Brazilian GP: Saturday press conference

Present: Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), Ralf Schumacher (Williams). Q: Juan Pablo. Are you happy with the tyres? Juan Pablo Montoya: We knew already what tyres we were going to use for qualifying and we knew it...

Present: Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), Ralf Schumacher (Williams).

Q: Juan Pablo. Are you happy with the tyres?

Juan Pablo Montoya: We knew already what tyres we were going to use for qualifying and we knew it was going to be hot. The weather has made our tyres work better.

Q: What do you think about the performance of the Williams cars?

Michael Schumacher: If you see the picture where they are now then it looks like we don't have the upper at this circuit, which was a little bit like that last year, we have to face that, but there is going to come some other circuits which suit us and that's the way it's going to happen this year. It's going to go up and down between the circuits.

Q: On your final two runs, you had a moment you had to correct in the second sector both times. How close were you to losing it in those sectors because it's still quite dusty out there.

MS: Yes. That's right in my fastest time that I had that situation. I wasn't expecting to make the corner any more because normally it's just enough to go a little bit off line and then lose the corner, but for whatever reason, I kept it on line and we were able to continue, luckily, otherwise I would have been in third position.

Q: Ralf, victor last time, are you disappointed to be third or is it simply so close on times that it's alright.

Ralf Schumacher: It's so close on times it's alright. It's the same obviously that I just didn't get it right on one lap, two tenths, that's all. It's all very close and it's going to be an exciting race and if anything, being third is not such a bad position off the grid.

Q: Did the track conditions change at all?

MS: To me they did. When I went out the first time the car was almost OK. Then the second time the understeer started and it was all the way until the end so something did change with the temperature.

Q: Juan, back to you, we have a new ruling for this race; is it going to affect how you take the run down to the first corner?

JPM: I don't think so, especially as long you don't do anything really stupid basically, you should be alright. I understand it will be the hardest penalty there's going to be.

Q: Well done Juan Pablo. Surprised, happy?

JPM: I'm pretty happy. This morning I couldn't really get a run on new tyres. I was struggling with the brakes into turn one on the two new sets that we had. I knew that the car had quite good potential. Looking at it, it was very close with Ralf. Sometimes, it was one tenth one way, one tenth the other, so it was going to be tough. I think we're pretty happy, especially being in front of the new Ferrari. That's pretty good.

Q: Did you get the brake problem sorted out?

JPM: Yes, we found a way to solve it and it was fine for qualifying. It was a little detail, it didn't make a huge difference to the start of the lap. The brakes were working fine everywhere except into the first corner.

Q: You nearly won last year, can you do it this time?

JPM: I will tell you tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully. We are starting from pole, that's a good thing. Ralf is very quick as well. We'll see. We have to wait and see what Ferrari comes up with. From the way Michael's been saving tyres, it's a bit obvious to say that he might be doing two stops.

Q: Michael, I guess you feel that you could have gone quicker, couldn't you?

MS: Quite honestly, I guess everyone always has some little problems.

Q: Does this result vindicate bringing the new car?

MS: In all honesty, yes. The car is ready and the old car for sure is not faster than the new car, very obviously, so I don't know where we would have been if we'd brought the old car.

Q: Do you feel you were a bit let down by Bridgestone. Is there a problem with the tyres in comparison to Michelin?

MS: I'm second in qualifying. I thought that was pretty good the option of being not too far away from pole position, so I don't think you can say we have been let down.

Q: What about the track at the end, did you feel it was a bit slower?

MS: No, I didn't have that feeling. Obviously I was improving my time again, but on the other hand I hadn't been out at the very last minute so I don't know whether there was another change within five minutes to the end to when I was running.

Q: Was it always calculated that you would do three runs rather than four?

MS: We take the circumstances. I would have wanted to do... We were thinking of doing maybe another run at the end but then we just ran out of time.

Q: At one point we saw you altering something behind the steering wheel. What was that, is it something you always do?

MS: There's a brake balance that you can adjust. It depends on when I need it.

Q: Ralf. A little bit disappointed?

RS: No. Why?

Q: Well, you had been on provisional pole.

RS: Well, I think the two of us have done a good job. We've hardly been split by Michael. I think we are both in a good position. We will see what there is tomorrow.

Q: So you are happy with third on the grid.

RS: I am relatively happy, yeah. It is a pretty clean side to be on and we will start and see where we are.

Q: Did you feel you lost time on your first run?

RS: Certainly it was a bit slower than the one before so I must have lost time somewhere. I was changing the set-up a bit through the qualifying and couldn't really get it 100 percent right. We are so close together, it is nothing basically, so everything is open for tomorrow.


Q: For Michael and Montoya. Last Grand Prix you started from the front. What is your feeling to find yourselves alongside each other again?

MS: I don't think we have a problem with that, do we?


Q: Do you find it particularly difficult setting up on the new car?

MS: No, not necessarily. It is new, so we have to go down different roads but it is not any particular problem. We maybe could say we have not got the maximum potential from it yet because maybe there are things we don't know yet where on the other car we would know, but I know we can improve for now on.

Q: For all of you. Does the fact you are split by four points in the championship make any difference in strategy?

JPM: I think the championship is in the very early stages. It is good that we are fairly close especially as we are leading the constructors' championship, whoever wins tomorrow is going to be leading the championship so it is going to be quite interesting. We definitely have to finish and keep scoring points. That is the only way to keep championship hopes alive.

Q: Ralf. Do you think pit strategy can make the difference here?

RS: The pit stop strategy will always decide the race in Formula One history and hopefully it will be the same tomorrow.

Q: You were one tenth slower than the Williams car here. Is this the difference between the new Ferrari and the new Williams in race conditions?

MS: I don't think it is really fair to say this. If you pass on maybe three or four races you can make a judgement on what is the car performance despite the tyre performance. Last year we struggled here a little bit without tyres and it looks like we have some difficulties this year and that would obviously minimise, or, it doesn't show the potential of the car.

Q: Michael. Would it be fair to say the car behaved better in testing at Mugello and Barcelona than here in Sao Paulo?

MS: No. We have seen, I don't know why, on this particular circuit, that if you have a particular advantage in the car it doesn't show too much in Brazil. And if you go back to the past, and you see it again now, if you take last year's car with Rubens and see the lap time he has done in comparison to what I have been doing and if you take that and look at what we were able to do in Malaysia and in Melbourne then some circuits give you more of a car advantage than others. So here the cars don't show really as big a difference although we still see a difference. I am fairly confident in what we have in the car and in some other circuits I am sure it will show up even more.

Q: Michael. Looking at last year the two pit stop strategy showed is was the wrong decision. Considering the tyre information you have learned here in the last sessions, are you able to make just one pit stop?

MS: Obviously I will not go into detail about what pit stop we will do but to answer your question whether it was right or wrong you don't know the difference between the two tyre manufacturers and to judge whether a strategy is right or wrong it is probably not just right to say it like that. You have to consider more factors.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams