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Jumat, 16 Oktober 2009

Thursday's press conference – Brazil



Q. Gentlemen, first of all questions to you all. Are there any particular preparations you have made for this race? Who would like to start? Sebastian. You have prayed for rain obviously.

Sebastian VETTEL: Yes, successfully today. No, we will see. Nothing special really. I have been here a couple of times and I like the circuit. It is up and down but preparation-wise nothing special.

Q. Jenson?

Jenson BUTTON: Not really. I've been spending a few days in the sun which is quite nice before coming here. I arrived here on Tuesday to get used to the time zone but it is really strange with the weather. Tuesday it was cold, yesterday it was really hot and today it is raining. It is very up and down with the conditions and it is going to be the same for the weekend. There is a very good chance of rain but also there is the possibility of it being dry, so it's a tough one. It's the same for all of us and I am sure we will make the best out of every situation.

Q. Any particular efforts your team has been making or any modifications coming here?

JB: We have got a few changes which should help us here. It should help us around a circuit like this quite a bit. I don't know if you've noticed but in Suzuka we were very quick in sectors two and three. In qualifying I was actually purple but the first sector we struggled massively. Mid-speed changes of direction we really struggled and that's where we lost all of our time in Suzuka. But the changes that we have got for this race should help out a little bit but also the areas that are crucial on this type of circuit should be a good step forward.

Q. All of you have got races that you look back at and think 'if only such and such hadn't happened'. Do you do that as the championship gets tighter and tighter?

JB: I think it is the same for all of us. That's the way it is over a 17 race season. There are races which you are very happy with and other races which you are not. As Sebastian said it is all in the past and it is about making the most out of the next two races. There are the most important two races for all three of us this season and I am coming into this race looking forward to it. This is a circuit I enjoy. After here we have Abu Dhabi which is new for all of us, so it is going to be a challenge. But there is no point looking back. Mentally I don't think it is good looking back. I think it is better to look forward and that is exactly what I am doing.

Q. Jenson, has it been car confidence? Has it been this change mid-corner or has it been starting behind Rubens? What has been the problem over the last few races?

JB: The last race was obviously difficult because of the starting position and the mistake on Saturday with the yellow flags and in Singapore the qualifying was difficult. We were trying to find the maximum from the car but we went a little bit too far and the car was running a bit low and I hit the brakes and locked up. But the race pace has been very good. I think I have got the most out of the car, what there has been to take in the races and the pace has been good especially in Singapore. But it is always very difficult when you are starting far back. It is very difficult to overtake these days in F1 and every opportunity there is to make a move I have made this season. But starting where I did made it very difficult for me to pick up good points. But the couple of races before that I was happy with the car, I was happy with the balance and the results were reasonably good, so coming into the last two I am reasonably positive. I have a good feeling with the car and our upgrades should help us quite a bit. We will see what happens. Sebastian is saying the pressure is on us. I don't think that is quite the case. It is the same for all of us. We are all excited about the next two races. It means a lot to us for sure. We are all fighting for the championship. It is the first time I have been fighting for a championship in F1, same for Sebastian and maybe the same for Rubens, so it is an exciting situation to be in but I am the one that has got the lead.

Q. You are team-mates but at the same time rivals with Rubens. Here you are in his backyard with tens of thousands of his closest friends. Aren't you going to be the villain as it were here?

JB: No, I don't think so. If we were people that didn't get on and we hated each other's guts I think it would be a very different situation. We have worked well over the last four years we have been working together and this year is no exception. Rubens beat me in Silverstone, in my home country, and I would like to do the same to him here. It is a nice feeling when you get beaten by your team-mate in your own country.

RB: Not.

JB: But I think they understand the situation and we are all fighting for something that is far greater than we have achieved in the past. I think they will respect that.

Q. (Joris Fioriti – AFP) Jenson, do you think you would have been able to control the season this way five years ago – in other words is it thanks to your maturity or your experience that now you have been able to be in such a good position?

JB: It's always a difficult question to answer because I wasn't in this situation five years ago. In 2004, we had a pretty good season with BAR. We were the best of the rest after the Ferraris. In that situation, we had nothing to lose for sure, but the consistency was very good then. I think I got ten or eleven podiums back in '04, actually more than I've got this year so far. But for sure it was a very different situation, because, as I said, I had nothing to lose. I could really go all out because I knew there was no real chance of taking the championship, we could be very aggressive in every race. It's difficult to know if I would have been the same five years ago. Nobody really knows. I think that people are at their peak at different points in their career. Lewis won the World Championship in his second year in Formula One which you wouldn't think most drivers could do, so it's your experience through other formulae and the situation that every single person is in is different. For me, this feels like the right time, for sure, but I'm going to say that...

Q. (MC) You talked about aggression and caution just there; how much has that balance changed this year from the start to now, given the situation?

