Questions from the floor

Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe)
Fernando, can you tell us your first memory of the Spanish Grand Prix and your best memory, and the evolution of the fans of motor racing in Spain?

Fernando Alonso:
First memory was maybe '98 when I was close to signing for a Formula Nissan team in Spain, so I was preparing the move from go-karts to real cars. I watched that race, the Spanish Grand Prix, and then the evolution has been quite big here. I remember that seventy percent of the grandstand was foreign people coming from the centre of Europe, mostly Germans, so it was not a completely Spanish Grand Prix, I would say. Now it's very different. I think the country gets involved in this week, so you can watch any channel on TV and see how the preparations are coming on and the previews, every night, every afternoon on TV, in newspapers, so there are very few people in Spain now who don't know that the Spanish Grand Prix is this weekend. So people are talking about F1, about tyres, about strategies, about all these things and this is very, very different, and I think it's increasing every year. This is a very nice feeling. Best memory for me was 2006 when I won the race because it was the only win that I've had at home, so hopefully this year either here or in Valencia I will dream of victory again.

Q: (Carlos Miquel - Diario AS)
Fernando, Pedro and Jaime; it's the first time that there have been three Spanish F1 drivers in the press conference. What's the best quality of your compatriots, Pedro, Fernando, Jaime and do you think that Spain could win a championship of nations with the same car?

Pedro de la Rosa:
Okayu age first, yeah? Man, you've asked a lot of questions there, eh? I think that we could definitely win, for sure. We are the Spanish Armada. It's renowned to be strong. It would be fun, it would be fun actually. I think Germany would be quite tough to beat, especially, but anyway, we would be there. On the other side of the question, don't forget that Fernando and Jaime are rivals. They're Spanish but it doesn't mean that I [don't] want badly to beat them as well. I am really very impressed by Jaime's maturity for his age. I think he's really handled coming into F1 in a very well organised and very mature way, so I'm very impressed. What can I say about Fernando that you don't know? We know how tough he is and how hard he is to beat in the same car, so he will be a little bit of ahead of me, so I hope that I can get close to him in the race but he's a tough cookie, eh?

Fernando Alonso:
More or less the same as Pedro's answer. I think now that Spain could be favourite in this hypothetical championship, with Germany as well and Brazil may be.

Bruno Senna:
Thank you.

Fernando Alonso:
As Pedro said, Jaime is very mature and I think approaching the races in a very good way, trying to learn as many things as possible with no mistakes. The time will come to him because he's very young and has a lot of time to show more potential. And with Pedro, I think he's a great driver. I had the pleasure to work with him at McLaren, so I know first-hand how good he is and all the experience that he had in his career and now he's ready to use it. Unfortunately this year the car is not perfectly okay in terms of performance, but hopefully it can improve and Pedro will show how good a driver he is.

Jaime Alguersuari:
Well, I think it would be great to drive with them, because I could obviously learn so many things with the same car, the same situation. I would say a Spanish team would be quite strong in this instance, and obviously it would be a pleasure to drive with them. I could see so many things that I can't now. It's also quite strange to think about this. I think they are both great drivers and they have experience which I am lacking. I have nothing to add about Pedro; he's very mature and very experienced and he could show me so many things about F1. And Fernando has always been a reference for us, for me especially when I was go-karting in Spain and outside when I was watching him in F1, so it would be nice to do this, yes.

Q: (Alvaro Faes - La Nueva Espana)
Fernando, can you tell us what your feelings are when you drive in this Spanish Grand Prix and you see the huge amount of fans that are filling the grandstand, and what do you expect in this first year of you wearing the Ferrari colours and the fact that there is a new T-shirt from Ferrari in blue? I don't know if you have seen it.

Fernando Alonso:
Yes. Emotions are always very unique and very different every year, even if you try to remember what emotion I had last year when I was going out in FP1. It's difficult to maybe compare to this year, because every year there seem to be more and more emotional laps: the first laps on Friday and also quite intense laps on Sunday as well when either you start or you finish the race and you see all the people enjoying the show. So these are very, very important days for me and I try to enjoy them as much as I can, because I know that I'm in a privileged position, with all the supporters here that maybe I won't experience any more in the rest of the championship when I go to some other races. Maybe Monza will also be special this year for me and for us and for the team. Regarding the colours, as I said before, I expect a lot of red in the grandstands but the majority will be blue because there is always a good percentage of the grandstand that comes from my region, from Asturias, and I'm sure they will come with their blue flags and blue colours, plus the new Ferrari T-shirt that is blue which will hopefully help all these new people buying blue Ferrari shirts.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Fernando, have you unwound in your mind the start in China and how to recover from that mistake? And how much can you gain with the F-duct on this long straight?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, the start in China was quite good. I overtook two cars. I think I could have overtaken more cars if I had started a little bit earlier but I will not try, hopefully. I think it was a mistake on my part, a big mistake, so this is already in the past and I'm sure that I won't do it again. Hopefully, I will try not to repeat the same mistake again or any other mistake, because it's not the way you fight for the championship, but then thanks to the chaotic conditions in the race we were able to recover some positions and get some good results, so I was lucky at the end of the race to have that strange race. In terms of the F-duct, we will try some more parts tomorrow. It's not decided yet if we will use it or not on Saturday and Sunday, so tomorrow is another important day of evaluation of the system and we will see how it works.

Q: (Joris Fioriti - AFP)
Sebastian, you've had the best car, but you've only won one race out of four, so now the championship starts. Do you think you can make it in this new championship?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, that's our target. I think I am in the wrong place if I don't believe in us and in myself. Yes, the first four races were a bit up and down. We had only one win but in the end that's history, we can't change it any more. We have to look ahead and that's all we try to focus on first of all tomorrow and then Saturday and Sunday and whatever comes after that is of zero importance now. All eyes are now on this weekend, so we try to go step by step and I think that's the only way that you can be consistent and the only way that you can ultimately fight for a championship.

 

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