Post-race press conference with Stefano Domenicali


Stefano, your drivers qualified 6th and 14th and they finished the race sixth and ninth. Can you just go through each driver's races for us?
Stefano Domenicali: Well, of course it was a very difficult race today. The main problem for that was because really our tyres were not working. We were not able to put them in the right temperature to generate the grip and to be fast. We've seen that, for example, at the end when things were different, that Kimi was able to go quicker and quicker and quicker because he said we were having another car, but unfortunately that was the situation. With regard to Felipe, he did a great race. If you think he theoretically lost a position but in that condition of the traffic, with the spray that he lost in the first stint… sorry, the other ones that were on a one stop strategy came in and changed to the right tyres straightaway, because they were in the right window, so he was behind them and was not able to attack because of the things that we said before.

Concerning Felipe, there was an engine change just after qualifying before the race, can you tell us why?
SD: We had a doubt on that engine, because we didn't understand exactly if we could have a problem, it was nothing related to the conrod situation, I would say, but instead of risking something in the race like it was this morning before starting Felipe sixth and Hamilton 15th we decided to use the joker today.

Could you give us a comment on the winner?
SD: Really, congratulations to the Scuderia... sorry, I always say Scuderia Ferrari Marboro because we are giving the engines to them, to Toro Rosso because they did an extremely fantastic job. They deserve it, they are close to us, we are happy to work with them because we are giving them our engine and to Sebastian Vettel because he drove perfectly and he was able to do a fantastic qualifying yesterday and he was able to do a good race today without taking any risks, above all at the beginning in the difficult conditions, so a really great job.

Stefano, considering the gap that Felipe had over Lewis at the start, do you feel that he missed an opportunity to help his championship?
SD: For sure, as we said, this morning, considering that Lewis was 15th, it would have been much better for us to gain more points than only one, but that's the reality, so at least that's in a way half of a positive thing that we can say after this race. We take away one more point to the leadership of the drivers' championship but for sure, considering the situation this morning, we could have done better but going back to the situation today, it could have been worse. If we had been unable to use the tyres in the better way, maybe there were other drivers who could have been able to pass us.

Stefano, given that Felipe Massa is just one point behind Lewis, Kimi Raikkonen has fallen 21 points behind, do you think it's time for the team to throw their weight behind Massa with only four races remaining to help him win his drivers' championship?
SD: I've always said that our main interest is the team. Of course, that's the most important thing and the drivers know it. At this moment, at this stage, you can see that we haven't, in our situation, taken away points from one to the other, and for sure, considering from now up to the end of the season, in the way that it's possible to do, of course Kimi will do his best to be as aggressive as possible but also consider the fact that Kimi (Felipe) is much closer to the leader, Lewis.

This was the ninth time in 13 races that Kimi drove the fastest lap of the race. At the same time, he had problem with his tyres, also today. What does that tell you about the car; is the characteristic of the car very difficult this year, and can you give us an explanation why this can happen?
SD: Yeah, unfortunately with the fastest lap in the race we are not in GP2, we are not scoring any points, but what you're saying is true. Unfortunately there is a characteristic of the car that is maybe not able to generate in certain in conditions the right temperature for the tyres to be able to work and that's the main issue that we have. We have seen, both with grooved tyres in Germany and here in Monza with this temperature and with this condition and unfortunately there is only one more test that we can do and that is next week in order to see what we can do in order to improve the situation for the last four races of the season and then the other and most important thing that we have to think is really how we want to attack this problem for the future, that means for next year's car that is a completely different project, that we need to make something that will help the tyre to work in these conditions, because we will have it, for sure.

If the championship is decided in rainy races, does it make Hamilton a favourite to win the drivers' series?
SD: I don't know, for sure Hamilton did a very good race today, a fantastic race, he was very very fast and above all very very consistent. I don't know because in rainy conditions you may have not only the technical side to control, you may have different situations that you have to handle, so for sure it's not really the atmosphere that we would like to race with, with rain and cold but we cannot do anything about that so the only thing we have to do is work very hard and see what we can do to improve our situation in these conditions.

On the 22nd we've got the appeal hearing in Paris. I wonder what your views on that hearing are and also will you and your drivers be going to it?
SD: I think that because it's still open as you know, we have the appeal and so I cannot say anything about that, it's not correct. We have seen that. We will receive all the documentation tomorrow, I think, so after that I can see what will be our position. But I think that, as a general comment, I saw a lot of comments after this incident, starting with England, of course, then you see what was the position of the driver and then you see what was the position of everyone. Every part that is involved in this may think in a different way. Today we saw that for example, we had to give back the position to Rosberg after a long time and we did it, that's it.

Before this weekend, Bruno Senna had spoken to nine of the ten teams. Had that situation changed after this weekend?
SD: No.

You haven't spoken to Bruno Senna's management at all this weekend?
SD: No.

On Friday you announced that Kimi Raikkonen had extended his contract with the team. Can you just explain the background and why that process was done this weekend, and were there ever any doubts about keeping him on for longer?
SD: It was something that we had already discussed since a long time. Normally here in Monza we used to announce something and that was keeping up that tradition and really that was the situation.

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    Published: 14/09/2008
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