Thursday Press Conference
With Fisichella, Montoya, Schumacher and Trulli
September 1, 2005
What follows is a transcript of todayís press conference at Monza
with Giancarlo Fisichella, Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Schumacher
and Jarno Trulli.
Q: Giancarlo, I believe you were demonstrating the car in Russia
last weekend; can you tell us a little bit about that event?
Giancarlo FISICHELLA: It was a fantastic event. I really enjoyed it.
On Sunday there were 150,000 people around the circuit which was
near Red Square. The city is fantastic, I enjoyed it there. It was a
little bit of a busy programme with the interviews and stuff like
that, but honestly, I had a good time.
Q: Was there lots of enthusiasm?
GF: Lots of enthusiasm, yes. There were a lot of people coming from
different countries but they were very interested in Formula One.
Q: Coming to the final five races of the season, you have a
fairly interesting role to play. What are your particular aims for
the end of the season?
GF: For me itís to score a lot of points in the Championship Ė
Driversí and Constructorsí. My aim now is to finish third in the
Driversí Championship and to try to win the Constructorsí
Championship for Renault. We are quite competitive, we should be
able to do that so I will really try my best.
Q: What about this circuit because it hasnít been all that good
for you, it hasnít even been all that good for Renault either but
the test wasnít too bad.
GF: No, the test wasnít too bad. There were a couple of good days,
especially on Thursday. I did 146 laps which is quite a lot. We are
competitive but I still think McLaren are a bit stronger than us,
but we seem to be just behind them.
Q: After a day like that, how exhausted are you?
GF: Yeah, it was a bit tough, especially because of the race in
Istanbul on Sunday, just a few days earlier, and then on Wednesday I
did nearly 100 laps and the day after 146. At the end of the day,
some parts of my body were a bit bruised, but itís good for
Q: Juan Pablo, you have somewhat better form here and obviously a
good test here as well. Youíve always been on the front row here,
two pole positions, a win as well. How are you feeling about this
Juan Pablo MONTOYA: I think it should be a good race for us. From
what Giancarlo said as well, I think we looked really strong in
testing but we have to wait and see what happens here. I think my
car had some balance issues even though the car was very quick. I
think if we find that it would be quite good for here.
Q: Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren says the team needs five one-twos
in the next five races. How do you feel about that?
JPM: Kimiís trying to beat Fernando for the Driversí Championship
but at the same point, the goal is for the team to win the
Constructorsí Championship. I think the Driversí is a bit unlikely
but the Constructorsí is probably a very realistic goal to achieve.
I think weíve got the quickest car and I think weíve got to try to
Q: So whatís your role in the next five races?
JPM: I think the same thing as I always do: do the best I can for
the team and thatís that.
Q: What are you feelings in retrospect about the last few laps of
the Turkish Grand Prix?
JPM: I think itís very frustrating when you get to lap somebody and
they never even move out of the way. I passed him before the braking
(point). He was probably 100 meters before the braking (point) and I
was right in front of him and we got to the braking (point) and I
think if I hadnít been there, he would have gone straight on anyway.
Itís frustrating, especially when youíre lapping somebody and youíre
not even racing him, heís completely out of the equation. Itís
pretty stupid but thatís what it is.
Q: Youíve had a look at theÖ
JPM: Öthe video, yeah.
Q: And presumably the telemetryÖ
JPM: Yes, I braked in the same place as the lap before. I was doing
exactly the same thing every lap. I passed him before we even got to
the kerb and everything. I braked and I was starting to turn in and
he just rammed me. And then I went through turn eight on the first
lap a bit carefully, waiting to see what the car did Ė it didnít do
anything Ė and on the next lap I pushed and it stepped out. I looked
(at the car) after the race and the whole diffuser was all broken,
so probably the car was well within the limits the first time I went
through there. So, a silly mistake but hey, it happens.
Q: Jarno, a little bit similar situation concerning form here as
Giancarlo. Itís not been your luckiest circuit.
Jarno TRULLI: I always like this circuit very much and Iíve always
been very quick and competitive but I never have had very good luck
here, but I hope to turn it around this weekend, even if I think
itís going to be a tough race for us because last week we did some
testing here and we never really looked competitive. But
nevertheless if I can just put the car in front with a good
qualifying lap, then I can try to race from there.
