Drivers: Rubens Barrichello (Honda), David Coulthard (Red Bull), Juan Pablo
Montoya (McLaren), Jarno Trulli (Toyota) and Alexander Wurz (Williams).
Q: Alex, this is very much your home race; what’s it like for you and your
family when the race comes to town?
Alexander Wurz: I’ve been here for nine years, I live here now with my
family. My kid is going to school above us here. I brought him there this
morning, then went down to the race team. It’s kind of a bit strange. I remember
four years ago picking him up from hospital when he was born on race day so I
have quite some memories. But at the end of the day, when you live here and the
race is coming here, it’s actually a pain in the butt because you have no more
parking because the guardrails are being built up, it confuses the traffic,
everyone gets a bit more stressed, hectic, the prices go up in the restaurants
so I prefer the calmer time of December and January.
Q: It’s going to get more hectic over the next few days; what’s it going to
be like for the third drivers tomorrow?
AW: Well, the track usually starts off very slippery here in Monaco so
actually we are just vacuum-cleaners for the other guys here, so they have fun
on the rubbered-in circuit whereas we are sliding around a lot. I remember from
last year the first session is really slow and you have to be very aware of
this. One is always really tempted to push but the circuit is getting so much
quicker. Every time you come into the pits and you wait five minutes the other
guys go one or two seconds quicker in the first session so that makes it a bit
tricky because all the time you want to go out and be quickest, of course. But
you have to be aware that the moment to set the best lap time is always at the
end of the Thursday, and then it’s going be really hectic out there. I believe
everyone is aware that many drivers are a bit afraid of qualifying but in my
situation I don’t have that problem. I’m afraid of not having enough free track
on Thursday afternoon.
Q: What’s qualifying going to be like with the slower drivers?
AW: I’m sure all the other four guys here will tell you more about it. I
wish I had the problem to have traffic in qualifying but it’s not my business at
the moment. If I could sit here on Saturday and complain about traffic I would
race and that would be fine for me.
Q: Rubens, another year older, 34 yesterday, it’s always Monaco Grand Prix
Rubens Barrichello: Yeah, it’s become a habit! You know when you get older,
you don’t have to party any more. It’s just one more year. But I enjoyed my
birthday very much, yesterday. I wasn’t working actually so it was nice to be
with the family. For the first time, we made a cake. It was OK.
Q: Qualifying seems to be going a lot better now; what about the
RB: Well, in all honesty, I think Barcelona would have been a lot better.
Although I saw a lot of people talking about Jenson being held up by me, I don’t
think there was much truth in that. We had our pace there. He might have gone a
little bit faster but it wouldn’t have changed his race. I lost five to six
seconds on the way to the pits because of the (fuel) pressure, the fuel wasn’t
picking up and so when I came into the pits, I still had some fuel left and I
stopped, and because they didn’t know what the problem was, they kept on putting
a lot of fuel in the car, and so I finished with a little bit more than what we
thought and the car became heavier. The pace wasn’t there because of that.
Otherwise, I think the two cars would have been close to Raikkonen’s but there
was no way to finish in front of him and that’s the story. But I think Barcelona
was a step forward in terms of overall pace.
Q: What about here, with a good qualifying position?
RB: Well, qualifying is definitely good and I think the car could actually
work quite well here. The problem is going to be just being on the track at the
right time. Honestly, I think we should have a different qualifying (system) for
here because probably five percent of us won’t say anything about qualifying,
that we had a free lap, and the rest will all be (talking about) traffic, even
in the last session. Probably not as much in qualifying three, but first
qualifying is going to be like hell, really. You really need to give a lot of
space to people on Thursday and see if they remember that on Saturday and let it
go, because if somebody goes out of the pits, just thinking about life, it’s
going to be quite dangerous in a way. If you’re going to go flat out up through
Casino Square, from there on you can give some space.
Q: Now the rest of you in the front row have all won this race before and I
know that all of you have said afterwards what a very special victory it is. Can
you just talk through how special it is to win here, and why?
David Coulthard: I think it’s obvious to everyone who is here that this is
a more challenging track because you have less room of a margin for error, and
depending on the pace of your car in any particularly Grand Prix, depends on
just how hard you have had to push for the entire race. I think, looking at last
year’s race, Kimi was able to quite comfortable do the last stint, so he
probably wasn’t under a great deal of pressure, but if you’re having to push the
whole time, then you get into a sort of trance when you’re driving around here,
sometimes being a little bit confused as to whether you’re driving through the
barriers or round them. That’s the sort of zone you’re getting into; certainly I
was! So when you come out the other side, it is such a tremendous feeling of
achievement. I think every driver would, if he could pick a Grand Prix to win,
he would want to win in Monaco.
