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Monaco GP: Wednesday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
21/05/2008

Nelson, your feelings about this circuit. Is it a home circuit for you?
Nelson Piquet: A little bit, yes. Obviously, I know the place quite well. I lived here for eight years until I was eight and then I went to Brazil. I feel quite comfortable here and have a few friends. I know the place quite well. It is different coming here than other grands prix. At other grands prix we know some cities just by going there every year. This one I know a bit more by living and knowing the streets and knowing the good places to eat. Even having friends and being able to call somebody and go to their house. It is just a little bit different for me.

What are the feelings about the race itself and the circuit when you are driving around and there is absolutely no margin for error? How do you approach this race?
NP: The first time I drove here I felt quite comfortable. I thought it was going to be tough but I mean I drove Macau in F3 and you know how tough a street circuit can be. Monaco is tough but the average speed is much lower than Macau, so I find it quite good. It is a nice, twisty little circuit. It is not too quick and obviously the quicker the track is, the more difficult it is, especially street circuits. It is not too bumpy. Every year they try to make the surface the best they can. I didn't drive here last year, so I don't know how it is but from 2006 the track was pretty good. I feel really good. I like driving here.

The track wasn't very kind to you in GP2.
NP: No, that's true. The first race I had to stop because of failures. But I still like it. I just need to put things together and hope the result will come.

Do you approach it at all with any caution?
NP: Obviously you need to have a little bit of strategy. In the first practice if you damage the car you are probably going to lose the second one, so you need to be a bit careful and know when to risk at the right time. The grip on the track is going to be really poor at the beginning and lap after lap it is going to be quicker and quicker. There is a right moment when to push and having a crash here is normal as you try and find the limits. If you are lucky you don't, but I think it is natural for the driver to push trying to find the limits. I remember Lewis Hamilton last year having an accident. I think Giancarlo did as well. It is natural and normal trying to find the limits and pushing to the edge.

Sebastien, I guess it is a while since you've seen anything like Monaco? Is there anything similar in the United States at all?
Sebastien Bourdais: Obviously, there are a lot of street courses in the States but none really compare to what we have here. It is a very challenging and interesting one. It has been quite good to me in the past. I have always been very fast here and liked it. It is not France but as close as it can be without being France. I think it is a very special venue for me and obviously I want to do well. Toro Rosso have the new car here and we will see how it shakes up. But hopefully we will have a good weekend.

You can remember it from the F3000 days, can you?
SB: Yes, it is difficult to believe that it was six years ago as it feels like it was yesterday. It was a great weekend in 2002 and it would be awesome to have that kind of weekend again. I am not dreaming but definitely the new car seems to be a good step forward and we will see where we are after qualifying.

A lot of people would say it is a big risk bringing a new car to Monaco.
SB: The big risk is if you wreck it and you don't have any spares. That's the risk, but I think it is not more risky to bring the TR3 than the TR2B. We have spare parts, so we can make one or two mistakes but not too many, so that kind of dictates how the weekend goes for us. If you make one you know that your joker is out and you have got to be careful.

We are nearly a third of the way through the season. How do you feel about your first few races in F1?
SB: It has been interesting. I think we had an awesome start to the season in Melbourne, at least the race. Then we were quite clearly lacking pace to be in the top 10. Hopefully this is the second start for us for the season and things can turn around a bit and we can be a bit more competitive.

Giancarlo, this is your 200th grand prix. How does that sound?
Giancarlo Fisichella: It is a special race for me. First of all because I love Monaco. It is one of my favourite circuits and it is going to be my 200th grand prix. It is a special race and I am looking forward to it. I hope to do well and it would be nice to score some points but it is going to be very difficult.

What chances have you got of scoring points?
GF: It is maybe going to be the best chance to score some points and to get into the top 15 in the qualifying session which is our target at the moment. I think the top 15 is possible but scoring points is going to be difficult. We will see. At least on Sunday it is going to be wet and that is another good chance.

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