2005 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX FIA Press Conference post-qualifying Saturday, June 18, 2005 1. Jarno Trulli (Renault) 2. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) 3. Jenson Button (BAR) Jarno Trulli: With the laps in the previous turn and even today this...
2005 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX
FIA Press Conference post-qualifying
Saturday, June 18, 2005
1. Jarno Trulli (Renault)
2. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)
3. Jenson Button (BAR)
Jarno Trulli: With the laps in the previous turn and even today this morning I am only down probably 10 laps, not even conservative. We're trying to guess a little bit about the balance and likely the car balance from yesterday was OK. We adjusted it to try to get some more grip out of it because this Indianapolis circuit has been always very slippery, and again, today it was a mixed day because, well, we had some problems and some decisions to be taken probably for tomorrow's race.
Q: Your thoughts on tomorrow's race in terms of strategy, do you think the Michelin situation will have affected things more than usual?
Jarno Trulli: To be honest, at the moment it's very difficult for me to talk about tomorrow's race. We still have to get some data out from Michelin then probably understand what we can do and what we cannot do. Today was a great day for me. And we claim our first together.
Q: Turning to Kimi, looked to be very quick on the infield sector there, but lost out on sectors one and three.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I thought it was pretty good lap, similar time we had this morning, so I was happy with it and we just need to wait and see what we are doing with the pit stops. We're in a pretty strong position right now.
Q: What's it been like at McLaren in the build-up to the race?
Kimi Raikkonen: Same for every team, didn't make our preparation any easier, but we did as best as we could. I haven't been 100 percent happy with the car, but now the last practice and now in the qualifying seems to be pretty OK. So I am much more happy than I was yesterday. So I don't really worry about the tires in the race tomorrow. I think they will be OK, and of course, need to be a little bit cautious with it. We'll see what happens.
Q: Jenson, congratulations again, the pole in Canada, now top three at Indianapolis.
Jenson Button: Yeah, it's nice to get two good qualifyings, but it was not the best lap. I struggled a lot, just very low grip, so it is great to be third, and hopefully we can do great things from here.
Q: You sound as if you are surprised to be third.
Jenson Button: I was during the lap because it wasn't a great lap, just very low grip. It was obviously the same for everyone out there. So, yeah, it's nice to be here and I think we can do some good things tomorrow. Our strategy is a good one. I am looking forward to it.
Q: We know they kept the same Honda engines in since Canada, again it doesn't look as if your top speed is absolutely brilliant here.
Jenson Button: No, we're not up there on the straights, just means we have to get a good start and pull away from everyone, really.
Q: Difficult time for the team so far, must be delightful to have this pole?
Jarno Trulli: Been difficult time for everybody here, especially for us, we come out from three races, we have had very bad luck and we came here, we had a lot of expectations and then two crash one with Ralf, which got away from his car and the other with Ricardo. We tried to understand what was happening and for sure, we have had a mix emotions up to now. Quite difficult to settle the car, to work, and to feel confident.
Q: You mentioned confidence; must be quite difficult knowing that your type of cars had those two failures?
Jarno Trulli: Yeah, I mean, really lucky. Still kind of emotional which we don't feel, probably don't feel 100 percent confident with our car, our package, but we'll see. So I don't know what is going to happen for tomorrow. We'll get some idea, better idea this afternoon.
Q: Presumably was difficult to just come up with the strategy with the tyres, how do you plan for this race?
Jarno Trulli: We kind of ask Michelin to get some idea about the race strategy, so we respect what Michelin has told us, and we went for it.
Q: Kimi, second on the grid, are you happy with that?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, of course I would rather be in the first place, but we didn't manage to do it I think so we have a very strong race car and hopefully we'll run a little bit longer than the other two guys, but I think so we have a good chance to win tomorrow.
Q: It must again be very difficult for the strategy, what have you got to work on?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, of course not the easiest stuff, all the difficulty with the tires, and Michelin is telling what they think should be done, and we want to do really what is the best for try to win the race, so I think so. We have good tactic and just need to wait and see what happens tomorrow in the race, but I am not too worried about the tires. I think so they will be fine and just see what happens.
Q: Jenson, you went relatively early. Do you think that was a disadvantage?
Jenson Button: It's always going to be a disadvantage but it's not 6/10. I felt that I had very low grip out there so slightly disappointed with the lap, ended up P3, it's not too bad.
Q: Pretty happy with that?
Jenson Button: Reasonably happy, we were quick in U4, and it's nice to be back up there again in qualifying because we know that the pace of the car is good here and also race pace is very good, as well.
Q: How do you see the tyre situation; is it the calculated risk for you drivers?
Jenson Button: A lot of talks that need to be made this evening between all the teams and all the drivers and Michelin also. But at the moment going into qualifying we need to be just looking forward to the race and being very positive that we'll race tomorrow. I am hoping that there are not going to be any issues and we can get out there and have a good race.
Q: You haven't had any indication of any problems with the BAR Hondas?
Jenson Button: No.
Q: Jenson, how much is bringing Gil (de Ferran) on board, how much has that helped the overall program? I know he has been with the team for a couple months. Are you already seeing results from him being part of the deal?
Jenson Button: I have been asked a lot about Gil; especially this weekend. He's going to get a big head if I keep talking about him because he's done a great job. It's not easy coming into Formula One in his position getting straight on with it. He's done a very good job, and he's worked with the drivers very closely, relaying information to the team, and he's fitted in very well. I think it's important for us to have him on board.
Q: Jarno, any close within the team to finding out exactly what caused Ralf's tire problem yesterday?
Jarno Trulli: I think it's not all chassis-related.
Q: Following up on that, is it just a matter of finding the right tire pressure, is that the issue here?
Jarno Trulli: No, I don't think so. We have had some trouble with different tyre pressure with different types, so it's not kind of setup; something else.
Q: After how many laps could you see the weakness of the tyres yesterday when you did long runs...
Jarno Trulli: Fortunately haven't done any long runs yesterday.
Q: What is your feeling thinking it is a very complicated situation right now because of the regulations and the whole thing is going to happen tonight, tomorrow decision making, what is your feeling now thinking that you are in the pole position and the race might not happen tomorrow?
Jarno Trulli: At the moment, we don't think about it. There is still a lot of talk going through and probably this afternoon, we'll get the better idea what will happen for tomorrow. We have been told to qualify without any problems and then this afternoon and probably tomorrow we will know better about the race.