Questions from the floor

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Jenson, you said that you were surprised by how close the others were which means that you were pretty sure it was going to be between you and Rubens.

Jenson Button:
You always hope that but just looking at testing, I expected the pace to be reasonably good and it was. I don't think I expected it to be bigger but always when there's a car which is only two tenths behind you think that's close. But no, I don't think I really expected us to be much quicker. Yeah, it seemed like there were a lot of cars which were setting the same sort of pace and that's what surprised me more than anything else. There were four or five cars sitting on the same lap time and that was only two tenths behind me.

Q: (James Allen - Financial Times)
Rubens, last time we had a car as dominant as this was the 2004 Ferrari which you also drove. How would you compare this situation to that one in terms of how you think you will be able to keep your nose in front as the year goes on? And also, do you think that Malaysia will be an even better circuit for this car?

Rubens Barrichello:
It's a good question. I think that the dominant time that we had at Ferrari, we probably had 20,000 kilometres before coming into the first race. This is very, very different. I had three tests. I have been in the gym every day but even saying that, I don't think we are physically prepared to go flat out from the beginning of the race, just because (driving) the car gives you what you need, neck muscles and things and like that. So three days were very, very good and they prepared us very well, but I'm just saying that compared to those times, it's very, very different. This car is a wonderful car to drive, well balanced and looking after its tyres, so we have everything that we need to carry on. I was very glad to see Virgin signing with us this morning because it means that we have the attitude in the team to carry on, because that could have been a problem during the year and right now I hope that we have the good guys at home and we just need some more money to develop the car. I think this car will be very, very good for the first four races but we definitely need to have things coming through to keep on going.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
I have already asked Jenson this question in Thursday's press conference, so this is to Rubens and Sebastian. With all the rule changes this year, do you think we will see more overtaking, not only in tomorrow's race but throughout the season?

RB:
I think so, I think that there are some teams with KERS and some others without it, so you're going to see some overtaking because of that. You might see more overtaking on a proper track, you will see overtaking on this road circuit but it's because of people making mistakes. You always do see overtaking here in Melbourne anyway, with the visibility being a problem and so on, I think the race is going to be quite a good one. Plus, the wings help. They don't fix the problem but the moveable wings help, so that could help overtaking too.

SV:
I know I'm small but I was also in Thursday's press conference, next to Jenson!

RB:
That was the best answer so far!

SV:
You'd better be quiet, you're even smaller!

RB:
No, no, you're answer was the best answer so far. - I gave him a compliment - f***g German!

SV:
But to come to Australia, I think it's a very difficult circuit to overtake on, so it will be interesting tomorrow, but I think it still remains difficult.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action)
Jenson and Rubens, you're both veterans of Formula One, so on the evidence so far, how extraordinary is the performance of this car and the team, and in the circumstances, does it almost defy belief?

JB:
I don't know about belief, but I think you'd have to say that the positive for us was that when we drove the car out in Barcelona for the first time, we had a good idea of where we needed to be with the car mechanically, aero-wise, and we needed that because we've only had six or seven days in the car - whatever it is. The good thing about this team is, when they have a car and they produce the car, the first day in the car you are almost finding the limits of the car and that's great and that's what you need when you go testing. Obviously we've had to work with cars that have not been so competitive in the past but I think we've proved with this car that it's good out of the box. Also I think that having had two very difficult seasons you start to think about the little things and you need to work on every single area to make that difference to the cars in front, whereas I think that when you're at the front, you might forget about some of those little details and concentrate on the bigger picture. So for us, I think that coming here with a competitive car is hopefully the start of a good season but we also know that there are some areas in which we need to improve the car still, but the good thing is that we will put time and effort into improving the car in the areas that are maybe smaller than others.

RB:
As far as I'm concerned, I've had the holidays of my life since '93. I never have had any holidays at all, it was a month at home and then back to work. It was horrible to just sit there and wait for the news, so basically to be here and to drive a wonderful car as it is, is fantastic, but having said that, as a human being you just want more. After I drove the car for the first time and I said it's good, you just want more. Basically, you want to get qualifying done and you want to win races and so on, so I think we have a good package, especially for the first four races where we have the pace and people are talking about ourselves and they see that we are fast. It's just good to conquer, it's really good to go there and score points and possible wins plus I think the last two seasons have taught us a lot, myself and Jenson. It's been horrible driving a bad car but it's the horrible times that teach you to be better and I think we need to use this as the right time right now.

Q: (Juha P??talo - Financial Times Germany)
The best car running KERS is in P7 now. Are you surprised by that or do you have an explanation why it is like that here in Melbourne?

JB:
The question is where would they be without KERS? We don't know the answer to that one. Who is seventh? I don't know. We haven't got KERS for the obvious reasons. You can say that we can't afford it, that we can't afford to develop it at the moment, so we don't have the system which works well for us, but from what I've heard, people who are running KERS think that there is an advantage of two to three tenths on the circuits that have long straights. This circuit doesn't have long straights and maybe when we get to a circuit like Malaysia we will see that they have a little bit more of an advantage than the cars not running KERS but we obviously have to wait and see for that.

RB:
I don't know what to expect. I don't think it's as simple as pushing a button and seeing three tenths everywhere with the same balance that we have. I think it has implications and that there's a good and a bad side.

 

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