JB: I think it's when you've got a reasonable lead, you think that you need to be a little bit cautious in certain situations. I think you need to have a balance. For sure you can't just drive round waving people past, hoping that you're not going to crash. There has to be a balance there and I think that normally with racing there is anyway, none of us want to crash at turn one, we all want to get through and have a good result, but it's just making sure that you're not doing anything stupid and maybe a little bit out of character. It's nothing extreme, it's just different than maybe I would have thought five or six years ago.

Q. (MC) But have you been aware of that balance changing throughout this season, as it's progressed?

JB: Probably a little bit more, I think, when you get a bigger lead, I think it changes a little bit. It's not suddenly night and day, it's the smallest of margins, but as I've shown in a few races of late that I'm not just going to sit back and hope for the best result. For example Monza with Heikki (Kovalainen), with (Robert) Kubica at the last race. You need to make the moves when you can and that's exactly what I've been doing.

Q. (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Jenson, do you feel anything different in yourself when you wake up and know that this weekend you can be World Champion, and, if it's easier to control your emotions when you are inside the cockpit?

JB: Well, I woke up very happy this morning. I had some pretty good dreams. So I woke up with a smile on my face, sweating, yes. No, I woke up happy and looking forward to the weekend. I don't think it adds to pressure, knowing that you could win the World Championship that weekend. I think it adds to the excitement, for sure. It's not a negative, it's a positive. I'm excited about the weekend, as I'm sure these two are. Inside the car? I don't know. I haven't got in it yet. On the way in, I didn't have any unusual excitement, but we'll see tomorrow. The exciting thing about this weekend is the weather: it could be wet, it could be dry, so it's going to be important to make the right decisions over the weekend and not make it too complicated.

Q. (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) If I could just ask Rubens and Jenson: leaving aside your own personal battle, it looks almost inevitable that you're going to win the Constructors' Championship this weekend. I wonder if you could just say a few words on just how extraordinary that is for a team in its first season, given what happened in January and February.

JB: It's an amazing story and it is a Hollywood movie, for sure. If it happens. It's not a hundred percent yet. I would like to say that it is but it's not. Taking us out of it, not talking about ourselves, I think the team has been through a lot this winter and it's not just whether they could compete in Formula One, it's whether they had a job that could pay for their kids' school and what have you. It was a very difficult situation for them over the winter and I think a lot of them found it very tough but they had good leadership and that's what counted and it gave them hope and it gave them a positive outlook for the future. In the end, we got the deal done and we were able to come racing. I think when everyone saw the car drive for the first time in Barcelona they were very surprised by the pace of the car. They had obviously worked very, very hard over the winter but nothing went wrong. Everything that could have gone wrong didn't. It was perfect, a perfect test. The bodywork – everything fitted together just so nicely, there was no burning bodywork after the first running in practice, the reliability of everything, it was just a perfect first test and you don't get those tests unless the season is going to be good. So if we come away with the Constructors' Championship this season in the first year of Brawn GP, I know it's not a completely new team and there are a lot of very experienced people in the team, but it will be a very emotional moment for everyone, as it was in Australia when we finished one-two. It's the first time I've seen Ross (Brawn) speechless and if it is going to happen here or in Abu Dhabi I think it will the same situation. Ross has achieved so much in this sport, but to win a championship with his own team is far greater than what he's achieved in the past, I think. And that goes for everyone within the team. They've worked so hard with this team, whatever its name was in the past, they've worked very, very hard and they deserve whatever we achieve this season.

Q. (Sarah Holt – BBC Sport) Similar question to Alan's: you were talking about the team effort from Brawn, and in that sense, Jenson, would you be able to comment if the title went to Rubens, and Rubens, if it went to Jenson would you able to comment on why it would be deserving, because you guys have both been battling for a long time and I guess both of you would like to win the title?

JB: Wow, that's an interesting question. If Rubens won the championship I would absolutely hate him! We come here for one thing only and that's to win the World Championship. That's our aim in life since we were an eight year old kid or even younger. Your aim is to be the best and to win a championship in Formula One over a season. That's what we're all here to do. We are working well together and I think we're good friends, aren't we?

RB: Yeah, just here.

JB: Just a little bit. But you come here to win with very competitive people, and if Rubens won I would be very disappointed, for sure. But I would also respect the fact that he did a better job over the 17 races and I would also respect the fact that he's worked as hard as I have or maybe harder in that case and he's the better driver over those 17 races.

RB: I think it makes the situation a bit more comfortable because, like Jenson said, we haven't won the Constructors' just yet but I believe that it's very, very close and it should be done, and hopefully this weekend. And by doing that, we have this feeling that we've both worked for that, and it's what we're giving to the team and the team gave us. So in the other championship, we just have to work for ourselves to win, like Jenson said, we don't want to lose the chance. I feel that particularly it's my very first chance, that I really have the chance to… it was put this way, somebody gave me the chance to go for the title and win myself. So for me it feels comfortable that we are working hard to beat each other, but it's comfortable for the fact that we both work very well together for the Constructors, so the team should be very happy and proud with that.

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