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Malaysia: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
16/03/2006

Jacques, how much difference do you see in the team compared to last year?
Jacques Villeneuve: Well, quite a bit. Everybody's excited, it's the feeling of a new team, with the budget of a big team. We've built on the people we had there last year, added people, added budget and everybody's just excited. The workload that can be achieved is a lot more because of that.

What did you think of the new qualifying at Bahrain? You were bumped out of it at the end by your team mate, but otherwise what did you think of it?
JV: I guess it can be seen of as exciting. It's quite stressful, it doesn't feel like qualifying because you never sit in the car, figuring out how you are going to get the perfect lap. You just keep doing laps, new tyres laps and it doesn't feel like qualifying, but the fans like it and why not? It's the same for everyone.

Quite busy then?
JV: Very busy. It's funny because it's the time of the weekend, before the race, when we do the most laps but we're not even allowed to set the car up. It's all a bit strange.

Would you prefer more opportunity to change more things?
JV: It would be nice to work on the car a little bit.

And in the race itself, what were your feelings of the car's performance up to retirement?
JV: It was quite good. The car was going well, getting better with the laps and the car was easy to drive, easy to push. Compared to last year it's a big improvement.

So you'll have a new engine here, in this heat.
JV: Yeah, which is good for here definitely. The only problem is, having been bumped out of qualifying I'd saved 12 laps which I was hoping to use this weekend, so we lose those 12 laps with the new engine, but at least the heat shouldn't affect us too much.

Ralf, you had a good battle with your team mate, but there wasn't much else to get excited about, was there?
Ralf Schumacher: It was certainly a difficult race, but nevertheless we used it as a race to learn a lot from, which is why we had two different strategies. I favoured my way even if you didn't see it from the outside until the end, just to find out what we were able to do. I think it's pretty simple to see that we have a lot of work to do. Having said that, everything is possible: it's a different track, different weekend, so let's see how it works out here.

And what was the basic problem. I understand lack of grip…
RS: General lack of grip. The car was a bit difficult to drive but that had to do with a combination of car and tyres, certainly. The tyres were capable of doing better things, that was easy to see. It's just down to us to find a way to do that.

Can that be solved for this weekend, with a different tyre choice?
RS: We have a different tyre choice here. The track conditions should be a bit better for us so in general, yes, it should be a lot better here.

So it is possible that there could be a quick fix.
RS: For this race, there definitely is. At the same time we have to admit that we still have to understand the reasons for Bahrain, and it still hasn't happened yet.

Again, you suffered a bit in qualifying but otherwise do you think it's a good format?
RS: Well, that was due to the red flag and the chaos we had and since we had the warm-up problem I couldn't really warm up my tyres and stuff like that, so it was just a disaster for me. Still, I think it's a good format, we still have to get used to it and get the most out of it. Let's hope we get a bit further this weekend.

David, your feelings about Red Bull Racing's performance after qualifying, after the race?
David Coulthard: Well, pace-wise at various points, Christian and I were reasonably competitive but obviously you've got to do that consistently throughout the race so they can understand the drop-off after both our pit stops, or his last stint and my last stint. So otherwise we are in the group behind the top three teams and battling in among the next few cars.

Top three teams, not top four?
DC: You know, it's based on one race so obviously we will need to review it as we go through the coming races. I think by the time we get to Europe we will have a pretty good understanding as to what we can expect for the majority of the year.

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