Press conference

Q:
Nick, second here in 2005. Renault reckon they are historically good here. What are your thoughts about this race coming up?

Nick Heidfeld:
I am definitely looking forward to it. Renault has been strong here the last couple of years. Robert (Kubica) did a strong job here last year qualifying second and
finishing on the podium. Obviously, it is going to be the first time for me with this car here. It seems that our car performs strong over a bumpy surface, which we always have here in Monaco, so it is going to be interesting.

Q:
And you have finished nine out of your 10 Monaco Grands Prix. What's the secret to that?

Nick Heidfeld:
Not crashing into the barriers! I didn't know that. I think that is quite a high rate of finishing and probably that's why even in weak cars sometimes you score points here, so that's obviously quite important.

Q:
This year you are saying that tyres are the key?

Nick Heidfeld:
Well tyres this year have been important in each of the races. For the first time this year we are on the supersoft tyres. We have used them in testing but that was quite a while ago and it is going to be crucial and quite interesting to see how the tyres are going to behave. We will try to use Practice One and Two to get a good understanding for them.

Q:
Nico, very much a home race. Your school is next door to the paddock.

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, it is always very, very special to race here. It is the city I grew up in and my school is one floor above I think, if I am not wrong. Just here.

Q:
They are still waiting for you, I think?

Nico Rosberg:
It is nice. I really enjoy the track too. I think it is a fantastic track and I have always gone well here so I think we can do really well this weekend.

Q:
What's the secret? What's the policy that you have? You said aggressive and precise?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, it is the combination between the two really. You have to be very aggressive on a street circuit like this and at the same time you cannot afford any mistakes. You need be very precise with the way you are putting the car. It is something I really enjoy.

Q:
Your best qualifying is fifth around here and sixth for the last three years I think?

Nico Rosberg:
Sixth in the last three years?

Q:
Yes, I think so.

Nico Rosberg:
Okay, so now it is time to make a big jump forward.

Q:
How far?

Nico Rosberg:
We will see, but it is definitely possible as the qualifying from the past years I was quicker than where I eventually qualified so if it all goes together I think we will definitely be further forward. Then in the race anything is possible with a lot of pit stops and everything this year with the tyres.

Q:
That's the point isn't it, anything is possible? It is no longer predictable or goes according to the formbook does it?

Nico Rosberg:
Yeah, even for a track like Monaco now the race will open up things a lot.

Q:
Jarno, a former winner in 2004. How special is it to win around here?

Jarno Trulli:
I think special because Monaco is special. The glamour and any driver wants to win here. That was the case in 2004 and now here I am, back again. I always
enjoy the streets of Monaco and I have always done well here.

Q:
You had a good weekend last week in Spain. Tell us about it?

Jarno Trulli:
It was a tough weekend until the race and the race then turned out to be much better. The team is doing a great job as we took some big aero update which eventually showed how close we were with the midfield pack and our, let's say, direct rivals from last year, we lapped them so it just shows how farther we have gone. Now we need a further step in order to be an established midfield runner. Last week was great because for half the race I was battling with the guys in the midfield. Then we fell a little bit apart with the hard tyres. We knew we were struggling with them, but definitely the team is doing a very good job.

Q:
Given the demands of this circuit and the fact that is it very different, can you do the same again?

Jarno Trulli:
Same or better. We always look to do better. Obviously, Monaco is Monaco. We know anything can happen and it is unpredictable. We have the confidence to think positive and come here and say that we can do better than Barcelona so let's hope we can really succeed. But we won't get any feedback until we have Thursday practice and we get an idea as very often in the past, I remember before this race I was starting on pole and then in this race I was starting on the last row of the grid so it just shows how important the car is around the streets of Monaco.

Q:
Michael, a five-time winner here. Seven times starting from the front row. How special is this race?

Michael Schumacher:
I guess everybody has the same opinion. It is the race of the year that has the highest emotion and highest prestige.

Q:
But is it a race you can predict, particularly this year. It seems predictions are virtually out of the window?

Michael Schumacher:
Yep, absolutely. Due to very different strategies that we apply this year compared to probably previous years. From my point of view I have absolutely no sort of feeling and understanding whether our car may suit this track any better than other tracks so it is going to be completely open.

Q:
But you had a better race in Spain. Did you enjoy Spain?

Michael Schumacher:
I think I enjoyed Spain as much as I enjoyed Turkey in terms of action and in terms of driving. It is just the result I was a lot more happy about.

Q:
Which? In Spain?

Michael Schumacher:
Yes, obviously.

Q:
And you had your mirrors full of Nico as well?

Michael Schumacher:
Indeed, yes.

Q:
But he was behaving himself?

Michael Schumacher:
We had a couple of nice manoeuvres together but I think we are both clever and smart enough to avoid collisions and still have fun on the track.

Q:
So no idea of how you are going to go here?

Michael Schumacher:
No.

Q:
Jenson, a former winner here also but a bit of a problem here last year. And the year you won you were having to run to the podium. Do you remember that?

Jenson Button:
Yes and it was because I hadn't been on the podium here for so many years. I think it was five years between my second place here and winning the race. But it
was the most enjoyable 200metres I have ever had running.

Q:
Do you regard this as a home race?

Jenson Button:
I don't live here.

Q:
You don't live here any longer? I know your Dad does or hereabouts.

Jenson Button:
Yeah. For me, it is a very special race. It is a race you would love to win. Every race you would love to win, but this one is very special. I think it's because even if you're leading the race it's very stressful. Mentally it is very, very draining. It does feel like the road is narrowing over the 78 laps. But it is a very, very special race to win. For me, the most exciting thing was qualifying. Putting it on pole here in qualifying meant probably as much to me as it did to win the race. When you are pushing to the car to the limit on low fuel, new tyres, getting as close as you can to the barriers, that is a real buzz, so I enjoyed Saturday as much as Sunday.

Q:
Martin Whitmarsh says your third sector performance last weekend, that's the very tight sector in Spain, bodes well and suggests you could be good around here
as well?

Jenson Button:
Yeah, we were good in Turkey in the last sector and in Barcelona. Whether it changes when you have got a barrier next to the circuit I don't know, we will have to see. But I think we have to be positive coming into this race. The last race was good for Lewis and myself after lap one and he was able to push Sebastian until the end. It has been a little while since we have seen that so it shows that the upgrades that we brought did help. We always want more but I think it was a good upgrade. Here I really don't know where we are going to be, but we should be positive. Mechanically I think our car is strong and we will see. Our KERS system is very good. I know there are another four cars with it but it should work well for us.

Q:
Rubens, you have had 18 Monaco Grands Prix already. I believe you call this your second home race?

Rubens Barrichello:
Yes, very much yes.

Q:
Tell us why?

Rubens Barrichello:
Well as I live here and I enjoy being here still going around a true Monte Carlo and having fun with the cars the way it is. To be very honest when I got here back in 1993 I looked at the track and said 'it is impossible, there is no way you can race a Formula One car around here' and with time you just start to enjoy it so much. I am a little bit like Jenson in the way that I like Saturday better because qualifying is such a buzz. It is really close to the walls all the time and that's what keeps me going, it is the buzz from what Formula One can give you.

Q:
What about the set-up of the car here. What are the most important points about it?

Rubens Barrichello:
You need to be asking for maximum traction. You need to have good balance. If the car is either too much oversteer or too much understeer, you are in trouble. It is almost like you want the car more balanced than just the grip level as the grip level here is not high because the asphalt is a common one. Although there are some resurfaces on the track that gives you a little bit more grip. It is all about traction and, especially now with the tyres the way they are, you are going to be asking for better consumption on the tyres. You are going to be looking after the tyres a bit.

Q:
Obviously, you are looking for your first points for the Williams team. Does this give you a better or worse chance?

Rubens Barrichello:
I think a better one, a better one as anything can happen in Monaco. Although qualifying is not so important as it used to be because of the conditions of the tyres I still think qualifying here is going to be important for you to have the first third of the race in a good way. It is sad not to have scored points. Before the beginning of the season you are talking about different prospects but I am sure it will come and hopefully this weekend already.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...