DRIVERS: Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) David Coulthard (McLaren) Jarno Trulli (Jordan) Jacques Villeneuve (BAR) Ricardo Zonta (BAR) Q. Rubens, you prepared for this race at Monza. Can you tell us a little about that? Rubens Barrichello:...
Q. Rubens, you prepared for this race at Monza. Can you tell us a little about that?
Rubens Barrichello: Testing went quite well: I did two days at Monza and one at Fiorano. We were testing for here and I was quite pleased with the car in low downforce [configuration]. I mean, it was Canada- downforce rather than Monza settings. The car seemed well balanced and I feel optimistic.
Q. In the first couple of races this season you seemed to be closer to Michael than you are now. What's been happening?
RB: I don't think there's anything wrong. Before qualifying in Monte Carlo I made a wrong decision on the setup and it would have taken too long to go back [to the earlier settings]. That meant I was suffering from oversteer. I don't like turn-in oversteer. I was really on my limit, but that was it: I was 0.9 second behind Michael. On Sunday morning everything went right again when I made the right decision. There are so many things which you can do [with the car] when you are with a top team, things that sometimes you could not do with the smaller teams you were with before. So even though I have seven years of F1 experience, sometimes I just have to go with the things that the team [has suggested]. We have only known each other for four months, so sometimes you take the wrong decision.
Q. David, what are your feelings about this race? This has been a good circuit for you in some ways ...
David Coulthard: Yes. I think I have only ever finished here twice, but I scored my first world championship points here. I have also led a couple of races here, until I was stopped by mechanical problems.
Q. At the beginning of the season you spoke of changing your attitude, and people have suggested that you appear to be more relaxed this year. Does that mean that your change of attitude has worked?
DC: I don't feel any different. I am getting better results at this stage of the season largely because the car has been finishing races. I have had one non- finish, in Australia, I was disqualified from another race despite finishing it in 2nd place, and I have been on the podium in all five of the others. I have always maintained that the only way I can be in there battling for a championship is if the car is finishing races. As long as the team gives me that opportunity and I don't make mistake, that's where I will be. With my having got some good results and being in front of Mika on points at this stage of the championship, people inevitably want to analyse this, that and the next thing. I say, 'save your energy.' Let's wait and see how the year goes. I hope to be still in a good position come the end. There's so much of the year still to go that there is no point in getting carried away at this stage. I believe I have a chance to win here, and that's all the motivation I need to really push.
Q. There has been a lot of speculation, Jacques, about your future. Are we wasting our time or is there something behind it?
Jacques Villeneuve: You're wasting your time! It would definitely be fun to be winning because it's been quite a while since I was [winning]. The [results at the] start of the season made it look as though we had made a big improvement, although things then went downhill a little bit. But I think we have now had the worst possible track for our car. It should look a lot better here.
Q. What does the car lack?
JV: Downforce. That's very simple. The engine is good, I am very happy with that. The car seems to be working well, too, it's just that it seems to be very slow whenever we need to put downforce into it. This is a track which should suit us a lot better and the Monza testing [last week] was good: we didn't do much work on the car and it was easily quick. That means it should be good here.
Q. People like Flavio Briatore have said that you deserve a much better car than you have at the moment. You would surely be in demand with a team, like Renault, that's being reestablished. Doesn't that seem a more exciting prospect for you as you review what you expect to be doing in the future?
JV: It leads the way to a lot of rumours, and sometimes it can be fun to read a lot of the things [that are written as a result]. But it doesn't help your work in the team, because it means a lot of people are stressed out. We are still concentrating on getting this car to go quick and on getting some results. That is very important right now, but there will come a point when I will have to make a decision on what I want to do [in future].
Q. Are you suggesting that point has not yet arrived?
JV: No. You can't make a decision until you have all the cards in your hands. You want to know what you're choosing from. You want to know where the teams are heading.
Q. But you would certainly entertain a change?
JV: I only entertain trying to make the best decision for the future.
Q. Ricardo, you had a nasty incident in testing at Monza last week. What exactly happened?
Ricardo Zonta: Testing after lunchtime I went out of the pits and in the back straight, coming into the Parabolica, something broke in the left front of the car - - and then I crashed. I couldn't do anything. It is difficult to know why the car is breaking, sometimes in tests and sometimes on race weekends. It makes it quite difficult for me to get back in the car and try again on the same track.
Q. Especially after [that even more alarming crash at] Silverstone?
RZ: Yes. I don't expect to feel the same way here, though. At Monza we were testing various new parts and probably one of them broke. I was unlucky because it was me in the car and I crashed. But it is my job to test new things. Not to destruction, though ...
Q. But surely your confidence has been affected ...
RZ: (pause) I went back to the track [following the crash at Monza] and I was fast again. I had not lost speed. But going down the straight at high speed you don't know whether you will be safe or whether the same thing is likely to happen again...
Q. Jarno, you outqualified your Jordan team mate at Monaco and you raced well. Are you feeling happy with the team at present?
Jarno Trulli: Yes. The most important thing is to do well, not to outqualify my team mate. The team is doing a very good job. We are improving our car and getting stronger. We proved it in Monaco because both drivers were in the top four [in qualifying] and we were doing a good race. But unfortunately for me we are still missing good luck and I didn't get the good result I was hoping to have. I was really disappointed afterwards because I knew I would have a very good race, and in fact just after the start I was aiming for 2nd position. Unfortunately my car broke down, so ... now I have to look forward.
Q. At the start in the last couple of years your cars have had a seemingly magnetic attraction to Jean Alesi's. What do you plan to do to avoid that happening again?
JT: Last year I caused the accident because I was trying to avoid a collision with Frentzen, and three years ago I was unfortunately involved in another accident, unfortunately also with Jean. This year I hope to get away at the first corner and to have a good race.
Q. Last year Jordan had an exceptionally reliable season. Are you getting frustrated with the lack of reliability this year?
JT: Yes, absolutely. I never expected this to be such a bad year in terms of reliability. I have calculated, with the team, how many points I lost so far and I can say that I lost about 14 or 15 points, which would be enough to have put me in 4th or 5th place in the drivers' championship. That is really bad for the team generally. The team is working hard, but unfortunately we constantly have different problems with the car, sometimes silly problems, which stop us from getting good results - - as in the last race. We are confident we can solve all the problems, but the most important thing at the moment is to get results.
Q. Jacques, last year there was a meeting of champions who hit the wall coming out of the chicane. Have you asked for that to be changed?
JV: I haven't been to see what changes have been done there. It's actually a very quick chicane, but very tight, and it is easy to make a mistake there. In most corners it doesn't matter if you make a mistake by just a few inches, because you can turn in wide to compensate and still make the corner. But at that chicane there is nothing you can do even if you miss it by only a little bit. The other thing is that last year there was a lot of dust being thrown on the track from the apex. That shouldn't happen again this year. But accidents will go on happening there until the corner itself is changed. And [this year] it is still the same layout.