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Belgian GP: Thursday Press Conference Part 1

NEWS STORY
24/08/2017

Valtteri, you're the top scorer in the last six grands prix on 106 points. Eight more than Vettel, 16 more than Hamilton and the only man to finish on the podium on the last five in succession - the best streak of your career: how much more confidently do you start the second half of the season, compared to the first?

Valtteri Bottas: Definitely it is nicer, the start of the second half than the first half because I started this season with a new team, new environment, there was so many things for me to get used to and to learn, so now I can just get on with it. So, I'm looking forwards to the second half and nice to be back here in Spa.

We're seeing a lot of renewal announcements coming through for Stoffel, we just had him here, Kimi obviously. When can we expect yours?
VB: Well yeah. First of all, congrats to Kimi and Stoffel for that. For me, there's no news yet, and we will tell you the news when there is some.

Kimi, congratulations on your new Ferrari deal. Why is it the right thing for you and your career?
Kimi Raikkonen: Well, I wouldn't do it if I wouldn't want to, and be happy with it and obviously the team feels the same way so, y'know...

You've qualified third or higher on the grid at the last four races and you're tied three-all with Vettel in the last six qualifying sessions and obviously we all saw you had the pace to win in Hungary. Are we seeing the highest level of challenge from your since your return to Ferrari, do you think?
KR: I don't know. It's so difficult to... everybody has their own view of things and obviously we want to do well, we want to improve and I guess you always find things to do better and, that way, find more speed. Lately it's been a bit better, we've been feeling a bit more comfortable and been able to drive as want and obviously the result suddenly looks a bit better. I'm confident we are doing the right things and getting where we want to be.

Felipe, how are you feeling, what was the diagnosis that kept you out of the car in Hungary and are you confident it's all over now?
Felipe Massa: Yeah, I feel good, I feel ready to get back in the car. I had a... I was feeling a little bit dizzy on that weekend. Vertigo is the name of what I had and unfortunately it's the first time I had this. It was a little bit of a strange feeling and unfortunately it happens in a race weekend and keeps me out of the car but I feel good now, ready to get back to the second part of the season and really hopeful we can do good races.

It's been a bonus year in your career in some ways. It was around this time last year that you announced your decision to retire. Has this season given you a second wind. Do you think you'll be staying on again for 2018.
FM: Well, I was quite happy to be honest, in the way I was driving the car. The first part of the season, unfortunately I was a little bit unlucky with the result but I was quite happy with the way I am driving the car. And when I see that, I don't see the point not to carry on. So if I have an opportunity to stay in the position I believe is correct for me to stay, yes I believe maybe I can stay for another season. Otherwise not. I'm quite relaxed about my future in one way or the other, to be honest. So I think maybe just thinking about the races and we'll see what happens.

Questions From The Floor

(Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Sera) To Kimi, do you think the Ferrari looks more at the experience you can grant, or that you are able to bring harmony inside the team?
KR: You'll have to ask them. Honestly, the only thing is I was interested to be here next year. I didn't really care what the rest is thinking. Obviously the team feels the same way. What is the reasons... you'll have to go and ask them. I don't know what else I could say.

(Livio Oricchio - GloboEsporte.com) Valtteri, everybody says that the circuit seems to be more adapted to your car than the Ferrari but on the other hand, Pirelli surprised everybody by using the ultrasoft tyres here. In this competition, what do you project for your weekend here?
VB: I think we are more confident coming to this race than, for example, a track like Budapest. I think we have seen that on the very high downforce tracks Ferrari is very strong. They've been not bad at any circuit so we don't feel that we are favourites or anything but we feel we can be reasonably strong here and I'm sure it's going to be another tight battle and with the tyre compounds, luckily it's not quite as hot as last year so the soft compounds can actually be very good but it's (inaudible) to predict really so we will see once we have started practice and see how the tyres work. But I personally always rather go softer than too hard with the tyres so I'm happy for the decision.

(Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) To Valtteri and Kimi: two Finns on the podium in two successive races for the first time ever. Would it mean anything to you to make a new kind of history with a hat trick?
KR: Obviously we must try to win races. If you don't get that then you get the next positions and would it really make us happier? I don't think I know. I think you're happy if you win but less if you come second or third but obviously it's been great for Finns, for us, but I don't think it's something that you aim to purposely do or you get more satisfaction from that I think is purely if you do better than worse.

VB: Yeah, I think definitely to finish one-two would be better than two-three so but yeah, we are always there to try and win the race and not really focus on who is third or second. Of course, it would be nice.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Spa, here.

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