Jarno Trulli: I agree with David. This is the Grand Prix of the season: the
atmosphere is nice - there are so many things. It’s got history and as David
says, it’s not easy to win. It’s probably much easier to lose than win and
anything can happen. Qualifying is very important, to start in front of the
grid, but we’ve also seen in the past that sometimes it doesn’t help. At the end
of the day, you really need to make everything work properly during the race,
and try to do your best, and eventually you might win the race if you do it
properly, because during the race, you can never give up, you can never slow
down, you always have to be concentrated and it’s quite a long Grand Prix as
well. It’s not easy because you’re not actually on a circuit, you’re on a street
circuit and you don’t have any margin for mistakes, nothing, so you’re really
tied up with what you’re doing and you have to make sure you do it right, all
the way through the weekend. It’s nice because of the atmosphere, so many
people. As an Ilian as well. Italy’s just next (door), there are always a lot of
supporters for Ferrari and the Italian drivers.
Juan Pablo Montoya: I think it’s a little bit of everything. It’s a great
circuit and it’s got history. It’s Monaco, the atmosphere and it’s a challenge.
What Jarno said is very true: the build-up throughout the weekend is very
important and if you have the pace, it’s easier to lose the race than win it.
For tradition, it’s probably the nicest race you can win.
Q: Now Juan Pablo, you’ve been involved in some charity work today; can you
tell us a bit about it?
JPM: It’s been going on for the last couple of years to be honest. We look
after 2000 children already and it’s going really well. We’re promoting sports
through it and today was really good news because we got $75,000 from the
Steinmetz diamond helmet from last year so it’s great, it’s a really big boost
for the foundation and we get a lot of support for it in Colombia too. Quite a
few drivers went for the go-kart race last year and we raised quite good money
from it, so it’s been going really well. My wife works a lot on it and it’s
great, it’s great to give something back and for me something back to Colombia,
my country, makes it very special.
Q: The situation within the team is somewhat complex as we go through
JPM: Not really. I think the situation in the team is really quite good at
the moment. We are all focused on doing the job we have to do, trying to make
the car better. What’s happening next year? I don’t know, probably Kimi doesn’t
know, probably nobody knows at the moment and I think the situation that the
press is trying to create… it’s, you know, oh this and that and who is staying?
Within the team it’s very good, you know. I’m focusing and I’ve been doing a lot
of work the last few weeks with the test in Paul Ricard which went really well
and I think we’re finding our feet a little bit. Yes, we know we need to improve
in a lot of areas still but the direction is good and the spirit is good. That
is the most important thing.
Q: Jarno we were talking about qualifying a moment ago; what are your
feelings about it?
JT: My feeling is similar to everyone here, that we have to qualify on
Saturday because we are a little bit concerned. We know that Monaco so far has
always been a difficult circuit on which to qualify well without traffic and on
Saturday, we will be around 22 cars out there, I think too many to find a good
clear lap, especially the first two qualifying sessions which will be really
really difficult. We’ve had some troubles already in the past races and I am
sure we will have some troubles during this race and qualifying. And we all know
that qualifying in Monaco is so important because overtaking is nearly
impossible. So I think there will be a big fight in order to find a clear lap
and try to play a good strategy, not only for the race but also for qualifying
and I’m sure someone will unfortunately pay and some others will be a bit
luckier. But we will see. For sure I expect a tough Saturday afternoon.
Q: Watching the two Toyotas in Barcelona in the early stages, then the
collision; what was happening, what was the reaction?
JT: It was very unfortunate that we collided at the first corner. I think
it was a bit of a misunderstanding there between me and Ralf because I didn’t
expect him to attack me at the end of the straight but anyway, so far the team
lets us fight as far as we can. Obviously, they don’t like it if the two cars
collide together. At that stage, Ralf was quicker than me because I was on old
tyres which were graining and Ralf started with new tyres. It was a bit
unfortunate and I just hope we don’t have these kind of problems any more.
Q: Was there any consideration whereby you might have let him go through
because he was quicker?
JT: We can probably agree… as the drivers, we can probably do something but
at the moment, me and Ralf will probably talk together and see what happens,
because there might be some occasions, like the last race, where one driver is
having a problem and the other is doing well. It’s not the first time that that
has happened to me or to him so we might swap positions and at the end of the
race, we might swap back again.
Q: David, looking forward, what are your feelings about Silverstone?
DC: Well, obviously second home Grand Prix and home of British motor sport!
Obviously we would like to be in a more competitive situation than we are right
now. Maybe something will change in the Barcelona test next week, but otherwise
we just have to go and do the best we can.
Q: Have you got bits and pieces coming for Silverstone?
DC: We’ve got some test items for Barcelona but obviously they need to be
proven. I think it’s very unlikely that we’re going to find something that is
going to elevate us in the short term up to the pacesetters.
Q: Is it possible to catch up to those ahead of you?
DC: Of course it’s possible. As I have said to you before, racing drivers
have balls but none of them are crystal, so I can’t see into the future. But
we’re working hard like every other team is, to try to develop our package.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Heinz Prueller ? ORF) Gentlemen because it is such a very special Grand
Prix and a special circuit, I would like to ask each one of you for your
personal opinion -- which is the most critical, the most dangerous and most
difficult spot on the track here and what is your favourite overtaking spot, if
问：（Heinz Prueller ?
