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Austrian GP: Thursday Press Conference


Today's press conference with Kevin Magnussen, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergey Sirotkin.

Daniel, it's Red Bull's home race and off the back of a number of competitive showings in recent weeks from the team are you expecting another strong performance here?
Daniel Ricciardo: Yep, yeah, I am. I think we've had good pace... I think this year in general we've had good pace on pretty much all layouts we've been too. I think the races we have finished I think fifth has been the worst on track finish, so we've been there, if not on the podium, then close to it. A few bits of damage last week I think, which cost us the chance of a podium, or cost us a podium I believe, but generally we've been strong. In '16 Max got a podium here, '17 I did, so hopefully for the fans both of us can manage to get on there on Sunday.

Now that's this weekend but obviously a big story so far this year has been talk about your future and last week in the Friday press conference, Eric Boullier admitted that there had been some preliminary talks between you and McLaren. Just how serious has the interest been from other teams in you, and does that delay you making a decision about your future or are you close to making one?
DR: Of course there has been a bit interest. Personally, I want to get something done, ideally before the summer break. More from a personal point of view. I want to go on break with as clear mind, so it feels like a break. I think it was a few years ago when I was making the transition from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, that all happened during the break and it wasn't a fun August break for me, so just from that I would like to get something done. Obviously with Red Bull they've committed to Honda, so they've kind of got all the cards on the table, so I know what I'm getting there, and things are starting to get to a point where I know what's what and hopefully I'll have something soon for everyone.

Thank you. It would be unfair just to ask Daniel that question, so Kevin, moving on to you, how does your future look with Haas at the moment?
Kevin Magnussen: Yeah, no news. They have an option on me and so I don't think there is much chance of me going anywhere else but we'll just take it as it comes, there's no stress at the moment.

Kimi, a question you get every year, how does your future look right now?
Kimi Raikkonen: Same as always, every year. We'll see.

No news about your future then, but this year you've looked comfortable on Sundays and it was your fourth podium of the season last weekend, but you've admitted that Saturday didn't quite go to plan. What have you and the team got to do to make sure Saturdays run a bit more smoothly?
KR: Just do better. Better results obviously and be more further up. Obviously that makes the Sundays a lot easier, especially most of the races it has been very difficult to overtake. The last race was a lot different on that side, so it was also more fun. I think we have been pretty decent all the way through in qualifying, part from the last part, or the last runs, so just need to tidy up a bit.

Kevin, we'll come back to you after the future talks. You have more points now than you had in the last two years combined in Formula 1. Haas has shown some really impressive pace but not always taken all the opportunities, so how high are you aiming this year?
KM: That's difficult to say. On a good weekend our car is good enough for fourth best team and I think what we have to do is eliminate those bad weekends. When it's good, it's good enough for fourth and yeah, Renault are pretty far ahead in the points, but it's still a pretty long season, but they seem to be very consistent and perhaps too consistent for us this year. But we will do our best. As we see at the moment, from fifth down to eighth it's not that spread out, it's very close, so hopefully we can fight for fifth.

Thank you. Sergey, thank you for waiting and welcome to the press conference. It's your rookie season and it probably hasn't gone quite the way you envisaged at the start of the year. Have you been able to enjoy the way this season has gone so far?
Sergey Sirotkin: For sure, it didn't really go in a way we all really hoped in the winter. So, for sure in some terms I could enjoy it a bit more, a bit more fighting for the points, fighting for good results, fighting at least other cars on track, which unfortunately sometimes we are not able to do now. But, you know, it's a different challenge. The challenge, how I look at that, is the work back at the factory, where I feel like I can play my role. I can play my role in trying to the united with the team, be one of them, work with them, to get over the difficult moments and to get success after it. I still do enjoy this side of the story, but for sure it's not really how we came into the winter tests and how we tried to approach it. But we are where we are now and I still try to enjoy just the fact of being here. I try to enjoy racing. I think as soon as you start to think too much about where you are, how far you are in the field, that's the point where it becomes difficult. So far now I just try to focus on something that I really like to do and something where I can play my role in the team and help them to get over. It's a different enjoyment but it's still enjoyment.

