Although the team's overall performance so far has been disappointing, you have driven three aggressive races. How will you be approaching the Spanish Grand Prix?
Giancarlo Fisichella: At the first three races, we managed to get the maximum out of our package, and that was something positive. But we know that the car is not competitive enough yet. The team has been working very hard over the last few weeks to understand the problems, and how to solve them. Personally, my focus is on the race, and on taking every opportunity to make sure we continue performing to the car's maximum.
You said that the team has been working hard since Bahrain. Do you think the R27 will have improved relative to the competition?
GF: We have worked well, and made progress. The test last week gave us the opportunity to find a good set-up with the car, and to work with some new parts. We are going in the right direction, and everybody in the team is very motivated, but our competitors are clearly working hard too and moving forward. The competition is very close at the moment, and we will need to be ready to battle again this weekend.
You know the Circuit de Catalunya by heart after testing here so often over the years. Is it a circuit you enjoy?
GF: It's true that we test here a lot because it's very demanding for the tyres, and also the aerodynamics. It is a very complete circuit, and tough for the cars. From a driving point of view it's a good challenge too, and I always enjoy racing in Barcelona. I finished on the podium in 2006, and set fastest lap in 2005, so it suits me well. The races are always close, and you have to keep the car and tyres in good condition all the way through to get a good result. I'm certainly looking forward to the race.
Heikki, the European season begins with round 4 of the championship in Barcelona. How have you prepared for this race?
Heikki Kovalainen: The main preparation came during testing at this circuit last week. We ran through our usual pre-race programme, working on car set-up, while I focused on my driving, finding the right lines and good braking points. It was our normal series of preparations before we race at a circuit, and of course, we also carried on collecting data to continue the analysis of the problems we have experienced since the start of the year.
What factors do you need to take into account to set-up the car for this circuit?
HK: Barcelona is a very demanding circuit for the car. You need a good chassis balance in the long corners, good aerodynamic grip, and also good mechanical performance – particularly on the exit of the slow corners. The track is very hard on the tyres, and you have to pay attention to the wear levels, particularly on the long runs. With that in mind, you also need to tune control systems such as the traction control properly, in order to be quick over a full race distance.
The circuit was modified during the winter. Does the new layout change much for the drivers?
HK: A little bit, but it's not too significant. The main thing is that you need to pay even more attention now, because the new part of the circuit is more slippery than the rest of the circuit and that can catch you out. Overall, though, it's not a big change: it means the circuit has more corners than before and it's quite fun to drive!
How do you expect the car to perform this weekend in Spain?
HK: When we tested at the track last week, the car seemed to be working quite well. The new parts have helped us make a small step, so hopefully it will be enough compared to our immediate competitors. Clearly, it is going to be another hard-fought weekend at such a demanding track, but we will be pushing to the maximum – and trying to get everything out of the car during qualifying and the race.