Drivers: Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).

Questions from the floor.

Q: (Ian Parkes - The Press Association).
For Fernando and Lewis, given all that is going on around McLaren this season, and is still going on, what would it mean to you to win the world title?

Fernando Alonso:
Any driver wants to be world champion and when we started in Australia 22 drivers wanted to achieve that and after two or three races you can see that maybe just two teams, or a maximum three teams, can make a driver champion because you need the car, the package, you need everything with you. We are extremely lucky to be in this position to have such a fast car and it means a lot to become world champion, but, at least for me, it is not special if around the team there are problems. For me, it doesn't matter that because in the end it is good to be the drivers' world champion and the constructors' (championship) or whatever, from a driver's point of view, it is not really a big factor.

Lewis Hamilton:
For me, I think, as you can imagine, it probably means quite a lot more than it would to any other driver because it is my rookie year and definitely I didn't expect to be challenging for the world championship, or leading it, and with all the things that have gone on, for sure, it would have been a much better year to have had no problems, but that's the way it is - it would be great to win the constructors' championship and the drivers' championship, just to show that even still with all those problems and issues nothing can bring us down and we are unstoppable and that is a great point.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat).
Kimi, was this physically the most painful race for you?

Kimi Raikkonen:
This year, probably yes. Not because of the circuit, but because of the problem yesterday.

Q: (Takeharu Kusuda - Lapita).
The circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix has changed from Suzuka to Fuji. Lewis and Fernando, do you have confidence for this new circuit in Japan?

FA:
I think we are all in the same position. Nobody knows anything about Fuji. Probably some people made some laps there for exhibition or something like that. I did last year, for Renault, in a two-seater, with passengers, in Fuji. The circuit will be challenging in terms of set-up, as it is a very slow circuit and has a very long straight, so the level of down-force will be compromised for the sector in which you want to be quick. It's the same for everybody, so after Friday's session and the laps we do now under the new rules - more than 50 or 60 laps on Friday will be enough to learn the circuit.

LH:
I have never even seen the track and I was a bit disappointed because I finally got to Formula One, and Suzuka had always been my favourite circuit, watching F1, and I heard it was quite spectacular, even better than Spa, so I was looking forward to doing that, but they changed it and I've never seen Fuji, so I've no idea which way it goes or where the first corner is but everybody is in the same boat, so it should be quite exciting for all of us.

Q: (Juha P??talo - Financial Times Germany).
Kimi, four races to go and you are still 18 points behind Lewis and 15 behind Fernando - do you still see a realistic chance?

KR:
Yes of course, we still have a chance. It is not going to be easy because we lost some points again but you never know what is going to happen in the next races, so we keep pushing as long as we have a chance and then we see.

Q: (Matt Dickinson - The Times).
Lewis and Fernando, with everything that is going on, and is ahead this week, how confident can you be that the championship will be decided on the track?

FA:
I have nothing to say. On Thursday we all will know more about this.

LH:
Me, I am pretty confident. I am not worried. I just have a lot of belief in the team and I have no worries whatsoever. Then we shall see the championship go down to the wire I am sure and perhaps in the last race you will see who comes out first.

Q: (Ed Gorman - The Times).
Lewis, we have heard from Fernando about how he is approaching the last few races. We have seen him eating into your lead with each of the last few Grands Prix. How are you coping with the pressure? Are you feeling the pressure of being hunted down?

LH:
Not particularly. Aside from the point that he has done a fantastic job in the last two races, I have had a couple of unfortunate mishaps with my tyres and this weekend Fernando had the pace on me, but the last race I was quicker all weekend. So, each race is a little bit different. The last two races he has finished ahead of me. But I think if you look back to the beginning of the season, if I had said we were to be equal in out-qualifying each other and finishing ahead of one another, I would have said 'get out of here' you know! But I am not worried about it. I have been in many situations like this before and there are still four races to go and the fight is still on.

Q: (Ian Parkes - The Press Association).
Fernando, why doesn't winning the teams' title mean as much to you as it does to Lewis? Surely the hundreds of people in the team want to hear you say that it means a lot?

FA:
Of course, I have won two drivers' titles and two constructors' championships, so I know how the people enjoy winning the constructors' championship, but I have said all my life you know that for me as a driver I put 10 points, from zero to 10, to win the drivers' world championship and to win the constructors' championship is eight points. It is not the same to me. I enjoy every point that we do on the track, for us, for the team, and we are leading quite comfortably the constructors' championship and if everything goes on like this we will achieve that and I will be happy for the team, but I still prefer to win the drivers' (championship).

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo).
For Alonso, all your victories in Formula One, after crossing the finish line, you took the car to the right side to the pit wall of the team. This time you didn't do that. Why?

FA:
We were too fast here in Monza and if you go too close to them, then there is too much air coming to them. (Laughter). It is more dangerous here than in any (other) place.

Q: (Dieter Rencken - The Citizen).
For the two McLaren drivers, it's been a long time since two front-running teams chose such totally different strategies. Did you people consider a one-stopper at all? And at what stage did you become aware that Kimi was on a one-stopper?

LH:
We knew going into qualifying... Well, we didn't expect to be half a second quicker than everyone, but the key was to put both cars on the front row, but ideally we could have put another 10 or 15 kilos in easily and still qualified on the front row and that would have enabled us to go on a possible one-stop. But with the graining and the blistering of the tyres... that made us a little bit nervous because especially in the last race we had that problem and here in testing we had blistering and so if you are out in front and you can pull away from the pack then a two stop was a good choice, but then we already knew, we could tell that Kimi would probably be on a one stop, by his time, obviously, in qualifying, and by his pace during the weekend, they knew they didn't have the pace of us, and doing a one stop is six to eight seconds faster than doing a two-stop and they opted for that and had to do the best job we could.

FA:
I knew (when) the team told me Kimi was on a one stop, when he made the stop, because they calculate the lap and the fuel was coming in. So they told me he was on a one-stop and we decided to do two, and avoid any risk with the tyres. That was the main concern. We knew we had the pace, we knew that with two stops the victory was in our hands with no problems, so there was no point in taking risks with a one-stop.

Q: (Ottavio Daviddi - Tuttosport).
Kimi, you have a better position in the championship than Felipe. Do you expect that both the team and Felipe will support you to try and win the last races?

KR:
I don't know. You need to ask the team. The main thing is we try to win the championship, which is going to be very difficult, but you never know. After the next two races, we will know if we have any chance or none at all, but I don't know what is going to happen in the next races.

Q: (St?phane Barb? - L'Equipe).
Kimi, the next track in a very few days is very demanding. Do you think your neck will have recovered?

KR:
It should be okay. If it had happened a few days earlier, the accident, probably wouldn't have any problem, but we have a week so it should be fine.

Q: (Juha P??talo - Financial Times Germany).
Kimi, Looking back, was there any way you could have kept Lewis behind you in that moment?

KR:
I would have tried if there were any chance, but there wasn't any.

 

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