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China GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
16/10/2008

Fernando, you come off a roll of two wins. What are your feelings about this race?
Fernando Alonso: Hopefully we can do well here. Obviously the victory I am still thinking is very far and we are not as quick as maybe the contenders for the win here but we can do a good job again and take hopefully many points for the team. I think the car is really nice to drive now in the last month and a half, so I don't see any reason that here we will not have a competitive car. But as I said maybe not for the win but hopefully the podium will be our target.

Tell us about the continuing development of the car that has helped to make it a winner?
FA: We have been introducing new parts at every race but some of them were a little bit better from a performance point of view but some of them were not so good, so you know I think we are still not completely sure how the car changed dramatically in the last couple of weeks. We introduced a new front wing but I think it is something more than that. You know, little things in the set-up as well, I think, helped us a lot. We found some new way to set up the car in the last couple of races and it seems to work fine, especially in the long run pace in the race, so we will keep this set-up for sure for this race.

What about the challenges of this circuit?
FA: I think turn one is our main challenge from a driver's point of view because it is a very long corner that you need to guess more or less to turn in and you need to continually downshift all the way through turn one and you can make good time there. Also there is the very long straight at the back. You need to have a good exit from the corner before but I think it is very similar for everybody and the set-up of the car can also be crucial here as it is a very, very long straight and you need to take some downforce off but you need the downforce in the corners, so you need to find the compromise.

Kimi, a winner here last year and three times on the podium. What are your thoughts about this race?
Kimi Raikkonen: It is nice to come back here. I have had some good races in the past here but hopefully we can have similar achievement this year but we need to see what we can do.

It is your birthday tomorrow, what is the best present you could give yourself or could be given to you?
KR: Like I said, hopefully I can challenge for a win. The car is definitely improving and it is better for me but we are still not exactly where we want to be. But this is a different place from the last circuit. Last year we had a good time and hopefully this year we can again.

Is qualifying going to be any better for Ferrari than, say at Fuji?
KR: I mean at Fuji I had a pretty okay qualifying but then it didn't work out in the race as well. For sure qualifying for all the teams is going to make a big difference and if you are driving behind cars it is going to be difficult to get past anybody.

Lewis, dramas last weekend and last year here as well. What are the lessons you have taken from last year and last weekend?
Lewis Hamilton: I think from last year it is just keep your head up, things happen and I guess to avoid the gravel trap here. I think from last weekend there are quite a lot of positives I took from the weekend and I move forward, put that in the past. The team remain positive. We make mistakes together as a team and we move on together, so onwards and upwards for us.

Has your approach changed from last weekend to how you approach this weekend's race?
LH: No.

So what is the general approach then?
LH: The same as always. We come here and we are going to try and do the best job we can. The car is very competitive and we were very quick here last year but we should perhaps be a little bit more competitive this year with the good car that we have. But it is going to be a very tough weekend without a doubt, so we will try and do the best job we can.

Renault have won the last two races. Do you regard them a threat to your championship hopes?
LH: They have obviously done a fantastic job and it is great to see them doing so well. You can see how hard they have worked over the last two years, so it is not a surprise to see them doing well. They are a great team and I am sure they are going to be pushing us hard throughout the weekend.

Robert, this hasn't been a very good circuit for you in the past.
Robert Kubica: Yeah, if you compare results of the race. I retired when I was leading the race, so that was not bad.

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