Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren), Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari), Olivier Panis (Toyota)

Questions from the floor:

Q:
Kimi, how much does it add to your advantage that Michael Schumacher is starting significantly behind you and will have to work his way for a while?

Kimi Raikkonen:
Of course, it will help, but you never know what will happen in the race. It is safer to start from the first two rows in the race than further behind where you can more easily have an accident or things can wrong. But it is a long race and you don't know what the other teams are doing with the pit stops and so we have to wait and see. But it looks quite good now.

Q:
Kimi, how does this pole feel in comparison to your first at the Nurburgring?

KR:
It is always important to get pole position, but maybe it was more exciting there because it was my first one but this has come at a good time now and it is the best place to start and it is the crucial time in the championship. It was one of our best qualifying sessions.

Q:
Olivier, do you think you will use the same strategy as the other teams or a different one?

Olivier Panis:
Well, I think the strategy is quite clear. I think we are in good shape, but we don't know what everyone else is doing. I have used a different strategy for some grands prix before and it is working and I think it is working quite well so I feel quite confident for tomorrow.

Q:
Rubens, you and Michael have always done well here - what is it about this course?

Rubens Barrichello:
Well, I am not really sure. It always seems the Ferrari is a good car here, but I think that when you like a place you tend to do quite well and I like the place.

Q:
Kimi, considering there is quite a big difference in the top speeds with McLaren and Ferrari, do you think your top speed will be enough to keep them behind on the straights?

KR:
I don't know. We will see tomorrow.

Q:
Can you alter the rear wing?

KR:
I think it is only the front wing we are allowed to adjust anymore. It is always a compromise with the long straight and the twisty infield. We will see tomorrow.

Q:
Olivier, when was last time you were on the second row and do you think you have a package to win?

OP:
Well, the last time for me was 1997 in Argentina - you know, a long time ago. I am getting old now. But I am quite happy to be here today. I need to be objective. We have improved a lot during the season, but I don't think we have the car to win yet unless something happens on the first corner. My concern for this race is to finish and score points and to beat Jaguar and BAR in the championship. For us, that is a priority. Next time, we will talk more about winning the race.

Q:
Rubens, how difficult is the first turn here and how does it compare to other Formula One venues?

RB:
If you compare it to Monza, for example, this is like a motorway and there is space to go everywhere. Obviously, there are other places with some escape roads, but here the thing is the tight turn. The way it is done, you can approach it from the inside. Or you can cut across it if you need to, hopefully if anyone has to go across it will not rain anymore because the grass today was quite wet. I would say anything can happen, but it is quite a safe one.

Q:
Kimi, is this great for you?

KR:
It seems good, but this year many times what happens in qualifying doesn't say much in the race but I am pretty confident.

Q:
Rubens did you watch Michael's lap and can you assess what happened to him in the first couple of turns?

MS:
I'm not really sure. I have not spoken to him or seen his data because obviously we have to wait for his car to come back. But it looked like he was quite loose as well as he went off, but it didn't affect me in turns of set up and I think my car had a little more control.

Q:
Are you surprised neither of the Williams cars made the podium?

RB:
Well, you never know. This championship is so open. So many times it started and, in Malaysia, you never thought Renault would be on pole and, all of a sudden, they were, so, to be very honest with you, I was expecting that Montoya and Ralf would be on quicker times, but, having said that, you never know if they had full tanks, so I think it is quite open.

Q:
Olivier, after all the work that you have done what does this mean for you personally?

OP:
For me, it means a lot. I think I have worked really hard with the team this year and we have gone really far and the work we have done is huge, but the next step is more difficult to close the gap to the best teams. But I am quite happy because we have tried to improve at every grand prix and now, at the end of the year, we continue to improve and we are on the second row and I think that is really quite good for everyone in the Toyota team. And you know where the next grand prix is, so we will give something very good for the fans in Japan for Toyota, and for me definitely. I am happy to be on second row and to fight with the best guys and have some fun.

Q:
Kimi, how much do you have to be aware of where Juan is?

KR:
I will just try to do my own race and get away quick enough to hold them behind me and win the race. During the race, I am not looking at other people; I am just doing my own stuff.

Q:
Do you think emotions were a factor today?

KR:
No, I just had a better car today.

 

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