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Monaco Grand Prix – Wednesday Press Conference Part 1

by F1Fan on May 13, 2010

In the first Press Conference of the Monaco Grand Prix race weekend five drivers answered questions on their expectations for the race.

Here is the transcript of the initial part of the press conference:

For Part 2 of the Press Conference/ Click Here


Sebastien Buemi (SB) [Toro Rosso],
Jenson Button (JB) [McLaren],
Timo Glock (TG) [Virgin],
Robert Kubica (RK) [Renault],
Felipe Massa (FM) [Ferrari]


Q: A question to you all. Just look back at last weekend and look ahead to this weekend. What do you think of this circuit? What are your chances? Sebastien, perhaps we can start with you.
Sebastien Buemi (SB): Barcelona was a new start to the season with all the new updates. I think we didn’t do too bad considering we are a small team, so I am expecting to have a good car here in Monaco. We were quite competitive last year and we have some new bits coming for here, so it should not be too bad. We should be near Q3, 10th space, 11th space, so that will be our objective and to score points.

Q: You have had a lot of bad luck so far this year. How can you get rid of that as this is not the best place to get rid of bad luck is it?
SB: Exactly. It has been a very difficult start to the season for me with all the incidents and we had a lot of technical problems, so I am hoping to have a clean weekend. That is most important. I am pretty sure we can do it as my team-mate seemed to have a consistent car until the end of the race, so I am hoping to have the same for this race but we will see.

Q: Do you think you made a jump forward with the updates from last weekend?
SB: I think we stayed more or less where we were. Our updates seemed to be working a bit better than expected as we seem to be ahead of Williams and near to Force India at the same level, so this is good for us. Now we need to see on this circuit how it reacts but I think we have a decent car for this kind of circuit.

Q: Robert, your thoughts of last weekend and this coming weekend?
Robert Kubica (RK): Barcelona on our side was a good weekend for us performance wise. We were a bit surprised about our performance in qualifying. We did not bring a big upgrade to Barcelona, so we were expecting to maybe lose some ground. Actually we did lose some ground to Red Bull but to the others cars like Ferrari, McLaren or Mercedes we were quite close, so good performance. But, unfortunately, not so good first lap and then all race with a damaged front wing, so it was not easy but I managed to finish eighth. We know Barcelona is very difficult for overtaking, so it has been quite a tough race, but anyway quite a good weekend. For here, Monaco is quite a different grand prix to what we have raced this year, so it will be interesting to see how our car will be performing here. Unfortunately, from our side, we don’t have a specific downforce level for here. Normally from the past I was used to having some different wings with more downforce. Drag and efficiency is not so important here in Monaco, but we will be using practically the same wings as all year, so we will have to see if our downforce level is good for here.

Q: But you like kart tracks and this is like a big kart track, isn’t it?
RK: I like street circuits. I used to always make quite good results here and overall on street circuits, so I enjoy driving and I am looking forward to that.

Q: You are in a new team. How is the relationship going? Do you feel you are building the team around you?
RK: So far so good. When you are joining a new team or when you are working you try to create a good atmosphere with the engineers, the mechanics in the workshop and on the race track, so I think it is normal you are trying to do the best atmosphere you can to work well. Especially when you have problems then it helps when you have a good relationship and respect with each other. This is what we are doing, so from this point of view there is nothing we can improve. All is going quite well.

Q: Timo, tell us about last weekend, this weekend?
Timo Glock (TG): Last weekend was good for the whole team to bring both cars through the race without problems. I was quite happy that at least the changes we made worked out. For here I think it will be a difficult one for us. The track will be quite hard for our car. We struggle a bit especially in low and medium speed corners with general downforce, so it will be a bit of a struggle. But we will work as hard as possible and be close again to Lotus. We had a good pace in the race in Barcelona against Lotus. We struggled a bit in qualifying. That is our target to be closer to them again.

