By Jonathan Noble
Q. You've been in Japan?
JB: Yeah, for a week actually.
Q. European or Japanese time?
JB: Well, the first couple of days I was on Japanese. And then on Saturday I moved to English time, which meant going to bed at three or four in the morning, which is quite easy in Japan. It's quite fun there. So I've been on European time. Then on Saturday I went to Motegi, checked out IRL which was quite fun and different, and a good experience.
Q. The Red Bull guys now think it is very hard for them to win the championship - they think it's all but done. On the flipside, do you think the title is coming towards you now?
JB: Yeah. For sure. The Red Bulls – Sebastian is 26 points behind, which is a lot. But, as Lewis Hamilton pointed out a few races ago – he had 17 points with two races to go and didn't win it in 2007. There is so much that can happen. But we have to stay positive and take each race as it comes. I am really excited about the challenge of the next four races. The next three are all circuits I enjoy, and then there is Abu Dhabi which is a new challenge and I am looking forward to because I like driving new circuits.
Q. Do you feel the mid-season blip is now behind you?
JB: Yeah. The car has been working well for a few races. Valencia with Rubens winning wasn't a great race for me for whatever reason, but the car was working well there. Spa, the car was working okay but not great – even if we were in the race we would have finished fifth or sixth which would not have been that special. Then at Monza, the car was working well – so it is good the car works well on low downforce circuits and works on high downforce circuits. We have our new update here, which should give us a bit more. Our pace should be good. I don't think it will move us forward, because there is a lot of team with upgrades – McLaren, Force India, BMW and Renault – but hopefully it will keep us in the game and near the front.
Q. You and Rubens have got on famously well when you've been team-mates. Now it is knuckling down to a title fight, can you see that relationship changing?
JB: It hasn't changed yet, but you never know what is going to happen. We both obviously want the same goal at the end of the year, but I think the only way of going about it is fairly. We both understand that, and we both have the same tools – and it is whoever does the best over the season comes out on top. We both respect each other, as far as I know, and it is exciting. But it is within the team. We still, in the briefings, discuss the ideas for the weekend. But we don't hold anything back – as far as I know. So the atmosphere is pretty good at the moment.
Q. Do you prefer having a title fight with a team-mate, or up against someone from another team?
JB: I understand Rubens a lot more than Sebastian and Mark, and also he has the same equipment as me. So, basically I need to finish as close to Rubens in every race if I am thinking about the championship. As long as I qualify well and finish close to him, then it is fine and I have a good chance of winning the championship. But as any driver will say, they don't want to do that, they want to go out and win – and I come to Singapore hoping to challenge for the win.
Q. Will that be at the back of your mind then about what Rubens is up to?
JB: Well, I am not purposefully going to drive slower this weekend. I will do my own thing and get a good result. I like this place, I had fun here last year. We were never anywhere near quick enough to get a good result but I enjoyed Singapore. It was a lot of fun to drive. It is a very unusual circuit and being at night, most of the corners are quite well lit but some of them are quite dark. So it does play tricks on your eyes a little bit. But it is a good circuit and I think we can have a good race here. I just watched the replays from last year and I know people say there is no overtaking around street circuits, but there seemed to be quite a lot last season. It looked like quite good fun.
Q. Do you allow yourself to dream that you could be world champion by next weekend?
JB: No. Because that is a dream. It is not reality. It could happen, but I have to take every race as it comes.
Q. What was your reaction to Flavio Briatore no longer being involved in the sport, because you knew him as your former team boss?
JB: It is a difficult one because I don't know every single detail of what went on, so it is a little bit unfair of me to comment. But, there have been a lot of controversial things happening off the circuit this year in F1, and it is a pity that it has been so negative. The best thing for me is that it is over and done with hopefully, and that we can now get on with it. The racing has been good this season, even over the last couple of seasons, and that is what we need to think about. That is what I am here for. It is not all of the crap that goes on off the circuit – it is not for me to be worrying about.
Q. But what about Flavio?
JB: We all know Flav personally. I don't know the full details of what happened, but it doesn't make any difference to me if he is here or not.