Press conference

Q:
Let's start with a little question to Jenson and Felipe. Just talk about the battle that kept us so entertained in Australia. Jenson, your version perhaps.

Jenson Button:
Looking back on it now, I would say it was a pretty fun battle to be involved with. Frustrating for me as I couldn't find a way past. I think Felipe did a very good job of blocking and I couldn't find a way past. So, it was frustrating but when you look at it now, it looks like a good race, I would say. But even with the DRS it is still very tricky to overtake at a place like Melbourne with such short straights. If you cover the inside line it is very difficult to overtake.

Q:
Felipe, your thoughts?

Felipe Massa:
What Jenson said is what I think as well. I was able to fight very hard, to keep him behind but it was not easy. I think in some places where he was very quick on the straights I was able to use very well the KERS, not to allow him to pass me completely on the straight and to keep on the inside line. Not just the main straight, but also in other corners. Then he passed me on the wrong side, so he was penalised. I expect him, to be honest, to give back the position. Two corners after Fernando (Alonso) passed me and it was a little bit more difficult for him to give back the position. I think it was a nice fight.

Q:
Jenson, you are a former pole winner here and also a winner. You have spoken about this circuit and how it has improved with age. Perhaps you would like to expand on that.

Jenson Button:
I always enjoy coming here. This is one of those circuits that really makes me smile when I land into Malaysia, as it is a very flowing circuit. I have had some pretty good races here in the past, not just the one that I won but also other races where I haven't been on the podium but have had great races with people around here. It is one of those circuits where you can really have a good tussle as corners flow into each other. I think with the DRS system it is going to make overtaking a lot easier than it was in Melbourne. Maybe it will be a little too easy, as I think being within a second before the last corner, even without DRS, you can have a good chance of overtaking. I don't know, we'll see. But it is a fun place to race and the weather can really play a big part here, especially with the four o'clock start, it is pretty much on the dot when it starts raining, so it makes it tricky for every team in the pit-lane and every driver to really understand the conditions and to make the right call.

Q:
You have said this is the toughest race physically. How do you prepare for that?

Jenson Button:
It is very hot here. However much training you do, or what have you, you still can't get away from the humidity here. It is tough. Looking at a few of the guys this
morning, the journalists, they seem to be feeling it as well. I have done a bit of training over the last weekend. I was in Hawaii for the week which was nice, getting used to the humidity and pushing myself in the hot conditions which was good.

Q:
Nico. it is also your favourite circuit this one? What makes it a favourite for you?

Nico Rosberg:
It is definitely a track I really enjoy. Just the characteristics really. There is a bit of everything here and also I have some great memories. I led my first race here, finished third last year in a Mercedes so it is always nice to come back here.

Q:
Really, for Mercedes, the season starts here after the disaster of Australia?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, for sure, Australia was not a good start for us. But there were a few issues in Australia, especially reliability, which we didn't get right throughout the weekend so that really hurt us. Also set-up wise, and that is mechanical, aerodynamic, everything, we just did not seem to find the right path on that, so a lot of effort has gone into making things better. We are a really strong team so we will get there.

Q:
There is huge interest for Petronas and they usually make you do a few things. One or two local events. What have you been up to?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, we did two days for Petronas during the week. One was an oil refinery visit which was a look into a completely different world. Quite interesting. Had some time with some schoolkids, too, and did some different games which was quite fun. Other than that, just an event in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Obviously, because of Petronas it is also a very important race for the team and we want to do very well.

Q:
Sebastien, you have been up to some fairly interesting things as well. Tell us about being in a supermarket yesterday?

Sebastien Buemi:
It was an event organised by an orphanage charity and Red Bull together so it was quite funny. We did a race. We had to fill up the trolley with some kids and it was pretty funny so I enjoyed it.

Q:
Sorry, you filled the trolleys with some kids?

Sebastien Buemi:
No, we were together with some kids and we had to fill the trolleys with all we wanted, especially what the kids wanted and they could keep it.

Q:
And you won, you beat your team-mate?

Sebastien Buemi:
I went straight to the place that the kids love. We just took as much as we could and the trolley was really full.

