Bahrain GP: Sunday press conference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Kimi, you made up eight places on the first lap; do you remember any of them? KR: Yes, in the first corner I got quite a few around the outside, and then people were really going too quickly into turn four, and...

Continued from part 1

Q: Kimi, you made up eight places on the first lap; do you remember any of them?

KR: Yes, in the first corner I got quite a few around the outside, and then people were really going too quickly into turn four, and they were sliding around and I got a few places there but the car was good, even though we were much heavier than the guys in front of us. The biggest problem was Villeneuve, he was the most difficult guy to overtake because I was hitting the rev limiter in seventh gear in a straight line so whenever I got close I was not able to pass him. But then finally I got close enough and got him under braking so that was very good. But the car has been good all weekend really so it was a bit disappointing what happened yesterday. But at least we got six points, so we didn't drop too many points behind the two guys in front of me. There are many races to go and we seem to have good speed and the car is working, so maybe we can see what we can do.

Q: Much pressure from Jenson Button in the closing stages?

KR: Yeah, when he came behind me he was on new tyres and my tyres were a bit old already, so I knew that he could try to overtake me at that point, but I was pushing hard and then after about five laps he started to slow down so I knew then it should be OK barring a mistake, but at that moment when he just had new tyres it was quite close.

Q: Michael, your team tested here for several days so you got used to the circuit and the Bridgestones as well. Is this the real power of Ferrari or is it down to the test?

MS: I guess at the start of the weekend you have advantage. Normally, by the end, people know what they have to do, and I don't know if I should say it but there is something still left over for another (race). Who knows, but it certainly did help our preparation.

Q: Michael, do Renault have a car advantage over you or is it down to tyres? Can you analyse where they are quicker?

MS: I think, if you look at it in real terms, we're very close, so I'm not sure if anybody has the advantage over anybody. Probably, if you analyse, Kimi has done a very fast race, so we'll have to wait and see. It really is important where you start at the beginning of the season and where you finish. Development is a key factor and we'll see who has the better base on that.

Q: Fernando, in qualifying, you and Giancarlo (Fisichella) were at the bottom of the times for eight or nine minutes, in which you possibly burnt off 10 per cent less fuel while doing the same amount of laps. Was your victory won in qualifying because of the extra lap over Michael?

FA: No. I think all weekend we finished top. We worked in a different way and yesterday in qualifying we did a different approach to the new system, which is why we looked different. Everybody else all did a pretty similar strategy, but all weekend has been a case of finding the best approach. We had a perfect Friday, we did a lot on Saturday with our strategy and then won the race. The combination of all these factors went to make the victory.

Q: Kimi, how risky were your tactics tyre-wise, given the one-stop strategy?

KR: No more risky than doing two stops. The tyres have been working very well. We were on a hard compound and it seemed to come back well and there was no big drop-off. We thought anyway that we could do the whole race with no problems.

Q: Fernando, due to what happened to Fisichella, were there any warnings from the team and did you change anything in the car?

FA: No, nothing. He had some problems in qualifying, so I think he took a risk today. They didn't change anything and he started in the same car. Unfortunately, something happened and he had to retire, but in my car it was okay and we had no problems.

Q: Was Kimi's performance ominous? Can we assume he would have sped off if he started on the front row?

FA: I don't know. During the race I did not know what Kimi was doing. I was surprised he was on the podium because he started from the back, because I thought Jenson was third. I think he did a good race and if he started from the front it would have been a close fight again, between two or three cars, so we'll wait for the next one (race) now and the opportunity to see him in a more competitive start.

MS: You have to analyse all the laps and times, so it's difficult to say from here. He was very quick and it's no surprise how quick we found them.

Q: Michael, do you think you can challenge Fernando when we get back to Europe and have colder temperatures?

MS: I hope so. There's no reason not to believe that after this race.

Q: Fernando, is the pace of your car what you expected, or is it as a result of the track conditions?

FA: No, it's as I expected. We were quick, but we are not the favourites like some people expected. They said Renault was a little bit in front of other people. We always said we are not the top team but that we are a top four team who are all very close. With that race here today with Ferrari -- Ferrari were very quick here last year but Michael had the hydraulic problem. We now have to look at the next few races. They are at tracks where we cannot test, so some teams will be fast and some will be slow and we will see.

Q: Kimi, what's your feeling about the pace you displayed? Would you have run away if you started up at the front?

KR: I for sure would have had a chance to win the race, but I don't know at what point they (Alonso and Schumacher) were quick, so it's not easy to say right now. I think we could have been fighting but we will have to look at the data to see what the difference would be and if there was any difference.

Q: Did the car feel quick to you?

KR: Like I said, the car is good, so that is the main thing and I definitely think I will have a chance to win races and fight for the championship, so that's the main thing too. We were fast today, so that's good.

Q: Kimi, when did you realise you'd be on the podium today and how much satisfaction was it after yesterday?

KR: Of course, we're very happy where we finished today because after yesterday it was not so good. I think before my only stop we were already in third place behind the leaders so we knew then if we could keep the speed up that we could fight for the podium, so I was happy we could. That was the moment.

Q: Fernando, can you explain the moment when Felipe Massa almost hit your car?

FA: Interesting moment. For a little time, I thought he would hit me when I saw him coming. I tried to turn left into turn one, when he came past me at speed. Everything happened very quickly. He didn't hit me, and after that I just relaxed, because he didn't touch me. He was maybe close to me, but I just concentrated on my race.

Q: Fernando, are you worried that you have Ferrari and McLaren closer than last year?

FA: No, I'm not worried. We have the right people and the right car to be fighting all season. We saw in China their capacity to make an update to win the last race and win the championship for constructors. In the past two years it is true that some of the teams have been developing the car a little bit more than us, so we have to, in the first part of the championship, win as many points as possible.

Q: Michael, is it more interesting to be fighting the new generation?

MS: I don't feel like the old generation to be honest.

Q: In motor racing terms, you are.

MS: It's true, it says so in my passport, but it makes no difference to me I think

Q: Is the challenge more interesting though? You couldn't do it last year but now you can.

MS: Did you listen to what I said before? Same question, same answer.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , McLaren