Turkish GP: Thursday
Fernando Alonso (Renault), Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari), Robert Doornbos
(Minardi), Christian Klien (Red Bull), Felipe Massa (Sauber)
August 19, 2005
To all of you, what are your first impressions of Turkey
and the circuit?
Robert DOORNBOS: This is my first press conference and it feels
quite good. The circuit looks good. I did a walk around, as we do on
every new circuit, I was quite impressed with the difference in
height because on the playstation you didnít really notice that and
it looks like a lot of fun. I cannot wait to go out there
Christian KLIEN: As Robert said, it is very interesting this
circuit, it is completely different to other tracks, it is very much
up and down and a lot of corners where you canít see the entry and I
was just two laps out there on the track and I think I will have to
go out for some more laps in the afternoon because it looks very
Were you walking or running or what?
CK: I went out with my bike, it is my supermoto bike, a KTM, which
is always good fun.
Felipe MASSA: Yeah, me too. I took his bike after, and I was really
impressed. I think it is a very complete circuit, you can find
everything, quick corners, slow corners, change of directions, heavy
brakes and everything. I think we can see some overtaking in the
race, so I think it is a fantastic circuit, just looking like that.
Tomorrow we will have some better idea, but I was really impressed
and I think they did a really good job.
Fernando ALONSO: I think the same as everyone, quite impressed about
the circuit, not only the facilities here in the paddock I think
also the track is a little bit different compared to all the new
circuits we have seen in the last three or four years, Bahrain or
China, I think to go up and down is the most interesting thing from
a driver's point of view because we really enjoy the lap, like Spa
or some of the other circuits, so I am really happy to be here.
What are your feelings from a technical point of view?
Is it going to be hard on tyres? Is it high downforce, low downforce?
FA: It is a little bit of all. As Felipe said, it is very complex
and will be very challenging for the engineers to set up the car
because there are so many different parts on the track. I think it
will be a medium to high downforce, the power of the engine will be
quite important as well and from a driverís point of view, the
corners where you cannot see the entry because it is going down or
up hill will be difficult to find the line, because it is so wide as
well, so it will be interesting on Friday and Saturday
Rubens BARRICHELLO: I agree with everyone, it is a great everything.
Since I came into the track I saw great facilities. It is difficult
to know the circuit before we actually get to see the grip level
because it is so wide you can take so many lines into the corners so
it is going to be good to get onto the circuit tomorrow. I walked
it, I haven't done the last because it was before two when Charlie
had to go in, but up to there it was quite nice.
What about the first corner?
RB: I have a feeling it is a corner where you are always going to
tell yourself you can brake later and later because the braking
point is still quite plain and then it starts to go down and there
will be times where you will just overdo it and there are times when
you will tell yourself you could have done more, so it is quite
interesting because you donít see the turning point of the corner
and I think there are some facilities to overtake there as well.
Obviously it is going to be dirty and slippery for the
first day, isnít it?
RB: It looks grippy, in a way, but it is dirty, as a new circuit is
always going to be. But it looks grippy.
Robert, I think you were at a fairly major event in
Rotterdam last weekend, can you tell us a bit about it?
RD: It has been straight after my debut in Formula One with racing
it is like living in a dream for the two weeks because we did two
races in a row and then went straight to Rotterdam with the whole
Minardi team. It was the city where I was born so it was great for
the fans and friends and sponsors, and it was quite a special
feeling to drive where I used to drive my scooter and now with a
Formula One car with 900hp and very narrow streets and we tried to
make a good show, a lot of burn-outs, so as a driver you cannot call
it work anymore, just have some fun and we made a great day out of
A lot of people?
RD: About 300,000 they said, the whole city was blocked. It was
great for me. I felt one day like Michael Jackson almost because the
people were cheering and taking pictures wherever I went, so that
was really good.
What about your prospects for next year?
RD: This chance at Minardi came a bit out of nowhere. We want to
race, for sure. Testing is nice but you can develop yourself more as
a driver when you are racing and now we have done two weekends,
there are six more to go this year, try to make the best of it and
for me as a driver it is more important to focus on each weekend.
For sure, the management already thinks to 2006 and it will be great
to be there as well, maybe with the same team or maybe with another
Christian, the last time we saw you you were on your
head. Were there any after effects from that? What were your
feelings about that accident?
CK: The next day I had a bit of a headache but I don't know if it
was from the rolling or from the party on the Sunday night! Yeah,
the crash happened quite quickly, I didnít find it a hard crash, it
just happened so quickly, I landed again on all four wheels and that
was a hard hit because I landed just on the floor, not the tyres,
and it was quite hard on the back. But I had no problems at all
after this and it is not in my mind, it is two weeks ago and we are
here for the next race.
Looking forward to the next few races and to next year,
what are your feelings about that?
