Wednesday Monaco Press
David Coulthard (Red Bull), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault), Kimi
Raikkonen (McLaren) and Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber)
May 18, 2005
The Wednesday FIA press conference, with David Coulthard (Red Bull),
Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault), Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Jacques
David, you have been a winner here twice in this Grand
Prix, two victories that I think you very much savor. A lot of
people have been talking up your race this weekend, what is your own
view of it?
David COULTHARD: I think the Monaco circuit, now they have changed
turn one a few years ago to having the curbs there, and also now they
have changed the last part of the swimming pool, it is a lot more of
a normal race track, like Canada in a way. We donít tend to talk
about Canada as being that different, despite the barriers being
right there, so, for sure, Casino square and around Loews is quite
tight, but otherwise two of the areas that used to have more
influence have been taken away. That said, I think it will be down to
the quickest car and driver combination and we have had five races to
see how that varies a little bit, circuit to circuit, so I donít see
an opportunity for us to suddenly be more competitive around here,
just because it is Monaco.
How happy have you been, though, with the pace of
development of the team, because obviously it is feeling its way a
DC: Well, the reality is there have only been small developments on
the car, our single lap, low fuel pace in Barcelona was still one
second off the pole and I think it is safe to assume that Kimi would
have been a bit quicker than Jarno had he not had his mistake, so we
would, of course, like more developments. We have the same
opportunity as the other Michelin runners, so we need more horsepower
and more downforce.
An interesting situation for you with the two boys in the
team changing overÖ
DC: Iím a boy as well, by the way!
I thought they called you Uncle David, isnít that true?
DC: Um, they call me lots of different things, butÖ
How much does that affect you? Is it an advantage or a
DC: I donít think it makes any difference. It is a grown-ups sport,
irrespective of whatever age you can get your superlicence, or
whether you are 34, it doesnít matter. You get no benefits, you know,
they donít give you a bus pass because you are a bit older, they
donít give you a grid position for being older, you just have to do
the job. I enjoy working with Tonio and Christian and, ultimately,
that is important to me and to the harmony within the team.
What I really meant was, is it disconcerting to have
different team-mates in that you are getting different feedback from
two different people?
DC: Yeah, but I am not because they both drive at all the Grands
Prix, the only thing that is different is who qualifies and races the
car. So, testing we all share the workload, racing they chop and
change, but ultimately Christian is in the car tomorrow to give us
his feedback on tires and things like that.
Jacques, looking back at the season so far, how do you
Jacques VILLENEUVE: Well, I am very happy that there was Imola
because if not it would have been very difficult to be here now. We
seem to have a good pace in the race but have a hard time to qualify
the car, unless we are on soft tires like Imola, so this track could
work better than Barcelona.
Do you feel you have chased away some of the problems you
had at the start of the season?
JV: Yeah, we have worked a lot with the team and we have evolved the
car to a position that suits me better and also the team understands
what I need to drive the car. We have been having new aerodynamic
bits during the season that have helped a lot also.
This is a bit of a one-off as a race, one that you
havenít always necessarily got on well with, how do you see the
season as a whole progressing now, and what is youíre aim for the end
of the season?
JV: It is difficult to have an aim. As long as we can have a few good
races, like Imola, then I think we will be alright. What we donít
want is to keep having races like Barcelona. Any track where you need
hard tires, I think, we will be in trouble.
Which are, looking forward?
JV: I didnít go through the races but the ones that are coming should
be soft-ish tires, Nurburgring and also tracks where you have long
straight lines where normally you overheat tires, those should suit
So you are quite hopeful for certain races, anyway?
JV: Yeah, I think there are a few races where we can do something
good if we work well, but at the moment we still lack a bit of pace.
Giancarlo, this circuit hasnít always been good for you,
back in 1998 it was okay but not since then, so what are your
feelings about it?
Giancarlo FISICHELLA: Well, the feeling is pretty good. It is one of
my favorite tracks, I feel really confident, I have a great car, we
have a new aero package here which is a good step forward and I
really feel confident and comfortable in Monaco and I am really
excited. I am looking forward, you know, I have the position now for
the first qualifying session on the Saturday and I am really
The team won the first four races, then Kimi won the
fifth, so who would you see as your major rivals? Is it McLaren, or
GF: No, for sure, I think McLaren did a fantastic job in the last
couple of races, they improved quite a lot with their new aero
package, especially in Barcelona. Ferrari was really, really good in
Imola but was not so good in Barcelona as Imola, so McLaren has been
much more consistent than Ferrari.
We are going into an intense period of four double-
headers, eight races in 11 weeks, are you happy with the development
program of Renault? What do you want to see coming from them?
GF: Yeah, I am really happy, I am really happy about the team, about
what they did until now and what they are doing for the future. It
will be very busy for us in the next couple of months, but the team
did a fantastic job on the development, especially as we have another
very good step forward in aero package, and for us it is a very busy
period because we will have a very busy intensive few months of
races, but I like to do more races much more than testing, so I feel
So, in a way, you prefer it this way?
GF: Yeah, I prefer it.
Kimi, talking about this intense period of races, how
does a driver prepare for them?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I donít do anything different to any other races, so
like he said, for me itís OK, because it is always nice to be racing
so Iím happy to go racing, and at least you get them over with
What about the teamís progress so far, it seems to have
been very good?
KR: Yeah, I think after the first few races, when we got under way,
we had some difficulties, and some bad luck, but we got some new
parts when we came to Europe and it has since improved a lot,
especially in the last race when we got a new engine again. I think
weíre starting to get more and more parts all the time and if we can
keep it up, we can improve the car all the time.
Now on this circuit you had a front row of the grid in
2003 followed by second place, but otherwise not fantastic here. How
do you regard this race? Is it a bit of a one-off?
KR: I actually quite like it. It is not very easy, but last year,
with the car that we had, which wasnít very good and we did quite
well until we had an engine problem. I would say that I am feeling
okay, Iím pretty confident. I think this is the best car that I have
had around here. Looking at last year, how well we did with that car,
I think we should be OK but itís always going to be a difficult
weekend and you need to get everything right before you can be really
Is the best car around Barcelona guaranteed to be the
best car around Monaco?
KR: Not really. I think there is so much difference between those two
places. You need very good traction (here). I think the Renault has
very good traction, theyíre usually very strong on this kind of
circuit, as they were last year, but I think that as long as we get
everything working we should be OK and we should be able to challenge
(La Gazzetta dello Sport Ė Paolo Ianieri) Kimi, do you
think, at this moment, it is going to be a championship between
yourself and Renault, or do you still think that Ferrari can come
back strong even if they are quite a long way behind?
KR: I donít know really, itís too early to say. There are many races
to go and anything can happen, soÖ We are quite far away from the
Renaults but they only need a few bad races and it can turn quickly.
You cannot count out the Ferraris yet and you never know the other
teams, so letís just wait and see.
(Juha Paatalo Ė Financial Times Deutschland) Kimi,
Barcelona is a track that normally shows the performance of the car
quite well, and now many experts are already saying that you are the
real challenger to Alonso. Do you think you have the car to chase him?
KR: The car has been very good in the last two races. It was even
plain in Barcelona and Imola because we got some new parts and a new
engine, so it improve but itís too early to say. Itís pretty much the
same answer, there are so many races to go. You just need a few bad
races and youíre out completely or it can turn around again, so we
just do our best and we donít have much to lose, so we try to win the
races and score more points than the leaders. We just do our best.
(Dan Knutson Ė National Speed Sport News) The last time
Michael Schumacher went six races without winning was Ď96/í97. He has
now not won for the last six races, counting the last race of last
year. What do you think of this? Is it the downfall of Ferrari? Is it
Michael maybe losing a bit of his edge or is it just a short period
DC: I think it is quite clear for everyone that itís more to do with
tires than anything else. I think Imola would show that. Itís a long
season. You can only write the ĎDownfall of Ferrarií chapter once you
get to the end of the season, if theyíre still struggling, and even
then, maybe we have to say that the tires were clearly a bigger
factor. I donít think he is losing his edge.
JV: David is right.
GF: It is Formula One, it happens. You have a period where for three
or four years Ferrari can win, three or four years when McLaren,
Renault, Williams or whoever. I think that period is maybe finished
for Ferrari, I donít know. I think they still have a very good
package. In Imola they were one-and-a-half seconds quicker than
everyone else during the race. One of the main reasons could be even
the tires, but I think they are there.
And Michael isnít losing his edge?
GF: I donít think so.
KR: I think if you put the same Michelin tires on that car they would
be at the front end again. I think they have some problems with their
tires, but they can as easily find some new tires for this race and
they can win the race, so I donít know.
(Byron Young Ė Speed Sport News) Kimi, have you ever got
angry about anything, and jumped up and down and shouted?
KR: Yeah, many times but of course youíre not happy if you retire or
something but I guess it mostly happens more in normal life than in
(Byron Young Ė Speed Sport News) Can you give us examples?
KR: No, not really.
(Byron Young Ė Speed Sport News) What are the kind of
things that make you angry in normal life, as you say?
KR: If you keep asking (questions like those). (Laughter)
(Byron Young Ė Speed Sport News) So what sort of things
make you angry, Kimi? No really, what is it?
The way other
human beings react? Youíre a very cool, calmÖ
KR: Normal things make you angry. It depends really. If someone comes
and hits you of course youíre going to get angry.
(Dan Knutson Ė National Speed Sport News) David, in the
past, I believe you had members of the McLaren team staying in your
hotel here. Are they back this year?
DC: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. Theyíre very good clients, they spend a
lot in the bar, and we enjoy having McLaren there.
ITV are there as well, I think.
DC: Are they? Iím not sure. I know Martin (Brundle) is staying in my
studio apartment next door to mine, but Iím not sure about the
Does he pay for that?
DC: No, heís my guest.
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