same. I've commented loads of times on my helmet and try to keep it the same. It's who I am, that's how I use it.
Fernando Alonso:As Seb, I think, wants to go, I will give you a very long answer now, starting from gokart helmet… no, I'm… I change my helmet every year, little differences but always remaining with the blue from my region's flag, Asturias, and then the Spanish flag always somewhere on the helmet and then all the rest of the details, because he's on pole, we will save.
Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer)
Sebastian, you have shown us, very effectively, that whatever the FIA might say about the technical regulations concerning your car, it doesn't affect you performance-wise. But psychologically, does it motivate you to prove that you can do it whatever the FIA says, or do you find it frustrating?
First of all, you have to understand that we have the hole because we were believing in a combination with all the other parts we have on the car and how the car looks it makes sense. Now it was declared illegal, then it was declared legal and now declared illegal again, so maybe next week it's legal again. We have the parts in the garage! There's no real extra motivation. I think we still have to make sure we get the best out of the car that we can. We see that this year is very tight so it's up to us to make sure we use our package as well as we can and sometimes it might be good enough for the front row like here, sometimes maybe not good enough, but then we still have to make sure that we are very close.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Fernando, I would just like to know if some jokes have already start between you and the mechanics in the team about tomorrow's match?
Fernando Alonso:No, not yet but if Spain wins, I think there may not be many people at the pit stop!