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China GP: Thursday Press Conference


Robert, podium in the last race, what effect has that had on you, what effect has that had on Poland, your country?
Robert Kubica: Well, as you say, we finished third in the Monza race. It was a good result for me and for the team as well. It was only the third race in my career. It was a good race, good place, good car, everything went really smoothly and no problems. For Poland, it was a good result, I think. I think it's good to have a good result for there and it definitely creates more interest in the country.

Has it gone a bit crazy?
RK: I don't know. I haven't been there.

You say you're not particularly emotional, yourself, about these things?
RK: It's true, I'm a racing driver and I like to race. What's going on around the world, or around Poland – it's of secondary importance. I'm concentrated on my driving and working with my team and that's the way I am.

The car has obviously made fantastic progress over the summer.
RK: Yeah, for sure we weren't expecting to be so competitive. Nick was on the second row after qualifying. Unfortunately I had not such a good lap in third qualifying in Monza, so I was starting from the third row but we knew we had good tyres for the race distance. We made a really good start and then it was important just to look after the tyres and go ahead. The car worked really well. I think Monza is something special, because it's a low downforce track so we have to wait and see how it goes here. For sure, the last test in Jerez went really well so we are making good progress.

And the prospects next year for you?
RK: I don't know.

Is your management talking to anyone else apart from BMW Sauber?
RK: You have to ask them.

Nico, you were here last year but I believe you've been doing quite a lot of pre-race work here in China; what have you been doing?
Nico Rosberg: Yeah, I arrived here on Monday, actually, to get used to the time difference here and then I had an Oris day in the middle of Shanghai which was quite nice and quite interesting and then yesterday we went to Guangzhou, if I'm pronouncing it right. Actually I do know how to spell it, because I've been there for a whole day. It's in the south of China, two hours away and it was quite impressive actually. It's a very fast-developing city, probably one of the fastest developing cities in China, if not in the world. We drove through the streets in an F1 car, it was amazing. They were so fascinated. It was a nice day in the end.

Kimi, you've been driving a car through the streets as well somewhere.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, in Dubai. It was OK, but it was mainly for the local people and media.

Probably the same number of people in the whole of Dubai as your Chinese city, Nico.
NR: I think there were 80 million people in the area where I was, but unfortunately there were no spectators allowed on the track, so there were just a few guests and journalists. They had never seen a Formula One car before, but there were safety issues.

Coming to the end of this season; it started off very well, but it's gone a bit flat of late. Would you have done things differently in terms of perhaps testing or racing?
NR: No, not at all. Definitely not. From a personal point of view it's been a relatively good season because my goal was to establish myself in Formula One and get a contract for next year which also means that the team believes in me which is very important part and I think that was my goal. So I've achieved that and now it's really all about progressing together with the team which is part of getting a better car for next year also, and progress together, and I really believe we can.

And with that experience, and knowing Lewis Hamilton from your karting days, do you think he deserves to be in Formula One as a race driver next year?
NR: I think he deserves… yes, especially after what we've seen this year in GP2. It's not up to me to decide the way it could go and things like that, they will decide for themselves really what will be the best option.

Kimi, you come here as probably the most successful driver around this circuit, with a second and a third place in the two races we've had so far, so what are your hopes this time?
KR: Hopefully I can do a bit better, but I think it's been quite good for us so we will just do our best and see where we end up.

Do you think you've got a better chance here than in Monza?
KR: I don't know. I think we have something new on the car but I wasn't at the test so I haven't seen the team… I've just arrived here. I will find out tomorrow.

What are your thoughts about your team for next year? About possible management changes? Jean Todt's importance in your career? How much are you going to be leading that team next year, as we've seen Michael do so well?
KR: I don't know what's going to happen next year. So far, I just want to finish this season and do the best I can for McLaren and then we see next year and what's going to happen, but I don't really know.


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