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Spain GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
10/05/2007

What are your feelings about the changes to the circuit? Is it better for racing, is it better for you drivers?
Vitantonio Liuzzi: It will give more chances for overtaking in the race because we go from a slow corner before the beginning of the straight and I think it might help to make a better spectacle and more fun in the race. Before, for sure, it was more demanding with two high speed corners which was maybe nicer from the drivers' point of view, but it's much better now from a racing point of view.

Rubens Barrichello: I agree with Tonio. I think it might be the case that the racing is better except that we lost two corners that were very challenging and good and if we look back, we've lost so many circuits by doing that, so obviously, if you have the space I would rather have a bit more room for going off or something, but still have those corners that we had. It was the same case in Hockenheim, for example. It was just lovely to be there but we had to improve safety and then we cut the track short. I don't want to see that happening too often, but in the way that is safer now and probably a little bit better for overtaking, I think we have to agree.

Fernando Alonso: Yeah, same thing. I think the last corners were very nice, so we will miss them, for sure. I think the overtaking will be exactly the same this year as last year. If you had a quicker car last year, you could exit from the last corner quick enough to overtake people, and now, if you have a quick car, you can follow maybe someone in the chicane. If the cars are very close together, as we found in the test, fighting with someone, it was impossible to follow anyone in the chicane, so I think the chicane was not made for overtaking reasons. I think it's more for safety issues, so as far as whether it's safer now than before, I'm happy to run with the new chicane. That's the important thing.

Can you follow through the final corner?
FA: The final corner? Yes, but it's not a corner. For us, the straight starts exiting from the chicane because the last corner isn't a corner any longer.

Somebody said you're only about 10km/h slower through the final corner.
FA: I don't know. Maybe.

Felipe Massa: From the driving point of view, it's worse, for sure. It's a new bit of Monte Carlo on the nice Barcelona track, but from the show side of things, it maybe can be a little bit better for overtaking, because it was just impossible to follow another car before because it was not flat, so it was a difficult corner. Now it's easily flat, so now it's a little bit easier to follow the car in front, even without losing speed, so for the show it can be…it's always difficult to overtake in Formula One, but it could be a little bit easier.

Pedro de la Rosa: I think that first of all it's safer, that's something that all the drivers were looking forward to, and secondly I find it allows you to get closer to the guy in front in the last corner which is easily taken flat. Before it was not flat, you were keeping momentum. Now it's acceleration, so it's different. It gives us a slightly higher percentage chance of overtaking to turn one, so overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I like the chicane, actually, the kerbs etc. add some variety to the track as well.

Rubens, you obviously had some problems in the first three races; had those problems been cured when you came here for the test?
RB: No. I think the car is better than ever. Obviously the test and the effort that the team is making with the car had to result in some changes, so I think the car is a little bit better, but everyone improved, so we have to put the car on the track and see what it does. But although we know where the problem is, it's been very difficult to address, even though the team has been working 24 hours a day, flat out, and I think it will be some time before we can sort out the problems, but we have some upgrades such as this one and then we're going to have another for Montreal and then again in France and hopefully by then we will have a competitive car.

How desperate is the team becoming? And how desperate are the drivers becoming?
RB: Well, I don't think it's desperation, it's the fact that we need to work together. It doesn't matter if I get out of the car and say this car is bad. They already know what the car is. We have to be very specific about the problems and to translate that to the engineers and those people who work on the aerodynamics of the car. Being very specific will make the car better, so now that the wind tunnel is working well and so on, we can see that the things that are happening on the track are happening in the tunnel as well, which wasn't the case before, so now we are tracking the problem much better.

So was the basic problem a wrongly calibrated wind tunnel?
RB: No, no, but I think the tunnel is too new for us anyway. We are discovering that. I'm not saying it was wrongly calibrated, I think we had to have a better understanding of what it was giving us but right now it's giving us support, so that's why I can say that I am confident that we can sort out the problem.

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