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Italian GP: Thursday Press Conference - Part 1


Part 1 of today's press conference with Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Romain, welcome to Monza, but I would like to take back to last weekend in Spa where you scored for the fourth time in the last five races. It seems that you're getting some momentum now in that Haas car, so I just wanted to ask what has changed and why are you happier with it now?
Romain Grosjean: Good afternoon. I think the car has been quick since Melbourne to be fair. In the first part of the season I made some mistake that I shouldn't have done and I got some bad luck as well - there were plenty of times where we could have been in the points. Recently the run is going well and I'm hoping that continues, but to be fair the car has been fast since race one. I think the first races were up and down and they shouldn't have been that way.

Thank you. Sergio, if we could come to you now, please. You were instrumental in saving Force India, so tell us what the result at Spa last weekend meant to you and how it will likely impact on your future with the team?
Sergio Perez: It was great to see everyone so happy after the tension that we had, not knowing what was going on with all the jobs, including mine and so on. So it was great to get that kind of result for the team. It just shows the potential my team has and I was very proud of that performance. In terms of my position it doesn't change. I've got a contract and I keep performing and I keep delivering at my best. I try to score as many points as possible for the team, to try to get us further up on the grid. It doesn't change from that perspective.

Thank you and good luck for the weekend. Kimi, coming to you, a man who is seeking his 100th podium in Formula 1 this weekend. A lot of the tifosi here at Monza will be wondering what you're doing next year, so the inevitable question: when will know more about your future?
Kimi Raikkonen: I don't know. At some point, that's for sure. Probably you can expect anything in here, that's what I've learned over the past, so yeah, we'll see, I don't know.

Do you want to come back for more, Kimi? Are you still enjoying the challenge of Formula 1?
KR: I enjoy the racing; I don't think that's a secret. The rest not, but that's part of the job. Do I want to race? Yes, otherwise I wouldn't be here today. I don't see that's suddenly going to disappear. Who know, it might be, but I doubt it. Like I said, I don't know, so we'll see what happens.

Thank you Kimi, good luck this weekend. Sebastian, thanks for waiting, coming to you now. Spa was a dominant performance by you and Ferrari last weekend. Do you think that pace will translate to Monza this weekend, given the high-speed nature of the track?
Sebastian Vettel: I don't know. I think in the end it was less dominant than you might think. In the end, we did well, and it's good to see that we are able to improve our car. We had some bits and a new engine. So we'll see. Monza in many ways is a bit similar to Spa, but then again obviously if you look at the track and the actual corners, not just the straights, it's quite a bit different. We see in the past, I remember some good races here with great podiums but for sure we want more than a podium, but I think we will see what we get starting tomorrow and getting into the rhythm for the weekend.

Questions From The Floor

(Frederic Ferret - l'Equipe) A question for Kimi and Sebastian. Can you tell us the feeling to be a Ferrari driver at Monza. And another question for Seb, what is the feeling when you win in Monza, even not for Ferrari?
KR: Obviously the driving doesn't change. It's our home grand prix, so it's more busy. We have a lot, a lot of support, a lot of tifosi here, so that obviously makes it a lot different. But if you purely talk pure driving, racing, it's the same job than any other place. It just happens to be our home race. Obviously it's an important race for us, for the team, as any race, but it's for sure special. You feel it straight away when you come here, today or yesterday, in the show in Milan, it's great. Hopefully we get a strong result from the team not just for us but for all the fans and tifosi.

Sebastian winning here at Monza? Of course it's 10 years since your first ever F1 victory?
SV: Yeah, it depends which colour, or which engine you have in the back. I mean the first win was overwhelming in many regards. I didn't realise at the time that I was obviously racing for an Italian team and had a Ferrari engine in the back, so I guess it was sort of OK for the crowd and they were happy too. I thought they were happy because it was me and it was a good race. But then two or three years after I won again in a different colour, they weren't very happy, so I was wondering a bit what's going on, because I hadn't done anything wrong, quite the opposite. The story of Monza is in the heart of Italy and where all the tifosi are. I think the last podiums I had, in the right colour, were quite amazing and obviously it's definitely something I want to achieve, to win here with Ferrari. Others have done it before me and I want to join them.

