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Russian GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
08/10/2015

Daniil, can we start with you. Your home race, obviously. Last year you had a great qualifying performance in fifth and this year you've finished six of the last seven races in a higher position than you started, so with the soft and supersoft combination of tyres we saw in Singapore, do you feel this should be another chance for a podium?
Daniil Kvyat: Well, first of all, I think it's nice to be home in Russia and it's great to have a home grand prix I think, so we can feel the support from the local fans. Talking about our chances, I think obviously it's not the easiest track for us, probably it's not suiting us as good as Singapore or Hungary, but I still think that as has been proven you always have to keep pushing and things can come towards us. There are a few long straights here, which probably don't suit us so well, however we will keep pushing; we will try to maximise our potential, find the right compromise and who knows what can happen in the race.

You're now the most successful Russian driver in Formula One history but the future of Red Bull's teams is hanging in the balance. Have you been given any assurances for 2016?
DK: Well, you know, I think there have been some rumours in the media and stuff like that. Obviously not the nicest things to hear about your own team, but you know, my job is to try to drive the car that I have as fast as I can and that's what I want to focus on first of all and the other things that are hanging in the air, as you said, I think they are up to other people in our team and I trust them 100 per cent, on what they are doing and I rely on them for these kind of questions, 100 per cent.

Thank you very much. Fernando, coming to you: celebrating your 250th grand prix entry this weekend, congratulations for that. You started 12th in the last two races, the team's best of the season. What are you going to be working on this weekend and at the remaining events this season?
Fernando Alonso: Well, I think it's going to be more or less the same at the remaining races: trying to get some more information about the car and more philosophies on the car to set up for next year as well. So, some interesting things that we would like to test in these races and keep helping also Honda in terms developing the power unit: the driveability, reliability as well, that we had some up and downs during the season. But as you said the last two races were probably the most competitive ones for us, Singapore and Japan, so hopefully keep going in the same direction, just better. It's not too difficult as we start quite low, but it seems we are making some good progress, so we need to keep going like that.

Obviously the big talking point were the radio messages during the race in Japan. Did you think they were going to remain private and what kind of reaction have you had from Honda?
FA: Yeah, of course. Obviously we have been all season very positive, about the team and about the car, we faced some difficult times, some tough times, all the team and what you talk on the radio should remain private because you are talking with your team not publically. I think publically, as I said, we have been very, very positive all the time. You know sometimes it's normal and understandable, talking to the team, you know the level of frustration and the level of commitment that I have for racing and Jenson has for racing as well, when you are battling and you cannot hold anyone behind and you are losing positions is normal. But as I said, this is a very unique sport, that we have a microphone in our helmet and it goes live on television. Imagine in NBA or football players or something like that what we can find. This is normal and it's just talking to the team, it's understandable the frustration with the car.

Thanks very much. Coming to you Nico: Constructors' Championship within Mercedes' grasp here. Second year in a row you can clinch the Constructors' this weekend here in Sochi. What are your thoughts on that?
Nico Rosberg: Yeah, it is one of the aims of this weekend, to try to clinch that. Special to be able to do it again in such a manner, such a dominating manner. Really awesome job by the team. And again to have the chance to close it down so early. But, of course Ferrari has been strong recently, very, very strong even, so we need to be cautious, we still need to work hard, get the best out of it but of course we're optimistic.

Now, last year this race on a new track didn't turn out as people expected in terms of how the way the track performed with the tyres etc - you did almost the whole race on one set of tyres. With the tyres that have brought along this year what kind of race weekend can we expect? Can you give us your analysis of what lies ahead?
NR: Yeah, it is quite particular, because the asphalt is very special here. It is quite different. Therefore there are some new challenges you need to handle. Also the tyres being softer is going to different again to last year, because last year there was hardly any degradation, I did the whole race without any pit stop, or with one on the first lap, and it's going to be quite different. Again we need to adapt to the new situation, so it could be an interesting one.

Romain, coming to you, obviously since Suzuka you've been announced as a Haas driver for 2016. What does the next three years look like for you?
Romain Grosjean: Hopefully pretty successful! It was a great opportunity I had to join Haas. As I've said, leaving Enstone is going to be, from an emotional point of view, quite hard because I've spent ten years there. I think Fernando knows how it is in this team: very, very strong group of people. On the other hand, from a sporting point of view, I think the way Haas is coming to Formula One is very, very clever. He's been successful in his business, he's been successful in NASCAR. Coming alongside Ferrari - which is probably the biggest team in Formula One - makes sense, and for me to have a new experience with an American team can be very, very nice.

You've qualified in the top ten at the last five races. Obviously we know of the problems going on in the background with your team at the same time all the other teams are still developing etcetera, etcetera. How have you and the team managed to do that, given the relative circumstances?
RG: I think, as I say, Enstone is quite a particular team in a way, the people stayed united and very strong together. I think the funniest part was not having any hospitality in Japan. It didn't matter at the end because what we want to do at the end is to do our performance, we want to race, we want to race hard and go for it and that's what we do. Just focussing on what you can do, what you can change and forgetting the outside part of it is the key. We have done it pretty well, with some fun and hopefully, with five races remaining, we can do some good stuff.

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