CK: It is great. I have another two races again and it is just great
to be back again in the car for another two races. I am quite happy
to be here in the car for here in Istanbul, new circuit where it is
new for everyone, and for me it is quite easy to learn a circuit and
to get used to it quite quickly, so I am looking forward to this
race. And for Monza also I had a good race last year and it is good
for me to show the next two races my potential and to show to the
other teams and to my team, to Red Bull Racing, that I am a good
driver and want to be in the car again next year.
Felipe, can you tell us a bit about the contractual
situation with Ferrari and also when you last drove a Ferrari and
when you are next going to drive a Ferrari.
FM: First of all I have to say that I am very happy with this
opportunity. As everyone knows, I have had a contract with Ferrari
since 2001 and it is a very long contract and now they ask me for
one year, driving, and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to go
to such an incredible team as Ferrari and to show what I can do in a
top car. It is great for me. Last time I drove for Ferrari was last
year, in the middle of the year, I did one day testing in Mugello,
and the next time I am going to drive will be next week.
That is the Monza test?
FM: Yep, two days testing, Tuesday and Wednesday in Monza.
And then do you test for Sauber as well?
FM: On Friday.
And what are your feelings about next year?
FM: I think it is a bit early to say. There are many things going to
change for next year, engine will be a big change for every team, so
I think most of the teams are already working on next yearís engine
and honestly, I donít have some information already about the
engine, I just saw Ferrari tried it a few days ago, and I think it
is too early to say about how it is going to be next year, I think
it will be new for everyone.
Fernando, what were your feelings after Hungary?
FA: I was a little bit disappointed because I didn't score points
but these things happen. In the race, I was a little bit unlucky in
the first corner, and then I damaged the car so much that I didnít
recover to get back into the points so I just finished the race, I
drove the revs, I did a normal race with no risks at all just to
finish in front of some cars to get a better qualifying position for
here, for Turkey, but it was not really a good Sunday for me.
Obviously nobody knows this circuit; is that a good
thing for you or a bad thing?
FA: I think it is good. Normally we are quick on the hot tracks. We
saw that in Malaysia, in Bahrain. I think all these new types of
circuit, with high temperatures, is not bad news for our car so Iím
really confident to have a good race here. The qualifying position
will not be great for me and Giancarlo but I also think Rubens and
Juan Pablo will not be in a much different position compared to us,
so we have to be really concentrated this weekend, we need a good
Rubens, still six races to go with Ferrari, but looking
back what will be your best memories?
RB: I just have to take the opportunity to thank them very much. I
had a great time, I am having a great time. I didn't take too
serious the fact I could leave the team because I had a deal for
next year, there was no buy-out or anything like this, so it is
thanks to Jean Todt that I was able to. I was talking to BAR for a
long time but it was just this year at some point that everything
started to happen a little bit. Then I went to Jean and said Ďif I
want to leave, will you be happy to let me goí and he said Ďyou have
one week to decide that because I am counting on you for next yearí
but then I came back with the news and, so, I really have to thank
him for that and thank the team, because I had a great time. If it
wasn't for Ferrari I wouldn't be where I am right now at 33, trying
to get Honda to the very top. I still dream of being world champion,
that is why I am here, that is why I feel competitive every day I
wake up and that is the reason I take the challenge.
Looking forward to the new team, what were the feelings,
the reasons for moving?
RB: Every change brings a new motivation, that is a fact, but it is
the resources, the people, everything. One day Ayrton (Senna) told
me about Honda, everything is in plan with Honda and BAR for next
year is quite good, there is a good motivation for the team to have
someone who is still young and motivated to win and to transform
everything in a good way. I am not going there to actually
say Ďchange this, change thatí I am going there to learn how the
team works and I am bringing the 13 years of experience to make that
a winning team.
(Adrian Rodriguez Huber Ė Agencia EFE) There are six
races left, six circuits. Which should suit you better and can we
speak about that, because it looks like everything goes the opposite
way this year?
FA: I think it will be difficult to know which circuits will be good
for us and which ones for McLaren. We were so confident in our car
in Monaco and Budapest and we were not competitive, especially in
the last race. We were not even in the points for both cars. So
letís wait and prepare the weekend with no reference from the last
couple of years and hopefully we can beat them in some circuits.
(Livio Orrichio Ė O Estado do Sao Paulo) Felipe, what
did you feel when you signed the contract with the Ferrari team, the
dream of most drivers, the importance it is to Brazil? And then the
press department of Ferrari does not permit you to talk to the
Brazilian press, except to TV Globo? Do you not think it is missing
the respect of the Brazilian press and the Brazilian people?