Q:
Looking back at Australia. First Q3 since 2009 and points in your first race. What are your feelings after that?

Sebastien Buemi:
I am really happy. I think we did the maximum in the qualifying. I don't think we could have done better. Then in the race, three points, with the disqualification of the Saubers we got another three points which is always welcome. I think it was a perfect start for us. Now we need to continue to push. As we see the midfield is pretty tight, so we will see what we can achieve here but the objective will be to be back in the points, definitely.

Q:
The other thing is that you are losing tomorrow morning as Daniel Ricardo is doing the Friday morning session. How do you feel about that? Is that a big loss not doing that session?

Sebastien Buemi:
To be honest I don't think it is a big loss. If you look at the first practice on every circuit it is pretty green and it takes a long time to get up to speed. You lose maybe 10-12 laps, so I don't expect any big loss. I think I will be right back up to speed in the second session.

Q:
Jarno, great local interest in the team and you have been training by cycling in the hills somewhere. Tell us about that?

Jarno Trulli:
Yeah, I did enjoy a little bit the Malaysia countryside. It was interesting. It was the first time I had a chance to discover Malaysia by cycling with a local professional cycling team. It was very nice. We went to the Fraser Hills first and then somewhere else, I can't remember, up to 1,600 metres so it was really, really nice. There were rubber plantations around so It was a good view and good training so good preparation for this weekend which is very important for us as it is our home grand prix.

Q:
Was this on road or off road?

Jarno Trulli:
Normal road. Actually pretty nice, even though we were in the countryside. It was really good. I enjoyed the cycling but I also enjoyed the surrounding.

Q:
What are the realistic hopes for Team Lotus this weekend?

Jarno Trulli:
I think we need to get the best out of the car, which we didn't in Australia, and be part of the midfield, as I believe the wintertime testing showed our good pace but actually we struggled quite a lot in Australia. We had several troubles with radiator, power steering, so we didn't get the best out of the car, which we want to do here. We have got some fixes, several updates on the car, so we hope to get right into the tight midfield battle and let's see then. It is very important first of all that we fix the problems and we show that we are really close to the others.

Q:
In your Cockpit column in La Republica, you expressed your disappointment with Pirelli tyres. Could you explain exactly where that came from.

Jarno Trulli:
I think that came from a completely wrong translation. I actually said that Pirelli did a very good job for Australia. We didn't expect to have problem with the tyre warming up, but actually we didn't have degradation. I think one driver did a one-stop strategy, which, during the winter testing, was completely out of mind. For the Australian Grand Prix the tyres behaved completely different and extremely well for the experience we had during the winter testing. The only thing that I pointed out is that some people struggled for tyre warm-up, which was the case for several drivers. This showed that we still have a lot to learn, from a drivers and teams point of view, of the Pirelli tyres but as well Pirelli is trying to adjust themselves and trying to give us the best possible option for condition, weather, circuit...becomes inaudible.

Q:
Felipe, two pole positions here but actually your best results have usually come from when you've started at the back of the grid.

Felipe Massa:
Yeah. It's a track I enjoy so I've twice started on pole here and it's true that in the race the results have not been great compared to qualifying. Last year was the opposite. I was almost last in qualifying, on the grid, because it was raining. We went out at the wrong time so we qualified in Q1, but I drove a very good race and finished seventh, so I hope this time qualifying and race together will be a little bit better. We concentrate on doing a good job.

Q:
You've expressed some worries about the effects of DRS here. How do you think that and KERS is going to affect the race here?

Felipe Massa:
No, it was also that people said maybe the FIA was thinking of using (allowing DRS on) both straights, and my opinion is that both straights are very close together, so it wasn't very fair, that you can use the DRS in two places which are very close. In my opinion, in this direction it would have been very easy to overtake, and what happened in Australia, which was a good fight, as well, when we were even able to fight using the KERS in different places - I don't see the same picture if we use it on these two straights, so that was my only opinion, but I think we're just going to use it on the main straight, so it's different to what people were saying.

Q:
That decision has been made has it?

Felipe Massa:
Yes.

 

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