Q: Looking at the last few races, things seemed to have
stabilised a little bit.
JT: Well, I must admit that the car is sometimes competitive and on
some other circuits it doesnít look very competitive, as in Turkey.
We struggled all weekend and I was finally able to achieve sixth
position which was the best we could do, while the race before in
Hungary was definitely much better. We were very competitive, we
were quick all weekend, so itís more down to the track rather than
anything else. We still donít have a very competitive car but we can
still, sometimes, play a good role fighting for the podium.
Q: So whatís the aim in the final five races then?
JT: Well, I must say that up to now this year we have achieved a lot
more than we expected. We scored four podiums, between me and Ralf,
and I think thatís a lot. Both drivers have a lot of points. We just
need to try to keep scoring points for the remainder of the season.
It would be nice to fight for the championship but we mustnít forget
that McLaren and Renault are very very strong and then BAR is coming
back, Ferrari is sometimes competitive, so there is quite a big
battle to get on the podium and score points. The realistic aim is
to keep scoring points until the end of the season and hopefully
finish third or fourth for sure in the Constructorsí championship.
Q: Michael, you seem to have been in the news a lot recently.
Iíve heard lots of different versions of plans for the future. What
is the real situation?
Michael SCHUMACHER: Itís pretty easy. Iím a Ferrari driver and Iím
pretty happy with that. Iíve said many times that next year I will
take a decision on an extension and we will see. There was never
anything else before so sure. You know your colleagues.
Q: How did you feel the testing went here?
MS: I read some times which were different to what we did and what
we actually have done, because there was something in media which
suggested that we did a low 1m 20s. I donít know when we were
supposed to do that but the fact is that we were too slow here and
we didnít look too competitive.
Q: Is there any reason why that might change for the race itself?
MS: Unless it rains, no.
Q: You made some interesting comments about the cars in low
downforce trim here, the one circuit where you run the cars in low
downforce settings. Can you tell us what the cars are like around
MS: Actually they do behave better than they have done in the past
compared to the past years, they are much less critical to drive.
There seems to be more grip available and the car handles pretty
good, so in a way itís fine. You think you have a better car in your
hands but then you look much slower than you have been.
Q: What was it like in the past? Was it very skittish?
MS: Yes, very nervous, very much on the edge all the time. It seems
to be a little bit more forgiving right now.
Q: Youíve also expressed some worries about the second chicane;
does that continue to be a worry?
MS: It has been a worry to us for many years. The GPDA has been
sending out notes for that chicane (to be changed) for a long time
and I hear every year thereís a plan to change it but it just ends
up with hearing about it rather than actual action.
Q: (Dan Knutson Ė National Speedsport News) Michael, after five
years of winning titles, what motivates you to carry on when things
are not going so well?
MS: You have to see the ups and downs we've had this year. Obviously
people have referred to their short-term memory, and even me. When I
think back to Turkey I wasn't happy about it but if you look at the
year all together, I'm third in the Drivers' Championship and we are
third in the Constructors' Championship. We had been winning
absolutely and we are not where we want to be, but we've had our ups
and downs and with this and with a very clear situation, we
understand we can improve. We don't know when we can improve but we
will just keep on fighting. If you imagine how other guys have been
in our position for years and they are still motivated. I'm looking
forward to challenge the leaders. I have every reason to be
motivated to challenge again.
Q: (Juha Paatalo Ė Financial Times Deutschland) Michael, how do
you rate Felipe Massa?
MS: We have known Felipe a bit longer now. He started to do some
testing with us and for years he has been at Sauber. When you look
at where he started and where he is right now, you see a steady
curve of improving and learning and I think he's doing a very good
job. His real position right now is obviously something we'll have
to find out when he comes with us but I rate him very highly as he
has done some very good races and qualifyings. It maybe doesn't look
as obvious because he has driven for Sauber who are not so
competitive, to prove his abilities, but if you study him in a bit
more in detail then you can see how good he can be. Being a Ferrari
driver is different from being a Sauber driver but he will have a
lot of support from us to get the best out of him because that's in
Q: (Alan Baldwin Ė Reuters) Michael, in the past at Monza itís
been great, this year if you don't out-score Fernando Alonso then
that's the championship over. What are your thoughts?