FM: First of all, I feel great to be a Brazilian and to have this
opportunity to be in a top team. For Brazil it is fantastic. We are
not having an easy time in Brazil, everybody knows that. Brazil is
coming up to a bad moment in terms of politics. I think that for me
itís fantastic. Iím Brazilian, Iím young, Iím going to a fantastic
team and hopefully me and Rubens will be doing a good job for the
Brazilian people to give them some happiness. So this is really
great for me. We announced that I am going to be with Ferrari and I
was on holidays. I still have six more races to do with Sauber. Itís
fantastic to be in Sauber. I think I have to say thank you to Peter
for these years. I am still focussed on my year. Iím talking now
about Ferrari but I want to concentrate on my next six races. As I
said, Iím Brazilian, I love my country, everything I will do for my
country I will do.
(Dan Knutson Ė National Speed Sport News) It is a big
challenge to be Michaelís team-mate: 1) because heís fast, 2)
because thereís either the real or the perceived notion that Michael
gets preferential treatment and that you sometimes have to defer to
him. So first of all, Rubens, what advice do you give to Felipe on
how to cope with being Michaelís teammate, and Felipe, how will you
face up to that challenge?
RB: The only thing I told Felipe was not to use the toilet on the
top because I had bad times there, so just be careful there. The
rest is for him to enjoy his time. He is going to have a tough time,
absolutely, but if I was in his position, younger, eager to win, I
probably would have done the same. Iím proud to say now that the
team is different to the one when I came to Ferrari in 2000. It is
much broader in its thoughts, and thinking much more of both drivers
so I think Felipe will have an advantage compared to myself if you
look back to 2000. But the rest is up to him to show his speed.
Speed is much better than words.
FM: One thing I have to say is that I am still young. When you have
a competitive car, and when you have the opportunity to go to
Ferrari it is fantastic for a young guy, so I feel ready. I have
some good experience in Formula One already and now is the time to
take the opportunity to show what I can do. Going to Ferrari is
always an incredible opportunity.
(Juha Paatalo Ė Financial Times Deutschland) Rubens,
what kind of role did what happened in Monaco between you and
Michael play in your decision?
RB: I had fantastic times at Ferrari and I had bad times too. The
bad times always taught me and the team to improve. People ask me
what is the worst time I had at Ferrari and they might think it was
Austria 2002. I think that was the best time, because that was
really good to change things around, really good in terms of respect
because they knew I could win races without the help of anyone, so
it was probably the turning point of my racing career there. But
obviously being with the team the whole time, I saw it was going to
be very difficult for me to actually try to win the championship,
because youíre there, they have two competitive drivers, Michael has
been there for longer and I saw my chances much higher with a team
that has not yet won a race but has all the desire and the good
ingredients to do it. That was more the fact that took me to there.
(Andrea Cremonesi Ė La Gazzetta dello Sport) Rubens and
Felipe, is there any chance that you split to BAR before the end of
the season, and Felipe, what kind of Ferrari do you expect to find
next week in Monza?
RB: I think that would be impossible. It would be a lack of respect,
to stop now and say I don't care any more what is going on at
Ferrari. If we can still fight for the Constructors' championship I
would leave Ferrari with six (titles) rather than five and that
would be much better for myself and the achievement would be great.
So I don't think there is any doubt I will finish the year
contractually and just in the human respect, I think that would be
lacking, so Iím just glad to say that Iím definitely carrying on.
FM: It is always difficult to say how itís going to be before you
test the car. I saw Ferrari was much more competitive in the last
race than in the previous races and I think they are working in a
good direction to improve. But itís difficult to say before you test
the car. After the test I can say something.
(Adrian Rodriguez Huber Ė Agencia EFE) Fernando, do you
think there are not as many opportunities to overtake here as
written in the preview? And the second question, for everyone, is
after the period of holidays and vacation, are you eager to drive
again or would you rather have more time on holiday?
FA: There are places to overtake, like turn one, but the same
opportunity as you have in Hungary, maybe. It is still very
difficult these days to overtake in Formula One. It is true that
because the track is wide, and you have two or three long straights,
you have the opportunity, but you still have the chance to overtake,
maybe one or maximum two places to overtake, not more.
During this time of holidays, I think we all want to be in the car.
I prefer the races when they are together, next weekend you have the
next race is good for us, because I like to be in the car, racing,
not testing, so when I am racing I am happy. After three weeks, you
miss the car.
After the holidays and vacation, are you eager to drive
RB: I had a good time, as always when I go back to Brazil to my
family, but you get eager to get back in the car. I think everyone
likes those two weeks off. You just feel that you start driving fast
on the roads which means that you have to get back to the (racing)
RD: I am a rookie anyway, so any minute I can get in the car is
great now and I learn a lot from it. I did Rotterdam and then I was
just waiting for this weekend to happen. I spent many hours on the
Playstation and focussing on the weekend. Yeah, it is great to be in
the car. The Minardi team doesn't test a lot outside the race
weekends so I have to use every minute I can get.
