Italian GP Friday press conference

Drivers: Thomas Enge (Prost) Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton) Jarno Trulli (Jordan) Team Personnel: Ross Brawn (Ferrari) Paolo Martinelli (Ferrari) Jean Todt (Ferrari) Q: Do you feel you and the team can still improve, in spite of the ...

Drivers:
Thomas Enge (Prost)
Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton)
Jarno Trulli (Jordan)

Team Personnel:
Ross Brawn (Ferrari)
Paolo Martinelli (Ferrari)
Jean Todt (Ferrari)

Q: Do you feel you and the team can still improve, in spite of the improvement made in Spa?

Giancarlo FISICHELLA: Hopefully, yes. Already, even here, we have a new front today and tomorrow there is the new qualifying engine - it's not new but it's a further step on power. So I'm a little bit more optimistic than today. Today was quite a good. We worked for the race with a lot of fuel. I am eleventh and our target is to be in the top ten for tomorrow.

Q: Is a but frustrating that it's come so late for you?

GF: It was. Now it's better. Especially after the last race I'm much more confident, much more relaxed, especially for the next three races, so I hope to do my best with the Benetton team until the end of the year and to be competitive next year with the Jordan Grand Prix.

Q: Tomas, how was your first day as a Grand Prix driver?

Tomas ENGE: Well, the feelings are a little bit mixed because I'm here due to Luciano's crash in Spa so I wish him a good and quick recovery but so far I was driving several laps today. I want to concentrate more on my progression than on the car progressions. Meanwhile, we were trying a few different set-ups as well so I'm quite happy for today because I didn't do any big mistakes or whatever and everything went well for me, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow to improve not only the time but the positions as well.

Q: You're the first driver ever from the Czech Republic. What does that mean at home?

TE: Of course, when we said to the Czech people, to the press, that I was going to drive here in Monza, there was a big boom in the Czech Republic and everybody was wishing me good luck, everybody was watching me, so it's now it's as though I am like most of the working sportsmen in Czech Republic.

Q: Does that mean a lot of pressure?

TE: I don't feel too much pressure. For me, it's a bit different. If I was fighting for fighting position, of course the pressure would be there. If I am not fighting for the first position or getting to the front, or setting good lap times like I expected to do, the pressure is not there too much. I'm just concentrating more on my driving than looking to see what people are thinking. But the best thing about it is that everybody is behind me in my country, and I'm proud to be Czech.

Q: Jarno, you've had a roller-coaster ride in terms of Grands Prix this year. What about this one?

Jarno TRULLI: I hope it's going to be better than the last Grand Prix I did. Obviously I'm pushing really hard because I want to finish high with Jordan. There's a very good feeling and atmosphere in the team and somehow I'm sad that I'm leaving, but I want to get the most I can give to the team anyway. As always, I've had a good relationship with Eddie and with everybody in the team. We are still pushing very hard. We know that we have a competitive car but unfortunately not very reliable, especially in the race.

Q: You must be keeping an eye on the blue team down the road and it's recent progress.

JTr: Probably when I first signed for Renault no one could believe it because the team wasn't performing really really well but just after I signed, the proved that things were moving on, so they improved the car, they are getting better and better and this makes me feel very happy, not only because I will be driving for them, but also it means that I've been looking very deeply in what they've been doing, and I trust them. In the end, hopefully, it will be alright. I'm very happy about my decision for next year.

Q: Ross, we've heard a lot about a new type of transmission at Ferrari. Can you tell us something about it?

Ross BRAWN: I'd like you to tell me about it, because I don't know anything about it. I'm not sure where it came from. We're looking at developments from the transmission as are all teams: looking at clutches, looking at trying to make the transmission more efficient, but there's nothing radical happening. I think maybe somebody picked up on some work we were doing and two and two made five. No, unfortunately, nothing radical so that's a bit of a mystery.

Q: What about Michelins so far this weekend. Have you been worried about their performance here today?

