Q: Giancarlo, when you last won a race, you were not able to celebrate the moment. This one, for you, must be
very different? Giancarlo FISICHELLA: Yes it is a great day for me. It has been a fantastic race, honestly. I was quite
conservative. I never pushed to the limit, only at the end when Rubens was catching me and I drove a little bit faster and I drove a
quick lap time. The car was great, very good balance, the tyres stayed consistent from the beginning to the end. We are in really
good shape and it is the best start of my career. To win the first race of the season is great and I am really, really happy. I like
to say thank you to the mechanics and all of the Renault team.
Q: You mentioned tyres and, obviously, there are new
regulations this season. What, for you, were the last 25 laps like today? GF: Honestly, because for the first part of the
race I was a bit conservative on the tyres. At the end the car was really, really good. In fact, in the last five or four laps I did
my quickest laps of the race. It was good. Easy from the beginning to the end and I am happy because Fernando finished third, which
is a great result for the team.
Q: Absolutely. We heard you on the radio just before the first stop and you said something
about the steering, but it was not clear. What was that? GF: There was a little bit of understeering but it is better to have
a bit of understeer than oversteer during the race so I told my engineer donít touch anything I am happy to carry on like that.
Rubens, a fantastic drive from you from midfield right up there with long fuel stops like Fernando, and a lot of pressure at the
end, but a great drive to second placeÖ Rubens BARRICHELLO: I enjoyed every second and it shows that Ferrari have no crisis.
We are here and we are going to fight. We know the teams have made a step up but I want to say congratulations to the team that put
a good car together. It is our old car and the new car is going to come and give us even more pleasure. I am happy for the team. It
has been a fantastic race and the tyres held up very well. I am proud of Bridgestone as well.
Q: And a very busy race for
you, too, in terms of traffic? RB: Yes, absolutely. There are new guys out there and sometimes you have give time for them to
learn the habits of Formula One. And sometimes they were in the middle and you cannot say much. It is really just the first race and
apart from that it was okay.
Q: Fernando, 13th on the grid, held up for 17 laps really by Villeneuve. We saw some bodywork
come off your car at one moment, you set fastest lap and you got up to third place and you nearly caught Rubens on the lineÖ a
sensational day that underlined the supremacy of RenaultÖ Fernando ALONSO: Yes it has been a good weekend. I have always
been in the top three, even in the wet conditions on Saturday and for sure my 13th place on the grid was not my real position for
the potential of the car this weekend. So I knew I should go through the slow people very quickly and then I followed Jacques for 17
laps with a very good fight, but I lost nearly 25 seconds to the podium finish. But anyway I was confident to recover this time and
thanks to the team and the balance of the car and for the pit-stops that were fantastic again, from the guys, and also thanks to
Michelin who did a good job and developed this type of tyre with this consistency throughout the race. Itís something that is
really fun for the drivers and you can push at any lap of the race and set the fastest lap at the end.
Q: And was the car
affected in any way by going off the road when you did? FA: Ah no! Well, I was two or three times in the grass because I knew
it was an important part of the race, those laps behind Jacques. I was really pushing very hard with maximum fuel load. It was
difficult to drive but the car was quicker on each lap and I enjoyed the whole race.
Q: Giancarlo, these are obviously very
early days, but this was a dominant victory. How do you feel about 2005 and your prospects? GF: I am really confident for the
rest of the season. I know we are just at the first race, but already we have fantastic potential and I felt that from the first
time I drove the car in January. It was quick from the first few laps and it was easy to drive. So now we only need to work on it
and to carry on with the development and try to win again.
Q: Giancarlo, well done. You have
finally got on the top step of the rostrum after a race and I am sure you enjoyed it? GF: Yes, and it was about time I did.
It was nice to have the possibility to celebrate my victory from the right position on the podium! It was great. It has been a
fantastic race. It was not easier than I expected. I was quite conservative until the last five or six laps when Rubens was catching
me and I drove faster and I did a reasonably good lap time and the car was really good, really consistent, from the beginning to the
end. It was great and I am now looking forward to the rest of the season. I know it is just the first race and it is early to say we
are there, but we have a very good potential.
Q: How threatened did you feel by Rubens at the end there? GF: My
engineer told me to push a little bit more and I pushed and we had a problem and the car was there! It was quite easy. I did a 25.9,
which is not bad. So, last few laps I was a bit worried because there was a Jordan or Minardi that I was catching up and I was a bit
nervous but as soon as I overtook him I went to the end and I won the race.
Q: How much were you affected by traffic during
the race? GF: Quite a lot. I lost two laps behind Villeneuve. I donít know why he stopped me. I lost four or five seconds.