(Scott Mitchell - Autosport) Romain, Guenther told us earlier that both you guys will have the new floor, after changing last weekend. Can you just explain what the difference was last weekend between then and how you came to the decision to have it on your car here?
RG: Yeah, so last weekend we both had the update on the car and we were not very competitive on Friday, so on Friday night we decided to revert one car to the old spec, just to see the difference and to try to understand and gather a lot of data, which we did. The guys went to the factory and discussed with the aerodynamic department and it was clear that the new package is a good step in a good direction and that we should run it. It does require a bit of adjusting in the set-up, which Kevin did over the weekend using it and which now we know, so I think now we are going to use that new package which should be more competitive.

(Adrian Rodriguez Huber - Agencia EFE) A question for Checo. After all this emotional rollercoaster, what do you expect this weekend here?
SP: Yeah, I think we have a competitive car, we proved that in Belgium. We are coming to a similar track in terms of what you run around here, so I think we should be quite competitive, and the aim is still the same - to try to be the best of the rest and I think we have a good chance of doing that again.

(Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, your greatest feeling here, is it pole in 2006, as you have not won here?
KR: Hard to say. I don't think it's been very good over the years, but I always enjoy coming here. First of all, it's a nice, great circuit, it has a lot of history. It's close by from home, so easy to come. I had some good races here for sure, not perfect. I've been on the podium with Ferrari once or twice. That's been good. Not exactly what we wanted but important, so yeah...

(Dieter Rencken - Racing Lines, Kimi, you've always struck us, over the last 18 years or whatever you've been in F1, as a very private individual, yet you recently authorized a biography. I've read some excerpts that have been translated and it seems to be fairly open about your lifestyle etc. Why are you willing to open yourself to the world like that?
KR: Probably you had a wrong translation. What about that? No, how is it secret, because I lived through it and there have been an awful lot of stories about it, a lot of things. I don't know how you think it's such a secret. I don't think... it's something that I decided to do. It's just a short story until now, it's not such a big thing in my view. Like I said, I lived through it and it just happens to be now it's in a book. Probably most of the things a lot of people know, maybe not all, but I don't feel that there is something different in my view, but obviously probably for you guys it is different.

(Daniel Horvath - Kimi, as the oldest driver on the grid, what's your personal feeling, how long can you perform at this level?
KR: Hard to know. I don't feel that I drive any differently than 10 years ago. I think I drive pretty well, in my books at least, and that's enough for me. I wouldn't be here if I didn't feel I can drive as well as I feel that I should. That my tool to measure and decide when it's enough. Who knows. I don't know. Maybe I wake up one morning and I just don't know how to go fast any more. I don't think there is a time. It's more feelings and how do you feel yourself doing it - good or bad. People always say that the speed will disappear but until this day I feel that it hasn't disappeared for me. But maybe there is a morning you wake up and it's just not there anymore. It could be like that but I don't think you just put a date, you just turn this old or that and it's just not there. If you have it, you have it and if not... that's it.

(Phil Duncan - PA) Seb, do you feel any greater pressure performing in front of the Ferrari fans and how important do you think a win here would be in terms of your championship chances and the momentum that a victory in front of the Ferrari fans would bring?
SV: I don't know. If you win you score more points than others, that always helps. You don't have to be a genius to make that out. Obviously here for us it's a different story, so I think it's a bit isolated from the rest of the year in terms of how special it is for the whole team. There are a lot of friends, a lot of family from all the guys here. We are in Italy, in the home country of Ferrari and I think everybody, not just us drivers, not only the Ferrari drivers, everybody can feel and sense that there is something special going on and I think we have probably the two most special seats this weekend but there are a lot of seats and there will be a lot of people, so to be honesty, looking forward to it. Yesterday was a great way to start the weekend, with the event we had in the city and there were a lot of people and to see how excited they are is definitely different than any other race where I thought people were already excited, but they're more excited here. So looking forward to getting out in the car and just to look for the same sort of satisfaction and feeling we had last weekend. The car is performing so we hope it stays that way and to make it even better.

(Fulvio Solms - Corriere dello Sport) A question for Sebastian. Why after your victory in Belgian nobody in your team, neither you nor anybody else, remembers so big a figure like Sergio Marchionne?
SV: I don't think that's fair from you to say. One is the comments we give in the press but we are aware just how big he has been, not just for our team, but for the whole group behind and obviously knowing him he was a big supporter of Ferrari, of racing, and he was interested in going ahead and at some point you have to let things rest and look forward and I think that's probably the way he wanted it to be and it's probably a sign of respect, that you're not trying to dig something up and especially in times like now, let things rest.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monza, here.


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1. Posted by Canuck, 30/08/2018 23:12

"A typical Kimi witticism moment -- Probably you had a wrong translation. What about that?
Always quotable "

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