German GP: Thursday press conference, part 1

Present: Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) Q: Juan Pablo, obviously you were the winner here last year. Have things been getting better the last couple of races? Juan Pablo Montoya: Yeah, I think the last couple of races things have turned a ...


Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams)

Q: Juan Pablo, obviously you were the winner here last year. Have things been getting better the last couple of races?

Juan Pablo Montoya: Yeah, I think the last couple of races things have turned a little bit our way. There are a couple of things coming on the car and it is nice to see that but I think that there is still a long way to go to really be fully competitive.

Q: You had the new aerodynamic package at Magny-Cours for the first time. Has the subsequent development and testing really sorted that out?

JPM: I think a lot of aerodynamic things are fixed. It doesn't really change the way you have got to run the car. It was more I think at Silverstone we had a couple of new things on it and improved. It has been pretty good. We have new things here again and I think we have started to get a normal rate of development race by race and it is good to see that. I think the first six months we just fell back so much that it really cost us.

Q: What about also the incidents in Canada and America as well - how much does that affect your motivation?

JPM: None really! I don't think it should. It is not about motivation. I think if things like that happen with mistakes I think it is good because it alarms a lot of people and a lot of people, maybe, who are making little mistakes put extra attention to the way they do things. And in a way it was bad for the team to lose the points but apart of that I think it was good.

Q: So it had a positive side?

JPM: I think it had a positive side in the end. I think when things like that happen you have to look at the positive side and try to learn from the mistakes. And I think if the team learned from its mistakes then it is good.

Q: What about the fact you have a new team-mate here again - how does that affect you?

JPM: Well, it is strange to work with somebody else every race, but it is the way it is. It is harder for the rest of the team than myself. It is harder for the race engineer than myself. I am doing the best I can every race with my people working around my car and that's it.

Q: Will you still expect help from him, will you still get help from him, and how much can you help him?

JPM: If he asks, I will help. With Marc (Gene) I tended to help him quite a bit because he asked. If Antonio asks I will help him.

Q: And will you expect help from him as well?

JPM: Yeah, if I have a problem and he seems to be going the better direction than me then for sure.

Q: Now, what about Michelin's contribution here? Have their tyres improved, do you feel?

JPM: Testing the last time went quite well so I think these conditions, weather wise, you know, are probably not as extreme as Jerez but I think it should be very good.

Q: And does that mean the Michelins generally speaking are going to be good?

JPM: Yeah, last year was a very good race here for the tyres and, you know, we were miles quicker than everybody else. And there is quite a bit of hope still in the car that we could do well here.

Q: So, having said earlier you have still a long way to go, do you think the tyres could compensate for that?

JPM: Yeah, I think between all the Michelin teams that are top runners - like McLaren, Williams, Renault and BAR - I think we are just very close. One race suits one more than the other and that just makes it really hard. One race you can be P2 and the next race you can be P8! It's tough.

Q: What about your own ambitions for the rest of the season?

JPM: You know, just push as hard as I can, try to get as many points as possible. It would be nice to get a couple of podiums and if we can get a win it would be great.

Q: Because qualifying has been good this year.

JPM: Yeah, last year qualifying was one of my weak points and this year it has improved a lot. There are still bits that you can improve but the last few races, the way it has been, it is quite important to finish in a good place to score good points. You cannot be so greedy as at the beginning of the year. You have got to make sure you are up there all the time.

Q: And when you look at the way it has gone in the last few races, can you see anyone closing in on Ferrari?

Q: Yeah, I think everyone has close the gap a little bit but….

Q: Do you still feel it is quite big?

JPM: Yeah, it is. I think it depends on the races you are at. Some races it is going to be huge, some races it is going to be closer. This, I think, might be one of the closer ones.

Q: Juan, you talked about the tyres here but overall how do you think the whole package will work here?

JPM: It is hard to say. I am hoping that it works well, I am hoping that we will do good. It would be great if we could get a podium, it would be awesome if we could get a win. It has been a year since the team has won a race so it would be really nice to see the car performing well here.

Q: Do you think Marc Gene missed a great chance by not scoring higher in these last two races?

JPM: I think he was unlucky. He made a couple of mistakes at the last race in qualifying and he was stuck in traffic all day in the race and I think he lost a bit of an opportunity there because I think throughout the weekend he was very fast.

Q: It may be an optical illusion but a couple of years ago in Formula One whenever the safety car came out and there was a re-start we could sort of look forward to the race coming alive again and the cars bunching up and maybe a few passing manoeuvres. In the last few races when we have had a safety car it has been unbelievably boring and the cars have been very spread out and nothing has ever happened apart from Michael's move, of course, at Indy. First, is that just an illusion or is it real and if it is real is it in any way related to the loss of the third element on the rear wing and the cars being less driveable in traffic now?

JPM: I think the cars have always been very bad around traffic. You know, for me in the last race it was very disappointing for me because I lost about 100 metres with Heidfeld, you know, he went around the last corner and backed off. He nearly didn't even let me by into turn one, I thought he wasn't going to back off but I was pretty committed already and he backed off at the last minute. So I lost about 100m to Button thanks to Heidfeld and I think that is something that might have to be reviewed - the way backmarkers are between the traffic. And Michael, it cost him as well with me in Monaco. And even if that actually would have happened it would have been a compromise for him or for Trulli, you know, it is bad.

Q: Is the situation worse now than it was a couple of years ago?

JPM: No, I think it is the way it is. Some days you can pass, you know, it is how your car behaves, if you have a quicker car, you know, if you are in a slower car you can do very little about it.

Q: You won here last year, do all the victories mean the same to you or maybe the way you won some…

JPM: This was nice because it was the Germany Grand Prix, it was the Schumachers' home and it was a BMW track so from every aspect it was good. And it wasn't a close win - it was a win by miles, so that was nice. Every victory has got its nice things.

Q: We all know you are driving for a different team next year. Presumably at some point there will be a moment where you cannot be as involved with Williams' development and what is going on with the team as you have been in the past. Have you reached that point yet and, if not, where do you think that point will come?

JPM: Testing has been restricted a little bit, they put somebody else in to drive the car but it is not a big deal. I am pretty happy with the way things are going - I have some time for myself, everything is good in a way. I am testing next time in Monza and that is it, you know. I have done three tests this year since the season started but I don't mind too much. As long as I have the same equipment as the car beside me come race weekend then I am pretty happy.

Q: Do you, for example, know what next year's Williams is going to be like? Do you know the lay-out or are they going to try to keep that information from you?

JPM: They are probably trying, and they are!

Q: Michael winning time after time after time after time, not only this year but the last four years or whatever, is that good or bad for Formula One?

JPM: It depends how the press puts it. If they put it in a good perspective then it is good for Formula One, if they put it in a bad perspective then it is bad for Formula One. It is more up to you guys than up to us. I think Ferrari have done a very good job over the last few years, we have been close to beating them but they always come up on top and I think the way the press has put it is the way people see it. People only see what you write. If you write Formula One is boring, Formula One is bad, everyone is going to say that. If you say it is great because Michael is winning and he is setting new standards in Formula One they are going to think it is a great thing. So, that is what I think.

Part 2

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