Press conference:

Q:
A question to all the Spanish-speaking drivers. Do you feel it is a home race, particularly Pastor and Sergio, and about your home race, Jaime and Fernando. Sergio, does it feel like your home race?

Sergio Perez:
Not really. It feels closer to home but my home is in Mexico. But I always enjoy it when I am in Barcelona and in Spain as well.

Q:
Jaime, it is very much your home race anyway?

Jaime Alguersuari:
Yeah, I really feel nice when I drive here. It is very special for me as I have the crowd and the environment, the weather. I live in Barcelona, in the town, so it is cool to drive here and for me it is one of the best races in the year.

Q:
Does it make it easier for you to race here or more difficult? Do you feel the crowd is behind you?

Jaime Alguersuari:
Well, I think it makes no difference. For me it is easier as I am quite near from my house so I don't have to take a plane or anything. But it is really a one-off, one more weekend in the season and the track is quite cool as well to drive. It is quite enjoyable.

Q:
Pastor, your feelings. I realise it is a long way from home.

Pastor Maldonado:
For sure it is not a home race but here in Barcelona there are many Venezuelan people. To be here is always fun. I am very happy to be here with the weather so good. We speak Spanish so that is great for me.

Q:
Fernando?

Fernando Alonso:
Obviously, good to be here, Barcelona and Valencia, both races feel a home race for me. Racing in Spain is special. As Jaime said, good motivation. There are some extra pressures, but good pressure as there is a lot of support from the grandstands, from the people, hotels, et cetera, so it is a weekend that we normally enjoy a lot.

Q:
Nigel Mansell always used to say it was worth an extra half-a-second a lap or so. Maybe a second depending on how he was feeling.

Fernando Alonso:
A little bit optimistic that calculation, but you try to do the best you can and the whole team try to support you and have everything ready and try to find perfection in this weekend. So maybe one-tenth.

Q:
Only a tenth?

Fernando Alonso:
Yes.

Q:
Mark, winner from pole here last year. You have finished seven out of the eight Spanish Grands Prix you have had here. Is this a good circuit for you?

Mark Webber:
Seems to be, yeah. I didn't know I'd finished that many races here. I will try to keep that going and have a clean weekend and try to go one step further than the last few races and do what I did last year. It would be nice.

Q:
How difficult is it to do that one step better. We know what you mean by that I think?

Mark Webber:
We need a perfect weekend. We know that. To win at this level you need to get everything right. It is not like I am starting to try now. I have been trying the last few races. Turkey was the first race where I had a clean weekend with the car, which was nice, so we managed to have reasonable quali, reasonable first stint, and after that it was a good race with Fernando and we still managed to get a good result. But the other races have been a bit more chaotic for different reasons, but we look to have less chaotic races and keep it as Turkey was and keep executing a clean grand prix and getting it all right and that's what you need to do to win.

Q:
Sergio, just give an account of your season so far. How do you feel things have gone for you?

Sergio Perez:
Well, so far I am very happy with my season. Even though I had a very good debut, finishing seventh, in the last races I had the pace to be on the points consistently. For one reason or another I could not manage in the end to get the points, but my adaptation to Formula One has gone very good so I am very motivated. The team has supported me a lot and I am very happy and looking forward for this weekend. I think now, after four races, I am quite ready to start to show the progress and ultimately to aim for the points.

Q:
I think you have got a lot of updates here. It is difficult to know where that is going to put you. What are the hopes from those updates?

Sergio Perez:
I think we are quite optimistic. We hope everything goes according to our plan. Many teams are bringing updates so we have to keep pushing to keep improving. I think so far the car has been quick especially in the races. If you see the last race I had a problem with my front wing, I broke my front wing in the third corner, so I lost about 40 seconds but recovered from that to still finish 13th so the pace of the car is quite good. We have to keep improving and I am very optimistic we are going to do a good job this weekend.

Q:
Jaime, you scored a point here last year. Your team-mate was running a genuine seventh place in the last race. What are you hoping for this weekend?

Jaime Alguersuari:
I really hope the season turns around a bit for me and from this weekend onwards we can have a much better season. For one reason or another it was not really the best beginning for me and hopefully we can finish in the points. We will see if the strategy goes with us and it helps us to be more consistent in the race with tyre degradation and so on and we can score some points and hopefully, as I say, just turn around the season. Then we can score some points as well in Monaco and the next races. The target is to be in top 10 and we have shown it, we have shown we have potential and that this year the car is more competitive, especially on the Saturdays, than last year. We have showed it in qualifying. For me I am struggling a bit in the race. We did not have the chance to finish China or Malaysia in good conditions but in general we have good experiences from S?bastien (Buemi), who seemed to have no problems in the race and we will see where we can finish here.

Q:
I think you were heading to the simulator in Milton Keynes after the Turkish Grand Prix. What did you learn there?

Jaime Alguersuari:
Well, it was very nice, as you drive for Red Bull Racing and you test the simulator and you have a really nice feeling. It was worth going. Some things to learn and it is always nice to drive on the simulator.

Q:
How long did you spend there?

Jaime Alguersuari:
About two days we drove for here and Monaco. It was worth visiting.

Q:
Pastor, just tell us about your season so far. How do you feel you have done so far this year?

Pastor Maldonado:
It was not so easy for us, especially at the beginning, the first two races, as we have some problems in both cars, so it was difficult to keep the car to the end of the races. I am improving every time, every race. The team is pushing and we are working so hard to be competitive and I am quite confident from now to be in the top 10. I think we can do that. The potential is so high in the team. We just need to put all the points together and to get the right things and finalise in top 10. The car is so quick, we just need to concentrate on some little things and we will see. Our potential is so high. I always said that. We need to be together in that moment. But it has been difficult for us but we can see that we can score some points.

Q:
I think there are a lot of improvements on the car coming to this race? How do you feel about those improvements?

Pastor Maldonado:
As I told you before, the team did a very, very strong job, especially the past two weeks just to improve. We have a very good aero package here and hope that it will function. I don't know if you saw the last race we were very close to going into Q3 so I hope to be there this race. We do our best and let's see.

Q:
Mark, what sort of updates have you coming here?

Mark Webber:
No, nothing.

Q:
Nothing? It always looks like Christmas Day down there?

Mark Webber:
We don't have Christmas. Spark plugs, new spark plugs.

Q:
Blown floor? What do you feel about that?

Mark Webber:
What's the rule this hour.

Q:
True. You tell me, I don't know.

Mark Webber:
We don't know either. It changes every hour.

Q:
What is your feeling about the performance you perhaps get from that? It has been around for quite a long time hasn't it?

Mark Webber:
Yeah, it will affect all the fast teams for sure.

Q:
Do you imagine losing it?

Mark Webber:
Out of our hands, isn't it mate. At the start of the week it was banned, this week not, today not. Another Technical Working Group meeting after Monaco but I think it will affect all the top teams that have utilising this system, not just this year but obviously a little bit last year.

Q:
A lot of people have been talking about overtaking at this circuit. Do you think it is going to change a great deal in this grand prix?

Mark Webber:
It will definitely be better than what we have had in the past. It has to be. The tyres are playing a big role these days and the wing on this straight as well. The last sector in Turkey is a little bit more open for different moves, so turn one here is a bit different but you can still get the job done with the tyres and with the wing. It will be a different Spanish Grand Prix to what we have seen in the past in terms of overtaking. Not the most overtakes we have seen here in the past but that will probably change on Sunday.

Q:
Can you still get close enough through that final corner?

Mark Webber:
Yeah, if someone is in trouble on the tyres, it doesn't matter who you are.

Q:
Is qualifying less important now or is it more important to conserve tyres?

Mark Webber:
Well it was absolutely crucial in years gone by, qualifying, we know that. Where you finished the first lap in the seasons gone by particularly when refuelling was brought back in it was very, very sensitive. You had to get it right. When we had pit-stops before that with fuelling it was still important but you could still get something out of it by going longer, shorter and recovering a bit. But, at the moment, we know with these regulations you can recover the most we have seen in the last 10 years so it has changed a lot.

Q:
Fernando, we have news that you have extended your contract to 2016 which is quite a long time. But you have also said you will probably end your days at Ferrari?

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, it was good news for me, for my career to extend the contract and to make an extension to 2016. As I also said last year the intention is to finish my career at Ferrari. I don't imagine any other better place to race for a racing driver. I have been lucky to arrive here last year. I felt at home from day one and now I have this possibility to be racing here. At the end of 2016 it will be seven years in Ferrari, so I feel very privileged, very happy to that, and in 2017 we will see maybe another contract, if I am not too old at that point and if Ferrari are still happy with me.

Q:
What does it mean to have that stability and for a driver to know that you are in that team for so many more years?

Fernando Alonso:
Well, it is not a big change in my mind or in my head as it was already for me very clear that I would race here for many years. Despite what the number of the contract said, which year it finished, the stability was already 100 per cent in my case and I felt the same with the team. This is just a public confirmation, nothing changed inside the team and stability is always good for a Formula One team. There are so many rule changes, so many things to look at, that for a driver point of view or a team point of view it is good to programme in the long-term to develop and to create a good partnership together and bring some success to Maranello.

Q:
You have already won this race from pole position in 2006. And three second places here. You have finished eight out of your nine races here. I think what all your compatriots want to know is can you win on Sunday?

Fernando Alonso:
Anything can happen in Formula One. Any of us sitting here can win the race. You never know what is going to happen. Red Bull is very dominant in this first part of the championship. It is difficult to beat them in the race. It is nearly impossible to beat them in qualifying, but this is something that we want to change and we want to change starting here in Barcelona. We brought some new parts in Turkey that seemed to work fine for us and we did a step forward and closed the gap a little bit with them. Second part of these new parts are coming here to Barcelona, so hopefully we can make another step forward and close even more the gap but knowing that, as some of the guys said, I think all the teams will bring some new parts. It is just time tomorrow to see, or wait for Saturday afternoon after qualifying, which of the teams did the better job and brought some extra parts here and we see how competitive the Ferrari can be after Barcelona. We are optimistic. We are confident. We have been working a lot and the intention is to close even more the gap and to be fighting with them very soon.

 

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