Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Questions from the floor

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action and Fairfax Media)
Daniel, can you talk a bit about how excited you must be to put in such a strong performance in your debut with the team in your home race?

Daniel Ricciardo:
Yeah, of course, yeah, really excited but at the same time, still staying calm and collected because tomorrow is what counts, definitely, so there's no point in having a party tonight and not focusing on tomorrow. I guess speaking solely of today, it's a really good day for us. The car was pretty good to drive in the wet. I think at the start of the year we were all fearing how difficult these new animals would be in wet conditions but it was... it's always a bit of a handful but at the same time it was quite nice behind the wheel. Controlling the turbo and all that on throttle was good fun. Pretty excited. I heard all the crowd on the cool-down lap so all I can say is hopefully I will hear that tomorrow.

Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe)
To all three of you: how do you drive without the noise of the V8, does it change anything, the way you drive and the way you behave in the car?

Lewis Hamilton:
How do you drive differently or...? Without the noise. It's the same, it's the same, it's just you don't hear it as much. You kind of hear mostly wind until you get down to fourth/fifth gear... fifth, fourth and third. It might be different for other people but otherwise the rest of the drivers are saying you obviously have to be a lot more gradual with the throttle, stability with your reflexes and all that stuff is quite important.

Nico Rosberg:
It's just that we have less grip and more torque, that's the main thing, and that just makes it more difficult on the exit of the corners, especially now in the wet and the sound, the difference is that I can hear my brake locking which I never used to hear, like in a road car, when it's squeaking (squealing?) in the corner? Now you can hear that because there's not so much engine noise any more and that's really really strange, but also interesting because now I can also hear my rear locking, even though I don't feel it that much, it gives me some extra indication.

Daniel Ricciardo:
I think I agree with what Lewis said, you hear the wind a lot more, especially at high speed. I guess you know when the gusts are blowing.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
For all of you: we saw during this qualifying a lot of quick laps one after the other. We understood that in the dry conditions you would do a lap and then a slower lap to recharge the batteries. Does that change in wet conditions?

Lewis Hamilton:
Well, naturally in the wet your braking distances are a lot longer so compared to a wet (dry?) lap where you get rid of all the energy on that lap, on a wet lap you're braking for almost twice the distance or a little bit longer, maybe a third longer in the braking zone, so you have more time to regain the battery and charge the battery. But naturally it is easier if you do do a fast lap and a slow lap, fast lap but it is possible for some of us.

Daniel Ricciardo:
Yeah. What Lewis said.

Q: (Jacob Polychronis - F1Plus.com)
Daniel, what particular aspect of the racing requires the most attention going into tomorrow? Nico has spoken a lot about fuel consumption and tyre degradation yesterday being the key areas. How about for Red Bull?

Daniel Ricciardo:
Yeah, it's probably I guess the same for everyone. Fuel is probably the question mark for a lot of teams. We still haven't done a race distance yet so I think it's probably going to be one of those things that we're going to understand... each lap we do in the race, we're going to understand more and more and how we're looking. I think behind the wheel not too much will change, I'll just keep getting information from the pit wall. You know there's different modes and everything to control consumption on the steering wheel and I will just act accordingly. I think tyre degradation probably won't be too bad, I think, normally with the rain now, so the washing off and making the track a bit green - as we call it - will probably be quite kind to the rears. I don't think tyre deg will be a massive issue tomorrow.

Q: (Will Hagon - ABC Radio)
Daniel, with all the pressure that's been on you this week, your home Grand Prix and championship team and all the rest of it, how have you been sleeping and how do you think you'll sleep tonight?

Daniel Ricciardo:
I've been sleeping well. I think I've been pretty worn out by the end of the day with all the extra curricula activities I've been doing. I've been sleeping well. I got to Oz over a week ago. I was in Sydney for that Top Gear festival so had time to get over jet lag and I'm sure I will sleep well tonight. It's a pretty late start tomorrow so I don't have to set any alarms. Should be right.

Q: (Dan Knutson - Auto Action)
Daniel, the car is much better than in testing. Is it a case of just getting more laps on the core performance of the car or are the new bits that came in helping a lot?

Daniel Ricciardo:
I think it's probably just us circulating more. In testing, unfortunately, a lot of the time we were circulating to learn about reliability and to stop things from overheating so we weren't really focused on what set-up we were running or any of that. I think after yesterday, it was the first time we probably worked on set-up and understanding the car. I think all the aero guys are gathering more and more information and making the car a bit quicker each time we run. It's definitely positive for us now and hopefully the upward trend continues and we can start to hassle these guys in dry conditions soon.

Q: (Mat Coch - pitpass.com)
Daniel, a question close to every Australian's heart: what are you like at starts?

Daniel Ricciardo:
Let's see how we go tomorrow! Bit up and down last year. I guess everyone watched the races. I think they were on the up so let's see how we go tomorrow. I think it's going to be interesting for everyone now, with the V6 turbos. I think it's also a bit of a different animal off the line. Hopefully we get off well.

Q: (Phil Branagan - Chevron Publishing)
Dan, you must have had a realistic expectation after practice of where you'd qualify. Have you exceeded that? By how far? And what's your expectation for tomorrow?

Daniel Ricciardo:
I think exceeded it just because if it was a dry qualifying we were expecting Lewis and Nico to take the front row. I think their pace in the dry was pretty impressive so far this week so exceeded that a bit but obviously the wet throws a bit of a curved ball and you've just got to take the session how it comes and see how you go from there. There wasn't too much calculating going on in my head. It was just drive and adapt to the conditions. As I said, it was refreshing to hear my engineer on the radio saying we're fighting all these for the top three. That was good to hear and obviously gives you a bit of motivation as well.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action and Fairfax Media)
Lewis and Nico, are you at all surprised to see Daniel sitting up there next to you?

Lewis Hamilton:
Not at all. He's showed some great performances in previous years and he's got a good head on his shoulders, very talented so it's expected, to be honest, plus Red Bull have been up at the top for some time so you have to assume that this year they will be very close to us. But without a doubt they've done an exceptional job.

Nico Rosberg:
No, me too, great job, definitely. I hope I manage to pass him tomorrow. For sure. Well done.

Q: (Tony Schibeci - SEN)
Daniel, for the last couple of years you've been fighting with the big boys. Now you're one of the big boys. How cool is that?

Daniel Ricciardo:
Yeah, it's cool. I can't get ahead of myself. I've still got a bit to prove. I've still to establish myself at the front. It would obviously be great to be up here for the next few weekends and to cement myself at the front of the grid, so this is definitely a step towards that but yeah, as I said, there still a bit to go but obviously excited for what lies ahead and give it a good crack.

 

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