Questions from the floor:

Q: (James Allen - ITV)
Fernando, you always said at the start of the year that the second half of the season is when you would start to come good with this package. How much of the performance that you have at the moment is down to that and how much is down to the experience you have got in comparison with Lewis for example?

Fernando Alonso:
I don't know. It is very difficult to say. What is true is that I am more comfortable now with the car, with the team, with everything, and I approach the races a little more comfortable than the first part of the season. Between the new car, the new team, the new approach, the tyres etc... I was always with some doubts at the start of each weekend. Now I have everything under control before starting tomorrow's practice. I know what I am doing, I know what are the changes in the set-up, how it will react to the car. At the beginning of the championship if we have understeer on the car and you try to change the front-spring I didn't know how the car will react to that change. Now I know the car really well and everything, so I can react a little bit more precise.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
I'm going to change subject, guys, and ask each of you personally what you think of the war in Iraq. Is the situation being made worse by the British and Americans being there? Should they pull out immediately or stay for the long haul?

[None of the drivers are forthcoming]

Q:
Let's start with Robert.

Robert Kubica:
I think we are in a Formula One conference, so I will not answer this question.

Q:
Anybody else?

[silence]

Q: (Mike Doodson - Auto Action)
For Felipe, about the problems you had in Monza. You told us some interesting details but was there anything new on the car in Monza? Or do you think that the damage
may have been caused because you were trying to match the McLarens over the kerbs?

Felipe Massa:
No, no, it had nothing to do with the kerbs. It was something... we had a big problem on the damper. I don't really need to say what caused the problem but it is a problem with the damper, nothing to do with the kerbs. Just something happened, but it is nothing to do with the kerbs, nothing to do with the start, nothing to do with the way we were driving, it is something that happens.

Q:
Is it a new part?

FM:
No, we used already this damper before.

Q: (Nikki Takeda - Formula PA)
Last time we were here for the test and lots of drivers were not so happy about the pit entrance. Has any work been done to that and has anyone been to see it?

FM:
I was one of them who was not happy with the pit entrance. It is very narrow, we have a lot of space there to do a nice job and for me the job was not very well done. I didn't check if they changed the pit lane entrance but I think it was mentioned in the briefing with Charlie (Whiting) and he is going to work on that but I don't know...

Q:
Has anybody else seen it?

AS:
I was walking around there and I had a look. It is very narrow around there. They said two cars could come through there but I think the measurement is exactly two cars and not more, so we have to go by rim-on-rim then we can go through there. So if there is something wrong, if some car is stopping there, you can't pass him. So I think it is just a really bad pit entry. I don't like it, it is too narrow.

Q:
Is there anything that can be done now? Will you ask for something to be done?

FM:
Well it depends, I think if you call all the people in Belgium to do the job, maybe they can do it in one day but I don't think it will be possible.

Q: (James Allen)
Felipe, in the first lap at Monza obviously Lewis lost some momentum, you were trying to get past him through the Lesmos. Were you happy with where he put his car through that phase? Did you have a conversation with him after?

FM:
No, I didn't have a conversation. He tried and we touched...

Q:
No, in the Lesmos, later in the lap.

FM:
The Lesmos? No, normal.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo)
The question is to Alonso. You say you have a car to fight for the victory here. What do you feel, knowing that depending what happens today in Paris, tomorrow you cannot get in your car and participate in the grand prix?

FA:
I'm not thinking about anything outside here in the paddock. I have a meeting with my engineers now, preparing the strategy for tomorrow, which tyres we are using in P1 and which in P2. I was checking the forecast for all weekend, the set-up, comparing the test we did in July, the updates that are on the car... So any more than this I am not ready to think. My 100% concentration will be in this paddock, in this track and on winning this race. Other than that I will not have even two seconds of thinking.

Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing)
Felipe, who makes the dampers for Ferrari?

[laughter]

Q:
Sorry, I should know this.

FM:
It is not up to you, it is up to us to know that. I will not comment exactly what caused the problem, I said that.

Q:
I was just asking who makes the dampers? What manufacturer?

FM:
No, I will not mention that.

Q:
And the second part of my question. Is there any chance that a similar problem could have happened to Kimi's car on Saturday and caused that accident?

FM:
I think so. Maybe, yeah.

Q:
Why then at the time were Ferrari so convinced that it was a driver error and he just hit a bump? How did they know that? How did Kimi know that at 300kph within seconds of the accident?

FM:
Because when he had an accident he didn't have any problem with the damper like I had, so we didn't find any problem in the car, the engineer explained. It was a different problem, so it was not related to the car.

Q:
But it could have been the damper that caused it?

FM:
I don't think so. Because the damper, when we had the problem, was completely blocked. So it was broken. But it was nothing that it caused, just a feeling, so it was a different problem.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport)
Fernando, if the title is decided today in the courtroom what kind of title will it have been for the driver?

FA:
Again I have no answer to this question. I will not comment anything on what is happening today. The answer will be the same as I said before. I am concentrating on the race. I don't think what can happen and what cannot happen in Paris. I am not in that matter today.

Q: (Panos Diamantis - Car and Driver)
Of the four championship contenders you are the only one who had to change from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres. How much of a handicap do you think this was and can you please tell me did you have to change some things in your driving style to adapt to Bridgestone?

FA:
First of all I think Kimi also switched from Michelin to Bridgestone this year. I think it was more in the winter. I think all the Michelin drivers from last year had to adapt a little bit to the new tyres. In terms of braking, which is probably the main difference, we all felt with the Bridgestone tyre more movement with the car under braking. So you need a little bit of control with that and maybe setup changes also with this braking issue. And also maybe the traction. With Michelin it seems always to be a benefit to put the car straight and go on power with the straight line traction and with Bridgestone it is not a big advantage to do that, so you need to carry your speed into the corners, in the middle of the corners. So after one week testing you are a little bit ready to use the Bridgestone but the more laps you do the better you understand them.

Q: (Carlos Miquel - Diario AS)
Fernando, why did you decide not to go to Paris? Lewis [Hamilton] is in Paris and Pedro [de La Rosa] is in Paris. Some reason?

FA:
No comment.

 

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