Formula 1 Thursday Press Conference – Bahrain
Location – Bahrain
Drivers – Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari) – Fernando Alonso (McLaren) – Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, let’s take a look at the driver press conference with interviews from Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas who are pictured. (Left to right).
Kimi, if we can start with you. It was third place in Australia for the opening and it could have been even better and you said you were happy with the car during the first weekend. Could you just tell us what about this car you like and does it suit you more than last year’s car?
Kimi Raikkonen: “Obviously it’s hard to say. I think it was a pretty straightforward weekend. For sure, we could have done more things and improved always, but it’s the same: it doesn’t matter if you win or are tenth of something; there are always things to improve or work on.”
“Obviously we have a very limited amount of time over the weekend to do things, with the practice, and also with the weather it was a bit tricky.”
“Overall, I think we were quite pleased with how things went. You want more, better positions, but I think we take that happily.”
“As a team we did a pretty job out of it. Not much to complain about really. We want to win races, but it’s the first race out and we managed to do decent points, so we go forward here, try to make a good practice.”
“So far the car has been working well, even with pretty limited testing over the winter, with some illness and obviously the weather was not ideal on the first test, so I’m pretty OK with how things are running, so let’s just keep doing our normal things and improving.”
Thank you. Valtteri, coming to you: it was a difficult weekend for you in Australia, especially with the crash in qualifying. How much does a weekend like that play on your mind in the gap between races and how eager are you to get out on track this weekend?
Valtteri Bottas: “Well, not so much been in my mind, because everything was kind of processed during the weekend. It was a bad weekend, that’s it.”
“Now we still have 20 races to go and we’re here in Bahrain, so nothing really to worry about at this point. We have a competitive car.”
“We know we still have a lot of work to do to make it better. Just a bad weekend, so looking forward to this one.”
Thank you very much. Fernando, you said on Saturday evening in Melbourne that hopefully you’d finish higher than P7 or P6 in Australia and you went and finished in fifth place, so where will you finish this weekend?
Fernando Alonso: “I don’t know, I don’t have the crystal ball anymore!”
“I think definitely the car has some potential. Over the winter we had some ups and downs in testing and then in Australia it was the same thing – the free practice was affected by the weather and the qualifying was not smooth enough for us to show the potential.”
“It was a good race, a lucky race with the two Haas retirements and the Virtual Safety Car. Nevertheless, I think we take this fifth place and we move on.”
“There is still a lot to improve for us if we want to catch up to the top three teams, but I think we have the potential there and hopefully we can unlock some performance in the next races.”