Q: Is it going to be really difficult with 24 cars out on the circuit, particularly in qualifying?
TG: Yeah, qualifying will be difficult. For us we have to find a way to get two runs in with a clean lap. But the race is another point. We had a lot of blue flags coming up in Barcelona and Barcelona is a really easy track to have a look at your mirrors and see and judge where the others are. That will be a bit more challenging here. But the team is doing a really good job on that and try to inform me as much as possible. We will see how we get around it.

Q: One of the new drivers said he had 15 laps without blue flags last weekend out of 66. That has got to be so difficult?
TG: Yeah, definitely. I think my stint was only until the first pit stop without any blue flags. Then I came out of the pits and it started to be from that lap on to the end with blue flags and here it will be really difficult.

Q: Jenson, last weekend, this weekend?´
Jenson Button (JB): Last weekend was a bit frustrating. The pace of the car in qualifying wasn’t where we hoped it would be. The Red Bulls had a big gap at the front. I think it was almost one second, so that was disappointing but in the race the cars seemed to be working well. The pace of the car was pretty good. I wasn’t able to unlock that for most of the race as I was stuck behind Michael (Schumacher). But it was a pretty tricky race for me as I lost my dash I think on lap three, so I had no lights or anything. You learn where to shift but when you are in tow some lap and not others you are hitting the limiter a lot, so it was pretty tricky. Also on my pit stop I came in in second gear instead of first and I had no lights or anything for the launch, so it wasn’t the best situation. I think we dealt with it pretty well and got some good points but there were a lot more points out there for us. I think the pace of the car was good and if we had got everything right it would have been much better. But I still came away from there with 10 points, so not too bad but looking forward to this weekend and really put it right and have a good race here and get the best out of the car. It is a very unique race Monaco. I don’t think and I hope Red Bull don’t have the advantage they had in Barcelona. If it is dry I think we can have a good race here. We won’t really know until tomorrow if the car is performing well here but there is no reason it won’t be. McLaren have a very good record here and if it is wet it will throw it up in the air. It will be pretty crazy for all of us. But it is a race we all look forward to. It is unique and to get a good result here means a lot.

Q: Two things about last year. First of all you parked in the wrong place having just won the race and also you said at the press conference after the race that you tried to downplay in your mind the importance of what a fantastic race it would be to win and of course you went on to win it. How do you treat it this year?
JB: It is a little bit different as I won the race last year. You come into this race a lot more relaxed and I am really looking forward to it. I am excited about the challenge. I would prefer if it was dry this weekend. It is an exciting race in the dry and is exciting enough. If it is wet it is going to be pretty crazy for us out there especially with so many cars. In qualifying with 24 cars out there it will be pretty mad in the dry, but in the wet pretty impossible to get a clear lap. But I am excited about the weekend. It is a fun weekend and for Formula One it is the most glamorous weekend we have on the calendar. For us we are heads down and doing our work but for the people and the fans of Formula One it is a lot of fun and we will hopefully put on a good show.

Q: Felipe, last weekend, this weekend?
Felipe Massa (FM): Last weekend was not really great for me, especially in qualifying, looking at the difference. Red Bull was in front of most of the other teams. I was struggling a lot to find the good grip level on the tyres and in the race, starting ninth and finishing sixth was not so bad. I did a good start and then the race was quite boring as Jenson said. Difficult to overtake, almost impossible, and struggling a lot with the grip level as well. I did most of the race behind them and I just had no grip to try anything. It was not a very nice race to do, so I hope we can do a better job this weekend and also the different tyres which on our car were working quite well in Bahrain. We will see how it is going to be. Also, Monaco is always Monaco but I hope we can do a better job here.

Q: And the driver can make the difference here as well?
FM: Yeah. It is always a difficult track and you can lose time very easily in whatever corner you go here, so the driver is always important to do a little bit better on some of the little details. We will see how the weather is going to be as if it is raining here it is always a lottery but I am looking forwards to doing a good job here.

To read the questions from the floor portion of the press conference Click Here

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