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Spanish GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
10/05/2012

Kamui, so far this season a couple of good races and a couple not so good. What's been the difference between them?
Kamui Kobayashi: Of course it's definitely the car. We had quite good performance at the start, quite a good start to the season. Unfortunately, we also some races where the strategy was not really going well. It's not let's a bad thing for my season. I had a great start but I think we have to work hard especially on the long runs.

Yesterday, Fernando talked about drivers having more respect for one another. Do you think that's the case? Should drivers leave more space for each other?
KK: Maybe. I don't know. It's always difficult to say.

You're quite an aggressive overtaker
KK: Yeah, but for me I'm doing something quite normal. It's not special. I'm just doing my job. Maybe it looks aggressive but I never crash with anyone. I never crash and stop the car. There may be contact but it's always quite OK. Maybe it looks aggressive but it's not aggressive in fact.

And of course, you've been on the receiving end as we remember from Spa last year.
KK: Spa last year? Where? Ah, with Lewis, you mean? That's what I mean that was just an accident you know. I didn't expect both cars to make contact because there was no point. I didn't expect Lewis to come across and I just stayed on my line. It was just sudden, you know. There was no way to avoid that. That was something special though, it's not really a racing accident and not aggressive stuff from me, so...

Nico, on paper you've been beaten by your team-mate so far this year. How are you feeling about it?
Nico Hulkenberg: Well, the first four races have been quite tough to be honest. I would have liked to take more than two points out of the first four races. We have been quite unfortunate in some races, such as Melbourne, where we had a first-corner incident and there was very little I could do and then a clutch failure issues in Bahrain. These were two races where we potentially could have finished in the points. But I'm looking forward, I'm bedding in well with the team. I think the team is doing a good job in putting everything together and if we get a bit more luck then I think it will be good.

How do you feel about team development? Are the developments coming at a reasonable rate as far as you're concerned?
NH: Yes, definitely. We bring some new parts, probably like every other team, here and we have to wait and see where the new parts put us but obviously we're hoping it's a step forward. I think it is a step forward but just how big a step we'll see over the next two days.

Pedro, we see a new team that has recently moved to new premises and taken on a lot of new staff. What sort of role do you see yourself playing in the development of Hispania Racing Team?
Pedro de la Rosa: As you've said, everything is new. We're establishing ourselves; restructuring the team; we are growing. But really I'm not playing any different role than any other race driver would do. I'm part of the team; I'm a race driver; I'm experienced. If they need my advice on anything, I am there. But I'm not playing any special role other than driving as fast as I can and giving good feedback about the car.

You spent so long at McLaren are you not trying to put some of those influences on the team?
PdlR: Gradually I will. That's the aim and that's what I'm here for as well. But so far the team has been extremely busy trying to move into our new premises in Madrid, establish a structure, a 'basement' as I say, and after that we will grow gradually and that's when I think my input will be, if possible, more beneficial. But so far the objective has been clear. We have to establish ourselves, we have to put he ground for building more floors on top of us but so far I've been very discreet and not in a very important position.

And where do hope the team will be at the end of the year?
PdlR: I have no idea really. We are improving race by race. We have made the car a lot quicker. Don't forget at the first grand prix we did not qualify and gradually we have been closing the gap to pole position. That's what we have to aim for: race by race, closing the gap, making sure that our car is a little bit quicker than it was at the previous grand prix. After that, at the end of the year, we will see. We don't have to set ourselves any targets other than making the team more competitive race by race.

Kimi, you were plainly a little frustrated that you could have won at Bahrain but didn't. Is that a true appraisal of your feelings about Bahrain?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I think once you get so close, you're not happy with second. If you're 20 seconds behind then it doesn't really matter but we had a chance but at least for the team it was a good weekend.

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