Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) and Fernando Alonso (Renault).

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Q:
It was a very confident looking pole position, does the car feel as competitive here as it does everywhere else?

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, I think so. Yesterday was not perfect but really yesterday was really only to try to find the right tyre and I think we got a good choice on that and over night we changed the car and straight away from the morning it was good. We did a good lap time before the qualifying so we were quite confident but on a new circuit you never know how it is going to be in qualifying. It was quite tough but I am very happy with the car.

Q:
Giancarlo, the first time we have had two Renault drivers in the top three in qualifying since Malaysia. We heard some radio transmission to you just before the start of your lap talking about the condition of the wind, which had changed. Did that help you?

Giancarlo Fisichella:
Yes. There was a very strong wind on the start-finish line and quite a lot of strong wind at the end of the back straight and especially in the braking point it was pretty difficult, but it was a clean lap, I was a bit conservative on the first and second parts but on the last sector I did very well and considering even Barrichello was very close it was good. It is encouraging for tomorrow, looking forward, and I want to go for the podium, the target is to win the race.

Q:
And what are your thoughts on the circuit design?

GF:
Yeah, I agree with Kimi. It is a nice circuit. Already when I walked around on Thursday morning it was really nice and especially the first few laps were very exciting, so it is great, I am happy to be here and I hope to have a great race tomorrow.

Q:
Fernando, a good looking lap as well but Giancarlo was slightly quicker in the third sector there.

Fernando Alonso:
I think I was a little bit surprised about the wind in the back straight and a little bit in turn 12, maybe I lost half a tenth or something like that, which is enough to be second, but I am happy to be third, it is the clean side of the grid so we should have a better start and hopefully we can go through the first corner, not like Hungary, where we lost the nose. I think we have to finish tomorrow and we are in a perfect position to achieve a good result.

Q:
Your championship rival Kimi is on the pole, of course. Talk a little about the dilemma between going for the win and scoring points.

FA:
It is not easy to manage, but at the moment we are thinking to beat McLaren and to beat Kimi because I think it is the only way to be right in the championship. Sometimes we can do it, sometimes not, and the times we cannot we have to think and to score points, and I think tomorrow we have a good chance. We have the two Renaults in the top three, which means the car is competitive here, so let's try tomorrow.

Q:
Kimi, just going back to you, a long hot race tomorrow, anti-clockwise, a very fast corner there putting a lot of g-force through the car and the necks of the drivers.

KR:
Yeah, it is not going to be easy, also because we had some holiday and when you are not driving for a while it is harder but I don't mind and let's see how it goes and it shouldn't be any problem.

Press conference.

Q:
Kimi, having seen quite a few other drivers make mistakes, were you at all careful or was it 100 percent?

KR:
I thought that we had a little bit in hand. In the morning on new tyres, I went off in corner eight so I knew that it was going to be a bit tricky. Most of the guys who made a mistake went off there. Maybe (I was) a little bit (cautious) but not really. I tried to drive it as hard as I could.

Q:
Just in that one corner then.

KR:
Yeah, and at the end of the back straight, coming into the last part. I ran a little bit wide and locked the rear end for some time but I knew that I was quick enough in the first part so it didn't matter.

Q:
Do you think we're going to see the same sort of incidents during the race itself tomorrow?

KR:
Hopefully not for me, at least. But I don't know, it might be tricky but we will see how it goes.

Q:
You talked about changes to the car; were they major changes?

KR:
Not really. We only knew the set-up since yesterday. It was not really perfect so we did a few little things that we wanted to try and it was pretty good in the morning already and we were happy so we didn't change it any more and I think it is a very good race car.

Q:
Is there a thought about the set-up of the car between here and turn eight then from turn eight back again, because that's quite quick?

KR:
Of course, you try to compromise. For sure you don't get it completely right in every corner but you try and make it as good as you can overall and try to put in effort where the car is not perfect so try to work more on those areas.

Q:
Giancarlo, you set a very quick final sector time, are you concentrating more on that quick part of the circuit?

GF:
Well, I did a good last sector time but I think without Rubens it would have been better. I lost a bit of concentration - I'm not saying I was on pole without him but for sure a few hundredths better was possible. Anyway, it was a good clean lap, a bit conservative at the beginning. The car balance was much better than yesterday and then this morning so I am happy about the performance and looking forward to tomorrow.

Q:
And of course, quicker than your teammate...

GF:
It was nice to be on pole, not quicker than my teammate. We are together, we have to work together for Renault. It is not important if I am quicker or slower than him. It is important to score lots of points tomorrow.

Q:
Is turn eight the major problem for you in the race tomorrow?

GF:
It is a difficult corner. If you lose the apex there is a lot of understeering and if you are not on the line, it's really really dusty and really slippery so as you saw in qualifying a couple of cars lost the apex and they lost the lap so it is really important to be concentrated there tomorrow. Apart from that, the rest of the circuit is a little bit difficult but it's not critical.

Q:
It is not one apex it is four apexes!

GF:
Exactly, but the first part of the corner is really important.

Q:
And the left side of the grid, is that a problem?

GF:
Maybe, maybe yes. But hopefully not. We have a good start position so I'm looking forward to it.

Q:
Fernando, you went relatively early, halfway through the field in fact, you must be pleased with third.

FA:
Yeah, I am surprised to be third. I think starting tenth with one or two cars that didn't do their laps, like Karthikeyan, so I was the eighth car on the track and I am quite happy and surprised to be in the top three.

Q:
What do you think will happen in the first corner in the race tomorrow?

FA:
It will be a new challenge for all of us, new circuit, no reference at all from the past, so we will see how the first corner is. Obviously, there will only be one line, because the outside line is very dirty, so it will be difficult for 20 cars to go on the same line so there will be some problems. Hopefully we are in the top cars so it will be a little bit easier at the first corner. I am starting from the clean side which is good here and at Hungary and places like this with a lot of dust on the track, so I am quite happy and really pleased with the lap and the position as well.

Q:
We have seen a lot of drivers make mistakes. Is this one of the trickiest circuits on the calendar?

FA:
I think so. I think it is very slippery, especially the outside line, and there are a few very special corners, like turn one and three, where you can't see the entry of the corner so you have to guess what is the turn-in point, and this is not easy, especially in single lap qualifying when you have to push, you have to get the maximum. You can lose a lot in all the corners or you can gain a lot of time. This is one of the characteristics of the circuit so when you have to push, it is a big risk for everybody.

 

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