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British GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
02/07/2015

Valtteri, why don't we start with you? You finished second here last year from, I think, 14th on the grid - equal best result so far in Formula One, your finish. Is this one of your favourite tracks?
Valtteri Bottas: Well, it's one of them, definitely. It's one of these old school tracks and really high speed, so it's always really fun to drive here. I think it should be good for our car as well, like we saw last year. We had some new bits for Austria and I think they should work maybe slightly better here, so looking forward to the weekend.

Well, podiums for Williams at the last two races, but can you tell us a bit more about why you think your car particularly suits this circuit and the things that you're bringing here that are going to help that?
VB: Long straights - that's where we have been strong the last one-and-a-half years and I think we've been this year pretty good in high-speed corners as well and probably the updates we had in Austria... they definitely created more downforce but maybe were a bit too draggy for that circuit. Maybe we can make better use of that and if we just get everything right it could be a strong weekend but let's see.

Jenson, coming to you, this year I think it's fair to say it's been ‘hard yards' as we say here in England, but does racing here on home soil raise the spirits a bit?
Jenson Button: It does. Every race that we race in is a special race, you can find reasons to be excited, but when it's your home grand prix it's always very special. The British fans and public whether it's raining, 32 degrees, there's a British guy at the front or a British guy at the back, they will always be here to support us, which is fantastic. It's always a very, very special atmosphere here and I'm really looking forward to the weekend.

World champion drivers are obviously leaders within a team. What's the message to Honda and the McLaren management? What strategy do you want to adopt in terms of performance, reliability and what would be a win at the moment?
JB: Well, first of all I don't think a press conference is the best place to do that, you know. We are one team and we work together and if we have issues we talk amongst ourselves and that's the only way to improve a situation. The confidence is high within the team. You might say why is that, as the last two races have been very difficult, which they have, but there is a massive belief within the team that we will improve. There is a lot in the pipeline. I don't want to look too far into the future, you know, I'm on of those people that wants to live in the moment and do the best I can right now. It's the British Grand Prix, in front of them home crowd and I'm really looking forward to it and I will maximise what we have this weekend.

Thank you for that. Kimi, coming to you, the GPDA fans' survey revealed that you are the most popular Formula One driver it would seem, amongst those polled. What's your reaction to that?
Kimi Raikkonen: I think it's a good thing. I would rather take the fans than not having them. Obviously, some people... maybe I was lucky that they were ones that answered the survey, but I'm happy to have fans and obviously that's a good thing.

What do you think it is about your character that appeals to them?
KR: You'd have to go and ask them who voted, so...

There's a few too many to do that I think. The team is telling us that retaining your seat for next season is in your hands, do you feel you are on the right track to meet their targets.
KR: I don't know. Obviously they'll make the decision. We try to do good races. Obviously the last race was a bit difficult but that's part of the game, sometimes you have that. Who knows: I don't know anything more than you guys, so I will know hopefully at some point what will happen. There are always speculations to start off the year and it's always the same stories. It doesn't really surprise me a lot so let's see what happens.

Thanks. Marcus, coming to you, you edged it over your team-mate in Canada, he edged it over you in Austria, describe the duel between you this season at Sauber and what the atmosphere is like within the team.
Marcus Ericsson: The atmosphere is good. I think me and Felipe are working well together. Obviously he has had the upper hand so far but I'm looking to change that, working hard for that. Now, coming to Silverstone, it's one of my favourite tracks, I really enjoy driving here, some really great corner combinations, so hopefully I can fight back and have a good weekend.

It looks like Sauber has been caught after that strong start, with the big points finished in the early races - only one points finish in the last five races for the team. Do you have some answers up your sleeve in development terms for the second half of the season and how much of a boost do you think Mark Smith, the new technical director, will be?
ME: I think we knew that the summer would be a bit difficult for us; we have a big upgrade coming after the summer. We are hurting a bit at the moment with people bringing updates to the recent races and we lost a bit of touch to some of them. But I think still we showed in Austria last time out that if we maximise what we have we can still be competitive and fight in the midfield, so that's what we needs to focus on doing. On Mark Smith, obviously I worked with him a bit last year at Caterham and I have a very positive feeling with him joining the team. Obviously he's not going to be able to much short-term, but I think in the longer term he is a very good person to have in the team, with his experience, so it's a good thing for Sauber.

Pastor, points scored in the last two races but you've never scored points at Silverstone, amazingly. Looking to put that right this weekend?
Pastor Maldonado: I hope so. Do my best.

How did you leave it with Max Verstappen after the battle in the last race, in Austria? Spectacular action on track. How have you left it on a personal level?
PM: I mean it was a great battle. This kind of battle I always enjoy, y'know? This is real fight in Formula One, which is always fair. For sure a couple of times it was very close, because he was trying to put me over the track - but this is part of the race. I really like the stewards that allowed us to race and to have more opportunities to fight in the track. Yeah, it was great. For me it was OK. After that, the race started very badly, we had some problems in the start and then we recovered quite well, thanks to the strategy, thanks to the team as well, and I drove quite well.

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