You mention the work back at the factory but right now we're in the middle of three consecutive races. Is that something that makes it hard to see progress for Williams when it is that relentless?
SS: Yes and no. Obviously this race is going to be a tough one for us. You saw that on the results that the Williams wasn't that strong already [here] last year and I would expect that it is not going to much easier for us than Paul Ricard last week. That's probably like the more negative bit but the good bit is that in the next few weeks we have some good things coming on the car, which we have been working on for quite a while now. I don't want to be too optimistic but we all have high hopes for those bits.

Questions From The Floor

(Scott Mitchell - Autosport) Kimi, I know you get plenty of questions about your future, but there was a link earlier in the week suggesting that McLaren might be interested in your services. I know that a while ago you suggested that you would be happy to see out your career with Ferrari or would you entertain the prospect of continuing in F1 with another team?
KR: I don't know really. I said, I think it was 2007 already, that I would finish Ferrari and obviously at some point it didn't look like that and now it looks like that again. You never know what comes after and this and that, but we will see. As always a lot of talk and I'm not really happy to comment on those. We'll see at some point what happens, including me. Let's wait and see.

(Dan Knutson - Auto Action and Speedsport) Kimi, in France, with Vettel on the back foot, you were free to run your own race. Was that more fun, to be able to race for yourself and not have to play a team strategy?
KR: I don't... how you tried to ask it is probably a bit wrong. I think really it comes to how the circuit was and how we could race against each other and actually overtake. If you take a couple of recent races, you haven't been able to overtake really; everybody has been pretty much following each other. I think in that part, for whatever reason, we were able to race than say a couple of races before. Obviously what happened in the race, we were racing two different between ourselves so it was all normal. I don't think that really made it certainly different, him being in front of me or behind. I think it was the case of actually being able to overtake and race wheel to wheel with people, that was the most fun for a while.

(Peter Vamosi - Daniel, have you ever thought on a shoey with Prince Albert in Monaco, because Christian Horner told you do this on the team radio?
DR: Taking it back! It's good memories. I might start celebrating again actually, it feels good. He was pushing for me to do one with Prince Albert, but the problem is that I live there, in Monaco, and I just thought if he doesn't like it then maybe I'd have some residential problems, so better that I play the game and be respectful.

(Andrea Tajthi - My question is for Kimi. It seems that your wife means to starts to collect your podium caps. She already has a third place and second place caps. Do you want to also give here a first place cap also, in the near future?
KR: Obviously, I'm happy to give it, if we get it, but the cap is not the reason to try to win or not to win. We keep trying and hopefully we'll get there.

(Daniel Horvath - Question for Kevin. Kevin, we are almost halfway through the season and it seems like it is your strongest year so far in Formula One. How could you evaluate your season so far?
KM: Yeah, I think it's been a pretty good season so far. The car is better this year than last year. I don't think... well, in Formula One I haven't had this good and competitive a car since my first year with McLaren. It's really good. It's a lot more fun going racing when you know you have a car you know can fight for points and top fives on a good day. So yeah, I'm enjoying it a lot. I think part of the reason... obviously, the car is better but this is my second year with Haas as well, and it's the first time in my career, my whole career, even before Formula One that I've spent a second year in the same team. It's a big advantage knowing everyone, and more so just having that experience together. So, y'know, every race when you go into the race preparing, you can look back at a race that you did with the same people, and almost the same car. There's a lot of experience there in the second year that is a big advantage as well.

(David Croft - Sky Sports F1) Question for Kimi, really simple one Kimi, have you or any of your representatives had a chat with anyone at McLaren regarding the possibility of driving for them next season, whether you're interested or not.
KR: I spoke to them, for sure, but in the past a lot obviously when I used to be there. Like I said, I have zero interest to get involved in all the nonsense, in my view.

Has anyone had a chat regarding next season?
KR: You would like to know, would you? You can take it as you want. I don't think you anyhow ask our opinions about a lot of stuff you guys write, so, it goes either way, you can put yes or no. You usually write what you decide yourself, whether it's true or not!

Check out our Thursday gallery from Spielberg, here.


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