San Marino GP: Thursday press conference, part 2

Present: Felipe Massa (Sauber) Jarno Trulli (Renault) Q: Jarno, at the beginning of the season, Ferrari said that they feared Renault more than any other team. Do you think that fear has been fulfilled; do you think your performance has been ...

San Marino GP: Thursday press conference, part 2
Listen to this article

Present:

Felipe Massa (Sauber)
Jarno Trulli (Renault)

Q: Jarno, at the beginning of the season, Ferrari said that they feared Renault more than any other team. Do you think that fear has been fulfilled; do you think your performance has been shown so far?

Jarno Trulli: Let's say that Ferrari was definitely right in terms that we are second in the championship so we've proved that obviously we've got a good package, we've done very well in the first three races. But it's also very clear that Ferrari is a very strong team, it's got a very strong car with two strong drivers, so they are leading the championship with quite a big gap. But we are second in the Constructors' championship and this is the most important thing for us. We know that we have a lot of work to do ahead of us, to keep this position to the end of the championship. We've got 15 races to go, still a long way, still a lot to do, especially because teams like Williams, like McLaren, like BAR, they can all do very well. Actually BAR and Williams are strong and I'm sure McLaren will recover from these disappointing first three races.

Q: You've obviously got improvements to the car here and to the engine as well. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What are your expectations?

JT: Actually we've got some updates here, because we know that this is the first race in Europe and Imola has always been our 'black' spot. We've never really performed very well here. We know that our car doesn't really suit this circuit but on the other hand, more than ever we are confident because we have a new engine development, which is quite a big step and some new bits on the aerodynamic side, so we are definitely confident that we can turn this black weekend around.

Q: So will you challenge Ferrari?

JT: Well, they've updated some things as well so it's not going to be easy to catch them. Anyway, every weekend we all try to stop their domination. Actually, at the moment, no one has succeeded but we will try, we will try.

Q: What about your relationship with teammate Fernando Alonso, do you get on well with him?

JT: As usual, yes. I am very happy with the way we're working in the team, and with our relationship. No problem at all.

Q: There have been quite a few changes at Renault, with Rob White now in charge of engine development, new technical director in Bob Bell -- has that made a difference?

JT: To be honest, no. Chassis-wise, Bob Bell was already there before. He's a very experienced and an extremely good person. He knows his job. He does his job very well and we're actually doing very well, so in the end, nothing has changed. Mike has gone -- it's always a loss but it hasn't really affected our performance. On the other hand, I think we gained someone like Rob White, who is an experienced engineer, he knows a lot about good engines, and he can somehow bring some new and fresh air to the Renault team, which has already made the best engine in Formula One, and is back now with an extremely powerful and particularly reliable engine. So far, with Ferrari, I think we are the only team which has finished the first three races with both cars. It's an extremely good achievement, always in the points. They are doing very well on the engine side. The engine we have this year is much better compared to last year's so it's a good advantage.

Q: Tell us about running in the half marathon in Florence last weekend?

JT: It was great for me because it was a way to relax, a way to get away from Formula One, to get away from people and be one of the many and not be a star as you are here always. It's a good feeling. I like running and personally I achieved an extremely good result because my aim was to run the half marathon in under 1hr 40m by the end of the season and at my second attempt, I went for 1hr 35m, so I think I now have to fix a new target, under 1hr 30m.

Q: Were you very stiff, what were the after effects?

JT: Absolutely not. I was really surprised because during the three weeks before, I didn't have enough time to train. I actually trained only twice, but it was probably one of those days when you can do anything with your body and just go for it. I felt so happy. I was motivated to do it, despite the fact that the weather was bad, it was raining, so it was harder, but no, nothing at all. I played football yesterday as well. It's just a question of training, to get it right.

Q: How many more marathons have you got planned?

JT: I'm talking about half marathons, not marathons. Marathon is slightly different. But now I've fixed a new target, to be under 1hr 30m, and now I'm too busy with Formula One, and that's the most important thing.

Q: Felipe, you're not tempted to do something like this, are you?

Felipe Massa: Yeah, but I never did a half marathon. Maybe a marathon, but actually I run also. I try to run every day, every three days when I'm not testing. But I will do it some time, but not at the moment.