JPM: Every part of the circuit is different and challenging. You know, you
have Casino; that is very challenging; and you have Tabac; and the swimming
pool, which is very fast. And dangerous? There is none. You know, you make a
mistake and you hit the wall and that is it. Get out of the car and deal with
it. Overtaking is about impossible. If somebody makes a mistake you might be
able to pass, but even when they make a mistake they can recover here.
JT: I agree with Juan Pablo. Challenging? It’s challenging a bit everywhere
because, in a way, it is a street circuit and, so, each corner changes every lap
basically. The one, which I like most -- the spot, the corner which I find the
most challenging -- is probably the swimming pool, which is a very quick corner
and technical and difficult, a little bit everywhere. (An) overtaking manoeuvre
around here is nearly impossible and I remember, last year, I was following one
Renault, which was three seconds a lap slower and I found it very difficult to
overtake. That’s it. That’s Monaco.
DC: There are only two corners where you have any room for error, which are
into the chicane and, well, into both chicanes! After the tunnel and the
swimming pool… And all the other corners are individual and challenging in their
own way. As Jarno says, the swimming pool complex is the fastest section that we
have so, you know, you often leave there thinking you could have gone a bit
quicker, but like so much of this track you don’t really see the corner until
you arrive at the apex so that makes it quite difficult and challenging in its
own way. Overtake? I think you saw Nick was able to overtake into the chicane
last year and I think a few others did that as well, other than that I think it
is very difficult to overtake anywhere else here.
RB: Well, I think it is a very difficult circuit and it is dangerous
everywhere probably and it is very special and all because of that… At the
beginning of the year, I asked a friend, who races IRL, where he would like to
race in Formula One and he told me Monaco. That is because it makes it special.
So, actually this weekend, I am racing his colours in this grand prix and I am
racing in Indianapolis this weekend ? there will be a car there with my colours
? and this is just because Monaco is so special and I think Indianapolis is
special, as well, that we swapped colours for the weekend. I don’t think there
is any place for overtaking and it is dangerous everywhere, but it is funny.
Casino Square is probably the best place.
AW: I think that the most challenging parts of Monaco are next to the
circuit and not on the circuit.
Q: What do you mean by that?
AW: I can’t possibly talk about this because I am married.
Q: (Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport News) For Rubens. First of all, when
you say colours, do you mean helmet colours?
问：（Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport News）鲁本。首先，当你说到颜色的时候，你的意思是指头盔的颜色吗？
Q: (Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport News) And secondly, you can always
learn more about the team and the car and the tyres, but where do you feel you
are now in that learning process?
RB: I think the team has been working very hard. If people think the
results have been sad for me, and I have not been up to it, I could prove that I
have been working hard. I was not happy with the brakes to start with and it was
only very unlucky that we qualified badly in Australia because of the traffic.
Having said that, since then there has been an improvement and it is getting
better all the time, but I am still not completely happy with the car in the way
that it performs in a race especially with the traction control. Honda is
working very hard and we have been testing new items every time we go to the
track and we know the car is fast everywhere we go and we know we have to keep
the pace for the race, but I am feeling very good and this is one of the places
where I think we can perform very well and in the team everything is running
问：（Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport
Q: (David Croft, BBC Radio 5) Good afternoon, gentlemen. Another question
for Rubens. I remember you saying, in Australia, that you found it difficult
coming into the team with a car that was predominantly set up for Jenson’s style
of driving. With your improvements in the last few races, have you had to change
your driving style?
RB: There is a time when you have to get used to things. It is not just
jumping from one car to another. The car had, predominantly, the brakes and the
traction control working the same - and you have difference in balance, in the
way that you drive the car and the position and everything - but it was
completely different on the brake system. I attack the brakes harder than Jenson
and I wasn’t feeling the bite of the brakes. To be honest, it was a bit of a
lack of experience within the team. In testing, I kept on saying ‘the brakes,
the brakes, the brakes’ and they said ‘ok, for the race, we are going to have
new items and everything is going to be good’ and, when the race came,
everything was the same; and that is why I took so long and, after two or three
races, when we tested new components, we actually found something; and then I
improved that. I got used to the car up to a point, but I told them that if the
car didn’t come my way I was only going to be driving behind Jenson because I
had to learn how was driving the car. So, I am sure that, with the things I have
been developing, it will help him eventually win a race as well. So, it is a
mountain that we are both climbing.
问：（David Croft, BBC Radio
Q: (Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport News) Juan this is the one time of
the year when you guys come close to walls, but in Indycar racing you came close
to walls a lot on ovals. How does it compare?
JPM: Well, there is no (nothing to) compare… In America, there are still
about six or seven street courses, so, there, it was a normal thing to do a
street course whereas here it is the only one we do so ‘pow!’ kind of thing you
know. It is a shame we don’t do more, but it is quite exciting.
问：（Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport