Drivers: Fernando Alonso (Renault), Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan), Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and Jarno Trulli (Renault).

Press conference.

Q:
You've all tested here over the last couple of weeks. Could you give me your impressions of the testing, how that went, the package that was developed?

Giancarlo Fisichella:
We were here testing for two days. We tested new front and rear suspension, which is a little bit better. Nothing more, unfortunately. Our pace wasn't good enough and we had a few mechanical problems, especially reliability. So it wasn't a special test for us.

Jarno Trulli:
It was a very positive test for us. We did a lot of laps and miles without problems and we tested a lot of tyres and set-up, but basically our car performed very well so we are confident to have a good weekend, absolutely not as good as in Hungary but we will try our best.

Michael Schumacher:
We basically had a good test too. I have the feeling that the car suits this type of circuit a bit better than maybe others. In general we have made good steps forward on the aerodynamic side. They brought out a good package so I'm reasonably comfortable.

Fernando Alonso:
Exactly the same, basically. We tested a few tyres and something on the set-up. I think we found some good changes and as Jarno said, it should be a good weekend for us although obviously much harder than Hungary because this circuit will be difficult for us, but everything is going quite well at the moment.

Juan Pablo Montoya:
I thought it went pretty well. First day it was a bit frustrating with Ralf's crash and looking at what happened, I think the problem has been solved and Ralf's OK so that's pretty good. No, I think we did a lot of development. We had quite a few new bits on the car and they all seemed to work so I think we will have a really good car here.

Q:
A couple of seasons ago, the two Italians in the back row swapped teams and since then you've had rather differing results. Looking back at that time, obviously you thought it was the right thing to do. What are your feelings now?

JT:
Definitely I'm very happy to be at Renault and we've definitely improved the car and the performance and the team so at the moment I must say that for me it was a good move and it's looking even better for the future.

GF:
I am a bit unhappier than him but obviously I won my first race this year with Jordan Grand Prix but it's been a very tough season. Unfortunately the package is not good enough and we are struggling to be competitive. I've got three more races to do with Jordan Grand Prix. I will do my best but it's going to be difficult to score some points. And then next year I will move to Sauber and I'm quite confident for that. We'll see.

Q:
You mentioned the move to Sauber; what exactly are you looking for from that move?

GF:
Obviously to have a good package, to be quick. I know it's going to be difficult and nearly impossible maybe to win some other races but I'd like to score a lot of points and get on the podium sometimes.

Q:
Jarno, how did the win three weeks ago affect the team, because that must have given them a great boost?

JT:
Definitely, yes. We have been looking for it and been trying very hard all season. Eventually it came in Hungary and everybody was extremely happy and very satisfied about the job that everybody had done, Fernando's performance and it's very good, a good boost, not only for this season but especially for next year because we know that we are going to be, and we have to be, competitive and at the top level all season.

Q:
Have you seen a difference in the team since then?

JT:
No, to be honest, no. There is a very good atmosphere inside the team and we are very happy. Personally, I get on very well with Fernando and I was very pleased for him.

Q:
Michael, you're obviously one of the championship contenders; how much of an advantage is it that in that you've been in this situation before?

MS:
We'll find out. I wouldn't say that it's a big advantage honestly because in the end, those guys there are good enough to do the job otherwise they wouldn't be where they are so I don't reckon it's a big thing. If it's transformed into lap time, it might, on occasions, on strategic occasions, help but we'll have to find out.

Q:
Three years ago, in the year 2000, this race was very much a turning point for you and you always attributed a certain amount of it to the tifosi. How much are you looking for a repeat, how much can you see the same thing happening again?

MS:
As you say, it looks very similar in a lot of senses and I just hope that it ends very similarly. The support of the tifosi is obviously very important for us. We know we have a lot of that and we would like to give back something that they have given us over all the years.

Q:
Fernando, it's obviously been a great three weeks since the victory in Hungary. What's been the reaction at home, particularly how has Spain reacted this year to following you?

FA:
Well, I think it's been a big surprise for the Spanish people. All of my country was not involved in Formula One for probably the last couple of years and now the people are much more interested. Afterwards I went to England. I was only in Spain on Tuesday, so I spent only one day, but I already felt big support coming from the Spanish fans and I think it was a great moment for the Spanish sports.

Q:
In fact your role, particularly in the races to come, is rather a strange one because your participation could really stir up the championship; how do you feel about that?

FA:
Well, I don't know. Probably not in this race but maybe in Suzuka we are very confident to arrive there very competitive and maybe we are in the middle of the title fight with all the contenders. I hope not to disturb anyone. Everyone knows that the Renault car can be as competitive as Williams, McLaren and Ferrari on some of the circuits and it will maybe be more interesting for people if Jarno and me are in the fight.

Q:
Juan Pablo, you've won major championships like F3000 and ChampCar; how important is it to have won those championships, to have been under the same pressure as you are at the moment?

JPM:
I think it helps. I'm not really focused on the championship. My main focus is to finish the races, score good points, try to finish in front of Michael and Kimi and if you do the job properly, you should be able to win it. That's the way I look at it.

Q:
Where do you think you're going to be good over the next three races?

JPM:
I think they all should be pretty good for us. I think the tightest race will probably be this one. I think we have a chance to fight against them but we'll see what happens.

Q:
Going back to that championship question, Kimi Raikkonen has not been in that situation, particularly in a major formula; is that an advantage for you over him?

JPM:
No, not really. It's not a big deal. In a way, of course, it is, but when you're driving the car, you don't really think about all this and that. You're just driving the car and doing the best you can. At the end of the day, you add up the points and see if you've got enough to win.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...