Drivers: Rubens Barrichello, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Enrique Bernoldi, OrangeArrows Asiatech Bridgestone: Vito de Florio, President, Bridgestone Firestone Brazil Humberto Viscondo, Vice-President, Bridgestone Firestone Brazil Hiroshi Yasukawa,...
Rubens Barrichello, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Enrique Bernoldi, OrangeArrows Asiatech
Vito de Florio, President, Bridgestone Firestone Brazil
Humberto Viscondo, Vice-President, Bridgestone Firestone Brazil
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director, Bridgestone Motorsport
TO RUBENS BARRICHELLO
How is your approach to this year's Brazilian Grand Prix different from last year?
Things have improved for me. The pressure is on when you do not have a competitive car and you are racing in your country in front of your home crowd. For me, things have improved a lot especially in the psychological aspect of it. I have to be calm and focused. Here I am able to go home and eat rice and beans. This does not happen all year long.
This year you have a competitive car. What sort of performance can you promise your fans?
There is a Brazilian saying: "A promise is a debt". I am trying to do my best with this car and I have even changed the colours of my helmet in homage to my country. I will always fight to do my best.
How much time do you believe you can gain from this year's Bridgestone tyres?
With competition among tyre suppliers in F1, we have already seen changes in the structure and compositions. It is impressive how today's tyres are so much better than the same ones last season. There are many variations in composition and structure. This year's tyres are softer, last longer and perform very well.
How do you feel about having finished only one of the last eight races in Brazil?
The race here in Brazil is always at the beginning of the season and when I was in smaller teams we did not do enough pre-season testing. With Ferrari we have done a lot of testing and a lot of mileage. This is fundamental if you are to start the year with the car ready. In 1994, I was with Jordan and I finished the race.
What do you think about the return of traction control in Spain?
Traction control takes away a little bit of the pleasure. The good thing is that each team can interpret the regulations their own way. It will make the cars more equal. The starting grid will be more compact and that is good.
We have had daily rainstorms in Sao Paulo. What was it like driving in the rain in Malaysia?
It was not very good because it was dangerous. I have Bridgestone tyres on my car at home and I've never had any problems. Seriously, the warm-up in Malaysia was fine but during the race I felt something strange. Later I was told that my deflectors were broken and this caused me to lose grip in the curves. I had to adapt to this situation and it kept me out of the fight. I drove calmly. The Ferrari adapts easily to changeable conditions.
TO ENRIQUE BERNOLDI
The Arrows has a Peugeot engine. Last year it had excellent performance but was not very trustworthy. This year it is the opposite.
The engine for 2001 is an evolution of last year's but it still lacks power. The car is fast on the straights and we will continue to improve it until the end of the season. I only drove 50 laps in testing at Silverstone. We haven't had time to develop the engine yet.
When was the last time you drove at Interlagos?
It was in 1994 before I went to Europe. It was with a Formula Ford with no wings. This time, it will be very different for me.
TO HUMBERTO VISCONDO
Are there any similarities between the tyres produced in Brazil and F1 tyres?
We produce tyres here in Brazil for road, agricultural and other uses. The racing tyres are imported. We produce the Potenza road car tyre that uses technology acquired from F1 tyre production.
TO HIROSHI YASUKAWA
Is there a war among tyre suppliers?
We are pleased to compete with and support six teams while our competitor supports five teams. The competition is an excellent opportunity to test the quality of our products.