CK: This year we have nineteen races, a lot of back-to-back races,
especially in July. It was really busy, so it is nice to have two
weeks off and come back hungry and enjoy racing again.
FM: I think after some time to cool down it is time to come back and
do everything we can. I still have six races with Sauber and I want
to do my best to have a good result for Sauber and I want to come
back to the car as quickly as I could because it was time enough for
me to cool down.
(Andrea Cremonesi Ė La Gazzetta dello Sport) Felipe, you
have the same contract as Rubens now? You will be there the second
driver for a while?
FM: This is not written in my contract.
RB: In mine, too. (Laughter)
(Heinz Pruller Ė Kronen Zeitung) Felipe, which engine do
you drive in the Ferrari at Monza?
FM: 10 cylinder.
(David Kennedy Ė Setanta Sport) Felipe, you have heard
Rubens say that speed talks louder than words. How do you think you
will compare in terms of speed against Michael Schumacher?
FM: I think this is the best comparison a driver can have. Michael
is still, as seven times World Champion, he is still the example of
every driver. If you can have this possibility to compare your speed
with him, I think itís the best comparison you can have.
Will you be quicker or slower?
FM: I hope I can be quicker. I will do everything I can to be
quicker, for sure.
(Adrian Rodriguez Huber Ė Agencia EFE) Christian,
because of your special situation, which is your main goal for next
year, to stay with Red Bull as a driver, or just to be a Formula One
CK: It would be great to stay at Red Bull. I have been supported by
them for nine years and this year is the first year they have their
own Formula One team and itís great to drive for them. I know all
the people there and I think our team has good potential in the
future, also next year with the Ferrari engines. The best thing for
me would be to stay in this team, where I know everyone and where I
feel comfortable and feel good and where I feel I can have a good
future. But still, the main thing for me is to stay in Formula One
and if I don't get an opportunity at Red Bull I also have to look
with open eyes for other teams.
(Stephane Barbe Ė LíEquipe) Rubens, you said that during
your thinking about going to BAR you remembered what Ayrton said to
you about Honda. What did he say to you?
RB: I remember because at the time when I started we shared some
dinners and things and he always used to be late and he used to say
he was spending time with the Honda boys trying to get the
driveability and the power and everything about the car that he
liked his way. The good thing is that they love this kind of a
conversation, he said, and they used to do everything he asked them
in order to get everything correct for his driving style and
everything. I feel that the Honda is always very powerful and Iím
very much looking forward to working with them.
(Luc Ray Ė Le Matin) Felipe, when Rubens came into
Formula One he was described as the next World Champion and he did
not become World Champion, probably because he spent a lot of time
with Michael Schumacher. Itís very difficult to beat Michael. So
donít you think that you could burn your career going to Ferrari
with Michael? I know itís a good opportunity but donít you think you
will burn your career?
FM: First of all, Rubens has not quit Formula One yet so maybe he
still has a chance to be World Champion and Iím sure he had a good
time at Ferrari. So as I said, Iím young, I am ready for the
challenge, so Iím ready to try everything I can to have a
competitive car. Fernando had his chance to go to a good team and
show what he could do, Kimi as well, so I want to do the same.
(Anthony Rowlinson Ė Autosport) Rubens, do you think
Jenson Button will be your teammate next year and if he is, how do
you think you will get on together?
RB: I told the team I would have no problem with anyone, so it is up
to the team to decide whatís the best option. Obviously there are
various options in place but I have no further comment. I have no
problems, Jenson is definitely a good guy, he is one of the friends
I have in the paddock so it would definitely have been no problem
but it is BAR-Honda that has to decide what is the best option
(Carlos Miquel Gomez Ė Diario As) Fernando, looking at
your position for qualifying, what is your main goal at this circuit
and the other question is whatís your opinion about turn eight?
FA: Iím starting tenth in qualifying, so it is not the best position
here, but also if we are competitive in this track it doesn't matter
if you are four or six in qualifying which is the difference. Maybe,
starting there, you lose two or three positions because if we are
competitive in the race we will recover, and I think the approach
for this weekend is to try to win the race, try to beat McLaren.
Itís not an easy goal because we saw how competitive they were in
the last two or three months, so it is not an easy goal but we have
to approach it thinking like that.
Turn eight is the most special corner here in Turkey compared to the
other tracks we have. I think we are all really concentrating on
that corner, especially tomorrow. We think the tyres can really
suffer there. It will be quite demanding for the tyres in turn
eight, on the right side of the car, so we will see tomorrow, but
for sure turn eight is the biggest challenge we have here, from the
drivers and engineers' point of view.
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