This is really bad and I was a little bit disappointed by that. The rest of the drivers were quite okay, but when you are 50 metres
behind another car, you lose downforce and it is quite difficult to catch him.
Q: Rubens, 11th to second; you picked up
three places at the start as well. Tell us about the opening lap? RB: Well, the opening lap was great fun. I was able to have
a good start. I think I overtook Button at the word go and then I was able to have a fantastic first and second corner and I saw a
Jordan beside me which I thought was doing very well at the start. But you know you have to push but you have to conserve the tyres
as well. I was able to overtake Villeneuve, because otherwise I would have lost my whole race behind him. So my race was really
good. The only problem I had was after 15 laps I started to lock the rear brakes very badly and I reported it to the team and
unfortunately I lost my brake balance. My brakes went all to the rear so I was able to change a few things on the car but the car
was like a go-kart: lucky I won the race in go-karts in December, so I was able to keep on going. With the adjustment, the car
became quite OK although I was still locking the rear brakes a bit.
Q: In terms of strategy, what would you change? Do you
think you could have perhaps got ahead of Giancarlo in any way? RB: The only thing I would change was probably the Friday (he
means Saturday). I would ask for a little bit less water when I go out (for qualifying). Itís all I would change. The strategy was
really good. I donít think we could have changed that. This morning the track was really really slippery. I could have done more.
Actually with the gaps that we had I was lucky that I even picked up a position. The strategy and the tyres were fantastic. I think
the tyres could have done another race, so very good. But please donít do that to us! It was fun but not that fun!
pushed Giancarlo very hard right at the end there. Was there even a little bit more? RB: I had in mind that you have to push.
Weíre all here to win. If weíd got very close to him right on the last lap it wouldnít have meant anything because getting
close and overtaking is another matter. Fernando was coming very rapidly as well, even though I dropped the revs. You know you have
to think forward to the next couple of weeks: 35 degrees in Malaysia so you have to pace everything. But I was pushing. If I had a
chance to catch him, I would do, but obviously he saved a lot of tyres right at the beginning so he was in better shape than we
Q: Fernando, you came out of the pits there after the second pit stop and Rubens just went past ahead of you. What
could you have changed? FA: Friday as well. (Saturday?) I think everything was OK for me today. I knew that starting in 13th
was going to be a difficult race and in fact after the first two corners I was eleventh. I think I didnít make up too much at the
start and then 17 laps behind Jacques nearly finished my race because I was 25 seconds behind the guys at the front Ė on the
podium Ė but I was able to push but not save tyres like my teammate, and push every lap and at the end I had this third position
which is like a victory for me.
Q: You were pushing much more all the way, rather than being conservative like Giancarlo. FA:
Yeah, yeah. The opposite. I think every lap I pushed like more than qualifying, because this morning I didnít push too much. With
high fuel, the car was difficult to drive. I had four overtaking manoeuvres which is something unusual, also here in Melbourne but I
was able (to overtake) because my car was much faster than other peopleís.
Q: Yes, you got past Jacques at one moment,
and then he got back past you again. FA: Yeah, donít remind me. I thought that was done and then I had to start again.
from the floor
Q: (Livio Orrichio Ė O Estado do Sao Paulo) Fisichella, realistically whatís the importance of the
rain in this victory? GF: Realistically, quite a lot. I was really lucky on Friday (Saturday) and we were able to manage the
big gap between me and the other competitors, especially this morning in the second qualifying session. But anyway, even despite
that, I was the second quickest this morning and considering the fuel load, it was good. But the potential is there. We are quick
and even without the Friday (Saturday) where I have been a bit lucky I think there was the possibility to fight, to win the race
Q: Giancarlo, Rubens. We have two of the smoothest drivers with Formula One tyres first and second. Could this be
the key to the championship? RB: I hope so! (Laughter)
GF: Me too!
RB: I guess itís really difficult to answer
that in full because we didnít have a proper qualifying with all the effects, really, so this morning everyone was pretty much
cruising, so I guess weíre going to have a bit more of an opinion of what itís going to be like in Malaysia. Obviously, if you
can go fast and save the tyres, thatís will be a big plus.
GF: I think, maybe, yes, a little bit. I think today the tyre
wear wasnít too bad for all the drivers. The temperature was good for the tyres. Maybe when we go in a circuit where itís really
hot and where the tarmac is really abrasive I think there it will maybe be a problem. But in my case itís OK. Iím very smooth
and Iím not worried about that.
