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Canada GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
07/06/2007

Giancarlo, the performance seemed to be better in Monaco. Was that a one-off, or can it continue here?
Giancarlo Fisichella: Hopefully, yes. We are really pushing for that. The team made a big step forward. We are really, really concentrating on a few areas and with the new front wing in Monte Carlo we definitely made a step forward. We finished in front of BMW but it's difficult to say. Monaco is a very different circuit and we are even quite positive for here, but we don't know how it's going to be with a new package for low downforce.

Did the test at Paul Ricard reflect potential performance here as well?
GF: Yeah, Ricard wasn't too bad for us. On the last day I was the second quickest. The car balance was quite good so it looks as if it was working a little bit better even with the level of downforce for Canada and it looks promising, but I can't say if we can be better than BMW or slower. We will see, but I'm quite optimistic.

You've twice been second here and fourth from second on the grid here last year. Is it a circuit you enjoy?
GF: Yes, I've got a good feeling, I've got good memories. I think I've been on the podium four times here and actually I had the first podium of my career here in 1997, so it's a good circuit for me. I don't think it's a simple circuit because the level of grip is quite low, especially in the braking points, the stability of the car is very inconsistent but straightaway I got a good feeling. I feel comfortable on this circuit, and that's good for me.

Giancarlo, can you tell us about the racing school that you've started?
GF: A nice new project. It looks like a very, very nice project. I want to give back to people like me who love this sport, (the opportunity) to learn in that academy what they need to go higher, to improve, to learn everything about this sport, so it's very nice. It doesn't mean anything about my retirement! I still want to go higher in Formula One, for many years. I've got a good staff who can look after my academy at the moment, I've got all my management, so I will just be concentrating on Formula One at the moment.

But you have a racing team in GP2, now the racing school; what other projects?
GF: As I said, I love this sport and I like to be involved so that one day when I stop racing in Formula One to still be in motor racing. I'm happy about that.

Jenson, again, better in qualifying in Monaco; was that a one-off, do you feel?
Jenson Button: Yeah, it was an improvement, definitely. I think we were helped by Kimi hitting the wall in qualifying but even so, the improvement was there, and in the race, you can see that we didn't perform as we expected, we didn't get into the points which I was hoping for. But 19 cars finished and we finished halfway up the grid, which is an improvement for us, plus strategy-wise we didn't have the best strategy. We thought we did, going into the race you always do, but it turned out we didn't. Our results in practice weren't correct, with the tyres and how long they were going to last throughout the race, so we didn't get the strategy quite right, but that's experience for here.

Is the major improvement still scheduled for the French Grand Prix?
JB: Yeah, I think that you're going to see improvements. The good thing is that there are lots of improvements coming throughout the year and they're making a difference. We're not putting things on the car at the moment that aren't working which was happening at the start of the season, but Magny-Cours is the race that I'm personally looking forward to. I think here, where you need a very good car under braking, you need to have confidence in the car. Before Monaco I wouldn't have enjoyed this race but now that we have a car that's a lot more driveable and better under braking, I think that we should be able to have a reasonable result here. We really made a step forward with the car at Paul Ricard. The pace might still not be there but the consistency definitely is and the confidence given to the drivers so it's a good step forward and hopefully we can just build on that over the next few races.

You've had a third here from second on the grid in 2004, pole in 2005, so you've had good form in the past.
JB: Yeah, I've qualified well here. First and second in those two years – I can't remember where I was last year – but it's just turning it into the race result here. It would be nice to get into the points. I know that that's tough at the moment because there's so much competition, especially with the reliability at the moment, it's so good with every team, but we've just got to see if we can get a better result than Monaco, because I think we ended the race thinking damn, we could have got more out of it than we did.

Alex, I'm told it's the tenth anniversary of your debut in Formula One.
Alex Wurz: Yes, thank you for reminding me!

Does it make you feel old then?
AW: No, it doesn't actually. No, not at all. Yeah, it was ten years ago. It seems like yesterday but things have changed since then: some years as test driver, now I'm back racing and in the end, as Giancarlo said, when you like the sport, for me it doesn't really matter how long you're in it. I'm not thinking about age or how many years I'm in it, as long as you feel the fire and you're motivated then it's good to be here.

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