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Abu Dhabi GP - Thursday press conference - Pt.2

1 November 2012


Drivers: Vitaly Petrov (Caterham), Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), Charles Pic (Marussia), Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Jenson Button (McLaren).



Questions from the floor


Q: (Alex Popov - RTI).
Vitaly and Kamui, since nobody in big business in Russia and Japan are interested in following you or supporting you next year, if it's like this, would you consider looking for a foreign sponsor, a big international company, not specially Russian or Japanese?

Vitaly Petrov:
I don't think it's my job to do it, because I don't understand too much about it. My management must do that, and I hope for that, so I don't know what to say.

Kamui Kobayashi:
I think it's interesting, but after the race at Suzuka this year, since then I think Japan is more interested in motor sport, especially F1. I think if I had a little bit more time I could find more sponsoring from Japan. This is what I'm looking for. After Suzuka, we definitely had a lot of contact from a couple of companies. It's very difficult to judge what I have to say, because I'm not deciding the team and I don't know the budget. I have no idea. This is a very difficult moment, but at the moment I could find quite a lot of sponsors and we definitely see a lot of good signs after the Suzuka result. It's very important to get international but also my preference is if I could bring some sponsoring from Japan, to get more popular in Japan. I think this is what I'm really focusing on at the moment.

Q: (Ross Macdonald - Gulf News Broadcasting).
Jenson, what is Abu Dhabi to you? Is it just another day at the office, or is there something special about the place?

Jenson Button:
I haven't actually spent much time in Abu Dhabi. The only time I've actually been in Abu Dhabi was for a party, post-Grand Prix. Apart from that, I've never actually been to Abu Dhabi. I've only stayed at the hotels on the outskirts. I've obviously been to the circuit. The facilities out here are phenomenal, probably the best in the world. I think for the people watching and the people watching on TV, it looks like a spectacular race. I think everything's done very well here. It's a good Grand Prix, not a bad Grand Prix for me over the last three years. I like coming here, it's an enjoyable Grand Prix for me but as I said, I haven't been here, I've been down the road in Dubai for the last three days.

Q: (Ross Macdonald - Gulf News Broadcasting).
How was the party?

JB:
I can't remember. It must mean it was good

Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association).
Jenson, just been speaking to Sergio earlier and he's mentioned that he's already had a couple of conversations with you about McLaren, what it's going to be like joining next season. I was just wondering about the ten year age gap between you two, whether you feel like an older brother to him in some respects?

Felipe Massa:
Getting older.

Jenson Button:
I don't actually think I'm that old. I was surprised when I was told he was 22-years old. It seems like he's been around for a lot longer than that. But no, I don't feel like an older brother, no. It's important to work closely with your teammate. I think that when he's in the team he will probably learn a lot from someone who is older, with more experience, which is me but I still think that when you're an older driver you can still learn from a younger teammate, to bring fresh ideas to the table. But as an old brother? No, I definitely don't feel like that.

Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association).
What do you expect to learn from him?

Jenson Button:
I don't know yet. We'll see.

Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters).
Jenson, just following up on Parksey's question: how much has Lewis learned from you, given that the age gap there is a few years as well?

Jenson Button:
That's a great question. I don't know. I think you will have to ask him that. You'll get a good answer, I'm sure, on that one.

Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer).
Charles, we have heard today that Marussia have confirmed that they have got financial difficulties. We know that there are possibilities of new investors in the team. Does this mean that you are broadening your discussions with other teams for a drive next year?

Charles Pic:
Actually, I try to be focused on my job and for the moment, my job is to give my best for the three last races. After we will see what's open for next year. We are speaking with some team but I think it's too early to say anything. Thank you.

Q: (Mike Casey - Associated Press).
Jenson, following up on Perez: what does he bring to the team? You're losing Lewis, does he make the team better? From what you've seen in his driving, how is he different from Lewis?

Jenson Button:
Obviously it's very difficult to know what he brings to the team, because he's not there yet. With Lewis leaving, obviously the team loses a very fast driver, a guy that's achieved a lot with the team, wins and obviously a World Championship - the last guy to win a World Championship for the team. It is a big loss but things change and you learn to move on and adapt. It's definitely not the end of two strong drivers at McLaren. I think Sergio will be fast but I really don't know. He's obviously unknown in a McLaren, because he's not there yet. But it's a great opportunity for Checo and I'm sure he will take it with both hands.

Q: (Ralf Bach – R&B).
Jenson, do you think that Lewis is able to make a Mercedes car quicker and better next year?

