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Spain GP: Ferrari press conference

NEWS STORY
13/05/2007

Could you talk us through how you've regained your speed, because on Friday it looked maybe not as quick as you'd been in testing, on Saturday a bit quicker, and today very quick
Luca Baldisserri: Well, the track conditions since the test, has changed quite a lot, on Friday, and we were forced to re-adapt the car set-up to these different conditions, a lot less grip. For some reason, on the first day of practice last week, the track was really really grippy and we had to adapt… we had a lot more performance to be honest. You've seen the times. Again, I want to remind you that performance of the car is always related to the amount of fuel that people chose to run and we think our friends on Friday were a little bit lighter than us, so that's the reason. If you only look at the lap times, that's what the classification reflects.

We've seen Felipe drive faultlessly for the last two races. How do you think he's come on over the winter? Could he drive any better, do you think he's driving as well as he can at the moment?
Mario Almondo: A driver is never driving in a perfect way. We have marginal improvements, we are going continuously through the methodology of improving the performance of our drivers and we did that with Kimi, with Felipe and they are quite keen to follow our methodology of exploring the margin of improvement that they have but it's not just a matter of improvement of their driving style. Of course it's something that is of course, combined with the characteristic of the car, of the package, of the tyres so from race to race, and getting experience with this new car and with this new type of tyres, I have to say that we are doing a decent job but we also know that we could do it better and we are planning some action in order to still improve.

Regarding the speed of Felipe today, what do you think would have been possible for Kimi in the race?
Luca Baldisserri: Yeah, unfortunately with Kimi we had the failure and we had a DNF so we were not able to give him a car which could show his performance that was improving since the first three races. I have to say that we are all really happy with the weekend that he's had. Unfortunately he had a small issue on the last lap in qualifying, but I have to say that we were chosing a slightly different strategy and I really think we could have had two Ferrari drivers on the podium at the end of today without a problem.
Mario Almondo: Just to add that Kimi, before the race, was very very happy with the car and the job we did so he was confident in perspective that he had a very good chance to do a very very good race.

How much involvement did Michael Schumacher have with the team this weekend and how did he contribute in driver briefings, engineer talks etc?
Mario Almondo: To have Michael here, a talented driver like him with his huge experience is, I have to say, always very very useful. He's with us and giving us his point of view and the suggestions, throughout the weekend, I have to say, when ever is the moment we are talking and whatever is the subject we are talking about, and we see that consistently he is able to give us a very interesting point of view that is very very useful most of the time. Of course, we can't go into detail but we are happy about that.

Coming back to Kimi, it looked like he was, in the first laps of the race, he was in the first sector as fast as Felipe, but lost some time in the second and especially the third sector. Would you say that was due to the strategy or was it another reason?
Luca Baldisserri: Well, I think he was behind Hamilton, so I don't know how you can say that. He was not able to show his performance. Again, driving in the slipstream of another driver is a bit difficult and in our experience, it's even more difficult. If we are following another car 1.5s behind we just have to keep following, so you are not able to show anything.

How concerning was the situation at the first pit stop with Felipe, how much fuel was spilt, and what was the reason for it?
Mario Almondo: The reason why it happened is something that we still have to check. It's something that sometimes happens. How much fuel went out, a very drops, I have to say. You can see that after a few meters the first disappeared so I have to say that it is something that can happen. We didn't notice anything particularly problematic on this operation but of course we have to go through it very very carefully.

McLaren is happy that the first corner incident between Felipe and Fernando was just a racing incident but it does show that Massa does have a tough attitude now towards the first corner. Do you think he learned from the criticism he got in Malaysia and do you think he is a tougher character now going into those important first corners.
Mario Almondo: Of course, to be criticised is never fine for any of us. I have to say it can be a reaction to this sort of critics that I received but I think the most appropriate explanation is that Kimi (?) reacted as a driver. Sometimes you can have a first turn that is in your favour as it is in this case and some other times you can do something that is not perfect with an opposite like Alonso of course, if you do not think in a perfect way, the result is that you are behind and not in front.

So McLaren is leading the championship, but in fact if we look at the pace during the race we can see that Felipe could have had 30s or more advantage at the end of the race, so it seems that you really have a much faster car than the McLaren, that the championship is basically yours. What do you think?
Mario Almondo: I think that our level of performance, particularly in terms of pace and during the race is very very good. We are satisfied about that. We are, of course, much less satisfied about our level of reliability that we had up to now and we have to concentrate on that. If I have to give you numbers; 51 percent we have to concentrate on reliability and the other 49 percent is improving performance.

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