Q: Having tested for Ferrari last year, how do you feel coming back to Sauber again? How much do you feel you've changed?

FM: There are a lot less people in the team. I already knew everybody that at Sauber, they are very professional people and I'm really happy to be back, especially as a race driver. I think the new Sauber car is a lot better than last year's Sauber. I did a back-to-back which was very good. I'm really happy. For sure we knew that the first three races would be very difficult and they were very difficult for us, but at least we scored a point in Malaysia and I think now we can improve. I trust in everybody in the team and I think now with the wind tunnel, we can improve.

Q: What did you learn, yourself, as a test driver last year with Ferrari?

FM: I particularly learned on the technical side. I learned quite a lot. Now I understand a lot more in terms of what it means to be a Formula One driver, especially on the technical side of things. I also learned a lot, how to work with the engineers, watching Rubens and Michael working the engineers, so I learned a lot there as well. That's it. I think that year by year, experience is very important and I think after a year race driving with Sauber, and a year test driving with Ferrari, I've learned quite a lot.

Q: Some people have referred to this year's Sauber as being a blue Ferrari...

FM: No, that's not true. Everybody knows that we have a Ferrari engine, Ferrari gearbox... I think it's a shame to build a completely different car from Ferrari, so I think we have built our own car. It's our chassis, we built it, and we work on that. But it's not true. It's our car, we built it and that's it.

Q: How was the football match yesterday? How was it meeting the fabulous Brazilian team?

FM: It was very interesting because in the first half of the match, I think it was better just to stop and watch the Brazilian guys playing, because it was amazing, they are really good and they were just joking with us. It was unbelievable to see how they play. And some of them don't play any more, but they are still very fit and very strong. It's unbelievable, very nice. Then in the second half, we mixed it up a bit, everybody together, and then it was much better.

JT: It was a bit embarrassing at one stage, to be honest. The only thing I understood is the way everyone has got his own job and everyone specialises in his own job. I'm fit, I think I'm fit and I'm an athlete. Probably I can drive a car at 360 kilometers per hour with no problem but they can play with the ball, they can do things that I will never be able to do. I can train every day, but I can never achieve what they are able to achieve, because they have talent. We have got a different talent and as Felipe says, it was amazing at one stage to stop, stand and watch them playing, because it was just absolutely amazing.

FM: It was also funny because when I was young, a child, I was sometimes thinking I could maybe be a football player, you know? And now I have the answer. It is really impossible. To watch them play... it's really impossible to be a football player. It's better to drive a car and concentrate on Formula One, because it's nice to play and have fun, but after we saw how they played -- it's impossible.

Q: Did they make you run a lot?

JT: Yeah. They didn't run much, but we did, a lot! They were just passing to each other, and we were just following the ball. It was impossible to catch them. I think they are able to hide the ball from you, and if they want, you will never touch it.

Q: For both of you guys, can you give us some of your memories of Ayrton Senna, not of the sad day when he crashed here, but other memories of that fantastic driver.

JT: Well, personally, when I was a go-kart driver, I was a big fan of Alain Prost and when Senna arrived, I had to stand up and say 'this is someone very special, special like Alain Prost.' It was amazing to watch them fighting. My best memory was when I actually met Ayrton because back in 1991, I was World Champion and he was World Champion in Formula One. I was World Champion in karting and we were both given our awards by the FIA at their prize-giving in Paris. It was an incredible moment for me, because I was meeting someone very special, but somehow also very nice, a very simple person. An ordinary person. That is my best memory of him. The rest everybody knows.

FM: First of all, he was an incredible driver. I think he was part of the history of Formula One, and sport in general. As a Brazilian, I have to say that he opened a lot of doors for Brazilian people, for Brazilian drivers. I think the Brazilian drivers have a lot of respect in Formula One, after Ayrton and he was an incredible driver. I remember the race in Donington when he overtook a lot of cars at the start in the rain. I think he overtook everybody on the first lap in four corners. It was an amazing race. There are a lot of memories, but I think this race was really impressive for me.

Part 1

-fia-

shares
comments
Minardi goes interactive with Feedback Italia
Previous article

Minardi goes interactive with Feedback Italia

Next article

Frank Williams' memories of Senna

Frank Williams' memories of Senna
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022