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Spanish GP: Saturday press conference

NEWS STORY
07/05/2005

Q: Jarno, you're not planning to spoil Jarno's Spanish fiesta here are you?
Jarno Trulli: Well, it's always difficult to predict. Last year I beat him and I was very happy anyway because the crowd here are fantastic with any drivers. I believe for him it's a nice Grand Prix, but on the other hand I think Toyota is now doing a good job and finally we are right on the top. To be honest, I'm a little bit surprised to be here because all morning I have been struggling with the car a lot, some problem with the engine, so at the end of the day I think all the engineers have done a good job. I did a great lap and I take this opportunity to thank the whole team and the factory as well because we had a new aero update here, they worked very hard, and also the test team which has always run the car well during testing. So we keep improving and today is a good result for all of us.

Q: And an interesting lap because you weren't actually quicker on any of the sectors or through any of the traps, but you still got fastest lap.
JT: I think that compared to everyone else, I got it right a bit everywhere without over-driving the car. That was the point, probably. It was a bit windy today and I wasn't fully confident to attack like I normally do, so that's why I'm a little bit surprised to be here today.

Q: Fernando, let's talk about the crowd support first of all. What was it like going out even on your out lap, those grandstands full of blue?
Fernando Alonso: Yes, it was something special for me, for sure, and probably it was my best lap in a Formula One car so far. I think tomorrow we will have another one and the 66 laps in the race will be something similar. But I think some people started to come to the track today. Yesterday the grandstands were maybe half (full). Today it was maybe 80 percent so you feel it and it's something amazing and a pleasure.

Q: On this lap today, you were a little bit down after the first sector. Did you know at that point and then you put in a brilliant second sector?
FA: Well, you always push in every corner, but I knew that I was down because I saw on the big screens in the corner after the (start of the) third sector and I saw the orange colour, it wasn't green, but anyway I was doing the maximum, it was not because I was conservative. At the end, maybe, in the last sector I lost a little bit of time but anyway, I didn't run too much this morning because I had a little problem and so to be in single lap qualifying with very few laps – I think I did five this morning – it's always difficult to take the maximum of the car and I'm very very happy.

Q: And that's because you're protecting the engine, of course, with this new regulation we have in 2005.
FA: No. It was a different problem.

Q: Can you talk about that a little bit?
FA: No, it's not anything special and we've sorted it out now, so everything is fine, but we lost a little bit in the morning.

Q: Kimi, from where you went out today, the track was obviously a little bit slower and that little incident you had coming out of the tight lefthander, it was a great lap for you to be in the top three.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I'm a bit disappointed because I ran wide at corner two. I lost quite a bit of time, I would say half a second in comparison to the morning so the car seems to be quick, I'm just not happy to be in this place. I should really be in first but anyhow we are really close to the second and first guys so it's a good place to start tomorrow. It wasn't the best place to start (today) but the car has been working very well the whole weekend so I was quite confident.

Q: The car was working very well the previous weekend too; talk a little bit about the expectation at West McLaren Mercedes. The car appears to be really quick now.
KR: Yeah, but we still need to finish the races. It doesn't help if you put it on pole or in the first three if you don't finish the race, you don't get points so that's the area where we need to improve and we have some work to do. At least we have the speed now and that's the first thing, but the main thing is try to score points and we desperately need more points than the other guys if we want to be anywhere close to getting back in the championship. Everyone's working hard and we know that we have improved the car and we will get some new parts for the next races, so I think everything's going in the right direction.

Press conference

Q: Jarno, well done, you mentioned a problem with the engine, but what about the handling of the car?
JT: Handling of the car in general I am pretty happy about from yesterday, when I was quite confident, but then I discovered this morning some loss of grip and we have been struggling to get the grip back and that is why I am not fully confident. On my quickest lap, I was not fully confident and that is why you can see in none of the sectors I am not the quickest or even near because I was not pushing as hard as I could but in the end of the lap I had done my best and a good job, but I am not fully confident for tomorrow so it's a bit unexpected result for me.

Q: What about race performance because that's been a bit of a problem in some races?
JT: Well yesterday it looked very strong, but after this morning's running we still have some question marks about it so we will find out tomorrow. Yesterday, I was very happy about the car and the balance and the long runs as well.

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