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Monaco GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
19/05/2005

Mike, can you give us an update on where you are with the 2.4 V8?
Mike Gascoyne: We have been running it on the dyno with Luca Marmorini's team, who have done a good job, have run several engines on the dyno and we are looking to run it in the car around July time. So, it's progressing pretty well.

So, just to come to this race, what is the technical challenge here, from a chassis and engine point of view?
MG: Engine-wise it is pretty easy, it is the lowest throttle time we have, the lowest average revs we have, so apart from the fact that the low speeds mean it is a little difficult to keep everything cool, from an engine point of view it is not much of a challenge in terms of reliability. From a chassis side it is very different to anywhere else we go. It's very bumpy, very dirty, and today was a typical first day in Monaco, a lot of traffic, the circuit was very, very dirty, evolving a lot, which makes it pretty difficult to really draw any firm conclusions from the day. It is such a unique place, very different from anywhere else we go.

I was going to say, you have a chassis and engine that has proved to be good enough for front row and a driver who has won here before, so what else is missing from here?
MG: I think we are pretty confident for here. I think, looking at it today, Renault and McLaren still look very strong but after that we are pretty competitive and both Jarno and Ralf have been very successful here. Jarno won his first race here last year and I think he was reasonably confident coming here today, don't know whether he is so confident now! But overall we have a pretty good package and there is no reason why we cant get a solid performance this weekend.

One thing you are doing, which I think is something that almost nobody else does, is supply another team. How has that been?
MG: I think it has been very good for us. Toyota are in Formula One to be competitive themselves, but they also want to support Formula One, so when the two-race engine was proposed that really freed up capacity, because obviously we were geared up to do a one-race engine for this year and so that freed up capacity and as soon as that was the case Toyota was very keen to supply an engine because with the problems of engine supply in Formula One we think that is very necessary for the manufacturer teams to do that. I think Toyota were very brave in actively going out and doing that at a very sort of competitive price, and it has benefits for us as well. I think, apart from an engine failure at Jordan in the last race, we have got a lot of miles and we have done a lot of laps, probably more than any other team, and that obviously helps us in our quest for overall reliability on the engine side.

And actually they have been very reliable as well.
MG: Yeah, exactly. I think in the first couple of races, the two teams that did the most laps were Jordan and Toyota. So, again, Luca and his team have done an excellent job.

Jarno, you have come back to Monaco as the reigning champion, as the French say, as the winner, what's the feeling like?
Jarno Trulli: It is a great feeling, but now it's one year later and I am back to try to re-gain this fantastic result. It is not going to be easy, it is going to be a tough weekend for everyone because we know Monaco is a tough Grand Prix.

In fact, what was it like today?
JT: It was a bit of a difficult day, because I tried different set-ups in tyres but I think I didn't get it right, there was a lot of traffic, on my new set of tyres I couldn't get it right and for tomorrow I have to go back to a more conventional set-up.

Qualifying is obviously vital here, because if you start at the front you have a good chance of finishing at the front, but what can you do, obviously the driver goes as fast as he can, but give us some idea on what you can do on tactics.
JT: In Monaco, yeah, qualifying is important, but it is important that everything goes well because a safety car is enough to completely mix up your strategy, so you do a different strategy here and you can be successful with this different strategy if things go well for you. For example, last year I won with two safety cars and everything went well. This year, I may even win starting from the back of the grid, you never know. In Monaco anything can happen, and this is what I believe. This is the only race where you can't really expect anything from anyone.

One final question, which I am going to take over to Mark afterwards, David Coulthard has gone on record as saying he is concerned about safety during testing, that it is not administered by the FIA. Is it something you are concerned on, what would you like to change?
JT: As far as I am concerned, all the GPDA members are concerned about it, we raised this problem and discussed it several times because we really believe the safety during testing is not good enough, or not as good as during the races, and we really are wanting to push the teams, the FIA and everyone to raise the safety standard during testing, because I cannot see why we shouldn't have the same safety standard. The risk is exactly the same, or even a little more, because we are doing a lot more laps during testing days than we do during a race weekend, so we really have to take a look at this matter.

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