Jenson Button:
I really don't know. I think the first year with a new team is always a little bit tricky. It's a new experience for Lewis. I'm sure he's excited about it. I really don't know. He's as quick as they come but sometimes it's not that easy to win Grand Prix and to build a team around you and also to help a team achieve great results.

Q: (Gaetan Vigneron - RTBF).
For all you: between Fernando and Sebastian, which is the driver who deserves the title the most, do you think?

Vitaly Petrov:
I think it's clear, for me, at the moment, today, that the Red Bull car has a big advantage compared to Ferrari. This year, Alonso did a fantastic job from the beginning; he's had a few crashes but all of us know that Ferrari is not on the same pace as Red Bull. It will be difficult for Ferrari but I think Ferrari also has the passion to win and they bring a lot of updates maybe for this weekend or another weekend. I really don't know, but what I can see at the moment is that Red Bull is the quicker car. That's it.

Daniel Ricciardo:
I think he said that quite well. I think this season has been very hard to judge. It's been a very exciting season. I think anything can happen, so even if it is the case that the package of Vettel himself and the car is better at this stage, it doesn't confirm a World Championship. You have to get it done on Sunday and there are still three Sundays to go. Things can happen. I think they both have had their little bit of bad luck this season. I think, for now, they're going to go head-to-toe but yeah, we'll see. Obviously Red Bull's been the car to beat for the last four races or so, but I think the pace is always changing, and Ferrari's obviously got some good experience and some good people behind them, so I'm sure a surprise is not impossible either. See what happens, it's exciting. I would like to be part of it.

Charles Pic:
Yes, I think maybe Sebastian is in a little bit better position than Fernando right now. From the last few races, they had a little advantage but I think it's still quite open and there are three races left. The championship is still quite close so anything can happen.

Kamui Kobayashi:
For sure, I think Red Bull has the greater advantage but I think the last three races will be quite difficult to judge. At the moment, I think Sebastian has the greater chance but if there's something... if Sebastian misses one race, then I think there is a lot of chance for Fernando. We will see. But at the moment I think Sebastian has more chance.

Felipe Massa:
Well, I think both drivers have had a fantastic championship. I think Fernando did an incredible job up to now, Sebastian as well, especially in the second part of the championship, so I think we are not talking about one guy who has many victories and the other one not. I think we are talking about two drivers one of which will win and who we will say deserved it. But anyway, I hope Fernando will win.

Jenson Button:
It's a very difficult one to answer. As Felipe said, they have both done a fantastic job this year. You would say that throughout the season, Fernando has been the more consistent. In the last few races, yeah, it's been a great job by Red Bull, but also a great job by Sebastian. He's been given the equipment and he's delivered. You don't win Grand's Prix on your own, and you don't win championships on your own, so whoever comes out on top is the driver and the team that deserves to win it.

Q: (Vanessa Ruiz - ESPN Radio).
Kamui, you just said that you were pretty confident that you're going to get a seat next year. Sauber has just confirmed Nico Hulkenberg and postponed the decision or at least the announcement about the second driver, so I wonder what it is that makes you confident that you're going to get the seat?

Kamui Kobayashi:
It's a feeling. I have nothing, you know, but just feeling. If I can explain something I think it's better but unfortunately not. I think we have to see. I think we still have the last three races and if we have some good results in the last three races maybe something can happen. I believe in that and try to focus. But the feeling for next year is just... feeling.

Q: (Ross Macdonald - Gulf News Broadcasting).
Felipe, I know last year you took part in a charity football match when you were in Abu Dhabi. Is that something you will be trying to do again this year, or do you see Abu Dhabi as more than just another day at the office?

Felipe Massa:
I thing Abu Dhabi is growing a lot. Every year when you come here you see so many new things so I think that's very nice. I had a nice football match last year. This year we didn't have it but anyway I think it's really a nice place to come: you have nice restaurants, great hotels and everything. It's beautiful. As Jenson says, it's one of the most incredible races, even to watch. I really enjoying coming here. Hopefully we can have a good race as well, another great race for the people.

Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters).
Kamui, when you first came into Formula One you had about two or three races to make an impression and you did it and you secured your future. Do you feel that these next three races are a similar situation, that you could possibly change things in the last three races and secure your future?

Kamui Kobayashi:
Of course, I think this is a good opportunity like three years ago, but this year I have a little bit different feeling. I didn't know three years ago that Toyota would leave F1, so just to give myself a good result, just driving for the same team. At the same time, I have to negotiate and do everything, a good result is very important, but this year it seems there are not many seats left so I think we have to move quite quickly as well.


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