Q: (Anthony Rowlinson Ė Autosport) Giancarlo, youíve waited a long time to have a car
this good. Do you feel excited to have the potential to show your talent this season? GF: For sure, yeah. Itís the first
time in my life that I drive a car with a lot of potential, a good car which has been quick and consistent from the beginning to the
end. This is great for me, after ten years in Formula One. I never showed my talent because I never drove the right car. Yes, I won
in Brazil in wet conditions a couple of years ago but the rest of the season was very frustrating, so this year Iíve a great car
and I donít want to lose the opportunity to show my talent and to win races.
Q: (Mike Doodson Ė Auto Action) This is a
question for Fernando; you mentioned the four overtakings. Could you take us through those and tell us where you were strong and
where the opposition was weak? FA: I think I overtook Jarno Trulli two times, Jacques once and I donít remember the fourth
one. It was probably a Toyota another time after the pit stops. I donít know. The straightline speed was so good for us this
weekend and after the quick chicane, 10, 11 and 12, we were able to run quite close to the other cars because we were quicker in
that part of the circuit and on the straight we were massively quicker and so it was no problem to overtake.
Cavanagh Ė Triple M) How different does this win feel, finally getting to spray the champagne on the right day? GF: Itís
completely different, yeah, because honestly itís my first time to celebrate victory on the podium. Itís been fantastic. Itís
a great experience. I want to do it again.
Q: (Ken Cavanagh Ė Triple M) And one for Rubens: how much more is going
through your head at the back end of a race now, thinking Ďdo I shred the tyres, do I save the engine?í The tyre rule is meant
to encourage racing towards the end of the race, yet the engine rule has the potential to stop you going for it. RB: Thatís
right, but at the end of the day, if you start to put plus and minuses or doubts in your mind thatís when you start to go
backwards and you definitely have to save the engine by turning the revs down but youíre still pushing the right foot as much as
possible. After the last pit stop, there was another 15 laps to go, but you donít have to save the tyres as much. If you have a
small flat spot that might be no problem. I saw Montoya really having a big one right on the first lap so I knew he would have a
good ride to the end. That was a much bigger problem than the one that I had so I was pushing and thanks to Bridgestone I was able
to push right to the end. We have a car that is still very competitive. We have a small disadvantage because we think our new car is
faster and having said that, we have to score as many points (as possible) and if we have the chance to win, we will do.
(Ottavio Daviddi Ė Tuttosport) Giancarlo, on Friday you said ĎI can win this raceí and today you won it. My question is, can
you fight, can Renault fight for the championship too? GF: I think so. I guess so, yeah. We already showed our pace in
testing in the winter. We showed today how quick we are. We still have had good potential to go forward and I think we are the team
with McLaren and Ferrari who will fight for the championship.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi Ė La Gazzetta dello Sport) I would
like to ask everybody if, with the new rules, it is impossible to come up from the back of the grid, because we saw Michael today in
a struggling position and even Kimi Raikkonen. And whatís your opinion about the McLaren because I think we received a bad feeling
about McLaren. They came here as favorites for the race with you and disappeared during the weekend. GF: I donít know, ask
him (Fernando), because he was at the back.
FA: It was the same as last year. But this race was a little bit strange, no
problems for anyone, no retirements, no accidents, no people going off, no safety cars, so everything was very normal. And when
things are like this, itís difficult to overtake and difficult to gain positions. And regarding the second question, the McLarens.
We donít know. We only work for our team and we donít know in what conditions the others are. I think they are strong, they can
fight for big things, but we cannot be crazy about this race. On Friday (Saturday) maybe we had heavy rain, maybe Giancarlo and me
on our laps we were among the last ones and maybe we couldnít even finish in the points, like Michael and Kimi today. Anyway, our
car was the fastest car this weekend so we have to check in 15 days time again.
RB: Itís just a plus that I think the cars
are no easier to drive behind another car. Itís as simple as that. The cars are sliding a little bit more and to follow somebody
is just as difficult as last year.
Q: (Australian) Giancarlo, with people back home (in Italy), if you continue to score
these results, what are they going to make of the Italian who beat Ferrari? GF: First of all, we are only at the first race
so itís too early to say if we keep winning. Obviously Ferrari is a great team and they have the most fans everywhere in the
world, especially in Italy. But I am Italian, so even the Italian fans have to be happy if I win the race.
Rowlinson Ė Autosport) To both the Renault drivers: the car is obviously a pretty special machine. Could you just tell us where
you are gaining so much performance? FA: We donít know. We only cross the line and we have a quick lap time. Itís still
difficult to drive, we have to push a lot but itís consistent and quick.
GF: I think the whole package is really good:
engine, chassis and tyres and the good thing for us, for the drivers, is to have a very consistent car from the beginning to the
end. The balance was really really good and that was even in testing. Thatís the main reason why we were quick.