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European GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
21/08/2008

A question to you all. Can you give us your impressions of the circuit and Valencia?
Jarno Trulli: So far it is nice, warm and sunny. The circuit looks good but obviously we need to wait until we get into the rhythm of the weekend to understand what kind or what type of circuit it is as we don't know much about it. But it looks pretty good, very well organised and obviously the atmosphere seems great because we are in Spain and for sure we will have a lot of Spanish supporters.

Rubens Barrichello: I love it. I think the facility and the track, the surface, the asphalt, is all fantastic. I mean, well prepared, very, very nice. The only thing I don't like is that the policemen keep on telling me to turn right. My hotel is a five minute walk from here and it takes me half an hour as they tell me to go to Barcelona and come back so that's the only thing I don't think they are very well prepared. Apart from that the whole situation inside of the track is pretty nice.

You are hoping to cut your lap time between hotel and circuit?
RB I hope by Sunday it will take me only 20 minutes.

Felipe, your feelings on what you have seen so far?
Felipe Massa: I think it is pretty impressive, interesting. I think it is a pretty different track than we are used to having on the calendar. You can have maybe some corners which seem to be like Monaco but some very different corners, very long straights which even can be similar to Bahrain for example. I think it is very nice. It will be very, very dirty tomorrow because you can see that the asphalt is very, very slippery and dirty but I think it will be ok. I think it will be nice. I like the city, very nice, so hopefully we can have a nice race for us but also for the people.

Lewis, your first impressions?
Lewis Hamilton: First of all it is great to be here in Valencia. I had a race here in GP2 in 2006 but this is really the first time, apart from the launch last year for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, into the city for me and it is a beautiful place. I think they have done a fantastic job in building the place up. It has got a great hotel and the track looks incredible. I think it looks pretty awesome, so I am looking forward to getting out on it tomorrow.

Jarno, two podiums for Toyota over the last few races. What are your feelings for the rest of the season? Are there developments still coming, what's happening with Toyota?
JT I think the team is doing a very good job this year. We start pretty well and we have always improved the car. The team is keeping on pushing the development work, so I am confident that before the end of the season we can do some good results. There are some circumstances and some circuits where we are extremely competitive like it was in Hungary and Magny-Cours and some others maybe we suffer a bit more but nevertheless I think we will always fight for top 10 in qualifying and our aim is always to score points at every race obviously. Our target will be finishing fourth in the Constructors' championship.

Are there developments still coming?
JT Yeah, even here. We always have some new bits. They are already concentrating on next year‘s car development but they are still pushing on this year's car as obviously the fight for fourth in the Constructors' championship is very tight. We would like to finish fourth.

What is your own situation with the team for next year?
JT We have a contract in place, so we believe we can stay together for next year.

Rubens, you had developments in Budapest but what about the rest of the season?
RB I think in terms of pure developments, aerodynamic and mechanical, that's it. But we have to optimise everything that we brought to Hungary and before. We have new, little things in place. We had a new rear suspension for Hungary but unfortunately we couldn't rig test it before because of lack of time and in these two weeks we could see that there was a big margin for improvement. We are expecting that to work better here. And the spirit is good because although the preparation for next year is already in place, people are working very, very hard with the tools that we have in hand to improve the car. I am definitely looking forward to the end of the season with the tracks that are coming on as we can score points.

There were articles in the press after Hungary that Fernando Alonso would be joining Honda next year. Where does that leave you?
RB I think the team is definitely talking to Fernando but that's the question mark. I have never been so enthusiastic about my whole situation with the team. I left Ferrari because I didn't have the freedom to do what I wanted to do. I have that at Honda but I still have not had the car to perform and I am waiting for that chance. What can I say, but honestly the day that I feel that I am slower than my first race is the day I will call it off and stop. The conversations are there and I am talking to the team, I am talking to all the teams. I want to be racing.

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