RB: I think it's the performance of the Williams really, rather than just Michelin. I think Bridgestone have got a pretty good tyre here, from what we saw at the test, what we've seen today. It's a different tyre to what we had at the test, an evolution, and it seemed to work quite well today. I think it's the performance of the Williams, BMW, Michelin which is of concern rather than Michelin as such. I think some of the higher up teams which were running Michelins were possibly on lower fuel, so I think that's a bit of a distraction. But certainly the speed of the two Williams looked impressive.

Q: Jean, first of all you celebrated your 40th win with Ferrari in Belgium, what did that mean to you?

Jean TODT: To be more precise Ferrari celebrated 40 extra wins to make 143 altogether. Definitely I'm very proud to lead Scuderia Ferrari, I have around me fantastic people and it's a good achievement but we're in a business where things change very quickly so we must focus on the future. But it was good.

Q: How did the decision to run without livery come about?

JT: Definitely we feel that we cannot ignore what has happened this week in the United States. We can do little about it, we all feel very concerned, very sad for them, for us - you have so many questions you can think about things - but life goes on. We are all focused on our business, but it's a different weekend from all the others and we had to do something different and in agreement with our partners it was decided that we should have a plain red car with a black nose. It's our little contribution to show to the world that Ferrari and its partners are concerned with this tragedy.

Q: Paolo, can you give us an indication of the development that has gone into the engine this year?

Paolo Martinelli: The engine was a completely new one, we concentrated on reliability for the first few races and then we made a few steps during the season. Our approach was a little different compared to the past, we made a continuous evolution with more steps and now we want to make more steps before the end of the season.

Q: What about for next year - will that be a totally new engine?

PM: We are woking on the project 051 and we will be able to show a little more at the January presentation of the new car so it is something that is a drawing now, it is not yet on the test bench, so there is very little to say about the new engine but it will be an evolution of the current one.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: Ross, it's the first time you've come to Monza as champions already - how has that changes the team and what benefit will it bring in future?

RB: There's been huge expectation on Ferrari for a long time - there always is a huge expectation on Ferrari. It had become particularly difficult because for three years we got to the last race and still didn't achieve it and we began to wonder if it would elude us. To win it last year was exceptional, a very special experience, and it was going to be interesting to see how the team reacted this year because it takes intense effort and commitment to achieve that result. What's so pleasing is I think the team was even better this year. That pressure has gone a little bit, the team is still extremely competitive and wants to win every race it enters but the monkey's off our back and I think the fact we were able to win the championship with four races left is an even better result than we achieved last year and I think everyone's a little more relaxed but in a nice way. A competitive sense where there's a belief that if we do the job properly we can win championships so we're even stronger.

Q: Jean, did Ferrari have a contractual position with Kimi Raikkonen at any stage?

JT: We never had any contractual plans with any of our partners drivers. We supply - against a financial contribution - engines to Peter Sauber since a few years, to the Prost team since the beginning of this year, and in this particular case there was direct agreement between Peter Sauber and Raikkonen's future team. Maybe we could have fought if we wanted but we would have to give a financial contribution or our engines free of charge which is not what we can so that's it.

Q: To the drivers, how do you feel to do your sports here when you have seen what has happened in the USA?

JTr: It's for sure a difficult weekend because we all can see what is happening in the USA but it's not just a US tragedy, I think it is the whole world's tragedy. We have to look at what's happening and the feeling in the paddock is not the best: no one is happy. Normally Formula One is a celebration, but there's nothing to celebrate here when we see what is happening around the world. There is stress, everybody is concerned and the first thing when you wake up in the morning is to turn the television on to see if there is any news and you just hope that it can all get better. We have to show to everybody that we are together with the USA, that we are all together in the whole world. Formula One is a sport and all sport is also a way to show somehow that the whole world doesn't have to stop. We still have to carry on, we have to take care of what is happening but we can't stop otherwise the people that attacked the USA will have won their battle and we cannot let this happen. We have to show that we are strong enough and we have to look forward.

-fia-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Kimi Raikkonen , Ross Brawn , Peter Sauber , Jean Todt , Thomas Enge , Paolo Martinelli
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Williams , Benetton , Jordan