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Canada GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
07/06/2008

Pat, I can remember in Barcelona you were very happy as you felt you'd taken a step forward. In Monaco you were going to spring a surprise. What's been going on?
Pat Symonds: I never said we would spring a surprise in Monaco.

Somebody did.
PS: On the car we certainly had some improvements in Barcelona. I think the car ran well in Turkey as well. And Monaco was a very strange race. It is hard to read a lot into that. We are still confident that we made a step in Barcelona, there is no doubt about that I think. It is not a big enough step yet and we are not really clear of that midfield. We are certainly not fighting at the front and that's what we are after, so we are a still working at it and we still want to make the car better. There is a lot to do.

What is the next step There is a test next week. Will you have some new bits there?
PS: It's Barcelona next week. More bits there. Every week there are new bits on the car, new bits we are testing. Some aerodynamic updates for the French Grand Prix, some quite big ones, so keep on moving.

What about Nelson? What can you do to help him?
PS: I think we need to support him. It is very easy to be critical of drivers in a situation like that and I think people have very short memories in motor racing. Of course you can look back exactly a year, to this very event, to the problems Heikki Kovalainen was having. He was having a dreadful season and really finding it difficult. I think on the Saturday in Montreal last year it was very hard to imagine a driver having a worse day. He had two big accidents, one in qualifying and he finished fourth in the race and he never looked back from that Sunday onwards. So much is in a driver's psyche that once they break through there is no stopping them. What we have got to do with Nelson is help him break through that barrier. Just one good result and it will come on from there.

Do you remember what you did with Heikki a year ago?
PS: Yes.

Are you going to tell us?
PS: No.

Fernando, tell us about the track conditions today.
Fernando Alonso: I think we had a little bit of everything. This morning a wet track to start with and it was dry just for the last 10 minutes but it was not completely dry, so we found a different track in the afternoon with more normal conditions. It was okay, a normal Friday in Canada with a slippery track and we tried to put some rubber down with the laps. I am sure during the weekend it will be better and better every lap we do on the track.

So what is your personal thing going with turn two?
FA: Well, probably I tried to be too quick. It is time to try new things. I spun two times there. The second one was the unlucky one as I put the rear tyres on the kerb, so I could not start again and I finished the session there. But better that these things happen today and not on Sunday.

There are a lot of words being written about what you might be doing in the future. What is your own personal comment on that?
FA: Nothing really. The same comment as always. It is too early to speak about the future and too early for me to think about the future. It is only the sixth or seventh grand prix of the championship this year and there is a long way to go to the end. First of all I want to improve the results and the performance we are having now. The aim for the next two or three months is to be closer and closer to the podium which is the real target. There is enough to do to reach this target that I don't want to lose too much time on the future.

David. You went to Dover to see the NASCAR race. Can you tell us a little bit about your impressions of that style of racing?
David Coulthard: I have watched it on television and have always enjoyed the spectacle. It is obviously a lot easier to see all the action if you are standing inside a one mile oval than it is standing at a grand prix track. The challenge the drivers have there is that there is a lot more going on – 40 odd cars on track, a lot more incidents and accidents and pit stops and all the rest of it. It is just a different type of motor racing. It probably goes on a bit too long, it was like four hours of racing. I don't know how anyone can sit and watch it for that long but I am sure for the drivers it is good fun.

What are your feelings about this season so far?
DC: Well, I am clearly disappointed not to have scored any points. That's the way it goes sometimes. I've obviously been involved in a few incidents which is unusual but again when you are in what I call the ugly part of the grid there seems to be a lot more contact. And clearly the goal is to keep out of that. In the first six races I have been in the top 10 three times in qualifying and clearly that is the key area to be to avoid a lot of the concertina effects especially somewhere like here in Montreal. We have seen that many years with cars getting out of position.

And your feelings about today?
DC: As Fernando said it was a normal Canada Friday with the exception of some wet running thrown in. The track is pretty green but that is the usual gig especially when you come from Monaco as you have got a lot more speed on the car and a lot less downforce, so stopping it through the chicanes is a bit more of a challenge. Usually the cars that have good kerb ride tend to show their lap time here and the grid can be a bit more spaced out, so we just need to review our performance after qualifying tomorrow and hopefully we will have a strong one.

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