MS: Honestly itís not something that happens overnight. I've been
saying that until it's not mathematically impossible to win then
I'll keep fighting but also I'm a realist and some races ago I
pretty much knew that itís no longer possible to fight for the
championship, and especially after Turkey. It was a surprise that we
got this far before being counted out of the championship. Nobody
expected this and next year we will fight very hard to make our way
Q: (Ian Parkes Ė Press Association) Michael, are you confident
you'll be back at the head of the queue next season?
MS: Yes indeed. Bridgestone is obviously highly motivated. They've
had trouble this year with the pressure they got but I'm pretty sure
they'll find a way. It is taking longer than we wish to, but
sometimes things just take more time and I'm confident because on
the car side we're probably not where McLaren is at the moment but
we're not that far off them and when things are going together it
should be OK.
Q: (Ottavio Daviddi - Tuttosport) Juan Pablo, if Kimi wins the
title, will your position in the team be weaker?
JPM: No, I don't think it changes anything at all. Kimi's got his
group that he's working with and I've got my group and at the moment
he looks a bit stronger than me. I struggled a bit when I was out
for a few races but I'm not too concerned. I've done a lot of work
on the car and the car has improved a lot and I'm very pleased with
the way things are going. If Kimi wins then it'll be very good for
him but my goal is to win the Constructors' Championship for the
team and we'll see what next year brings. I think I'll just need to
find a better balance for myself with the car and get a bit more
comfortable with it.
Q: (Dan Knutson Ė National Speedsport News) To all four of you, a
few years down the road, if one of your kids comes to you and
says 'I want to be a racing driver' how much will you support them
and help them?
GF: It would be nice for him to follow me into motor racing. It
would be interesting and it would be nice to help him.
JPM: Same. If he wants to race or do anything else then I'll be
there for him.
JT: I'd prefer him not to be a driver but if he wanted to be then
I'll support him.
MS: I'd prefer it if he played golf or tennis.
Q: (Steve Cooper Ė F1 Racing) To Gianfranco and Juan Pablo,
although team orders are banned, do you have a plan?
JPM: From my point of view, I have to do the best I can for the
team. Using the example of Hungary, I let Kimi by on the first lap
because he was on a weaker strategy and he needed to be further up
to take advantage of that. In a way I handed it to him but it would
have looked silly if I had been out of the race later on and Michael
had won it, so if an opportunity comes up like that to help then
yeah, but that's as far as it goes.
GF: In our team the most important thing is to score lots of points
for the Constructorsí Championship and Fernando has a good gap in
the Driversí Championship so he doesn't need help any more.
Q: (Dominic FugŤre Ė Le Journal de Montrťal) Giancarlo and Juan
Pablo, at what age would you want your sons to start karting and
Michael and Jarno why are you not keen?
JT: Itís hard to say but the pressure in this job is quite high, the
media are not the most beautiful people in the world. It's a hard
job for sure and I think swimming or tennis looks easier and nicer
than being a Formula One driver. The career is quite long, starting
when you are eight in karts, and you go through so many Formulas and
so much disappointment. Also there's a lot of variables. Pure
athletes like cyclists rely more on themselves than on technical
things like we do.
MS: Itís tough to imagine my little one following in my steps. If
you think about what you guys would ask him and the pressure for him
to get out of my shadow. It's such a heavy burden and I don't see
any reason to push him towards racing unless itís what he wants.
GF: When I started my career I was eight so this is one of the best
ages to start if he wants to start a career.
JPM: Whenever he wants. I go to kart races and I still drive do if
he wants to have a go, I'm sure Ill help him. It needs to be a
hobby, not a profession to make it work. Thatís a problem with lots
of fathers. They tell their sons they'll be world champion when
they're eight years old. Too much pressure.
Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association) Michael, can you understand
the speculation on your future, bearing in mind you're not winning
at the moment and you only have one year on your Ferrari contract?
MS: Sure the media have their job and most do it well and some less
well, and they say some of us do it well and some not so well so
itís natural. Source FIA
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