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20 March: Malaysian Grand Prix - FIA Sunday Post Qualifying Press Conference

1. Fernando ALONSO (Renault), 3m07.672s
2. Jarno TRULLI (Toyota), 3m07.925s
3. Giancarlo FISICHELLA (Renault)), 3m08.448s


Q: An interesting session, very close and the margins, as it turned out, remained the same as yesterday…
Fernando Alonso:
Yes, very close. Yesterday, there were some cars between the 10th and the fifth position that changed a lot today and I was honestly a little worried about my position because you can be on pole, or you can be fourth very quick, so I tried to do my lap, with no mistakes, and I knew my car was good and I found a good balance again today and here we are, on pole, and we repeated the three positions we had yesterday and, hopefully, we can do it again this afternoon.

Q: And now you face perhaps the hottest Grand Prix in history?
Yes, the whole weekend has been very tough for the drivers with very hot temperatures, but even more today, so we have to prepare ourselves now by drinking a lot between this press conference and the race start and, hopefully, we can finish the race in good condition.

Q: On the front row again, becoming a habit, Toyota looking very strong here…
Jarno Trulli:
Yeah, and we are showing again our good pace and I am extremely happy for my team, Toyota, because it has been pushing a lot to give me a good car and it seems to be very competitive. So, now, I am looking forward now to the race because I want to confirm this pace in the race and that’s it. I want to go out and do it this afternoon.

Q: There were a lot of questions before about fuel loads and it looks as if just about everyone here at the front was on the same fuel loads…
Yes, I couldn’t do any better than this with the fuel load I had because we believe we have done our best for the strategy and we will see how it turns out this afternoon, but I am extremely happy about this position. Again first row and again sign of progress from Toyota.

Q: Giancarlo, calmly there for third position and a nice place to watch the first corner perhaps…
Giancarlo Fisichella:
Yes, it’s going to be very important to go through the first corner and I would like to keep my position and if I can overtake Jarno straightaway it is better. We are very optimistic to have the right strategy for the race. The car balance was still under-steering today, but I think it is good for the race because usually there is a bit of over-steering especially at the end of the race so I am pretty confident and we will see.

Q: What do you think about the Ferraris mid-pack, about two seconds slower than you were this morning?
I think maybe they have a lot of fuel and are going to try a very long first stint because they have good pace to overtake some cars especially on the pit stops so at the end of the race they are there, they are going to fight for the podium.


Q: Fernando, your second pole here, what about the conditions?
The conditions were quite similar to yesterday – a little bit cooler – but we tried to run old tyres just normally, a little more tricky. I felt the car a bit more difficult to drive, but at the same time, we’re still quick and I’m extremely happy to have this pole position because yesterday I had some doubts about which strategy the other teams would chose and maybe lose the gap we had after yesterday.

Q: Jarno, the conspiracy theorists in the press room all reckoned that Toyota desperately wanted to be on pole…
Well, I think everyone out there wanted to be on pole but we didn’t really make our strategy to be on pole, we are looking forward to the race. This is what Toyota needs at the moment, some points and hopefully a good race and a podium finish. This would be great, but today we again confirmed our good pace and especially signs of progress from this extremely good team.

Q: Giancarlo, a little bit of a margin between you and Fernando and to Jarno as well. Does that reflect a different strategy?
Honestly, I don’t know Jarno’s strategy. Compared to Fernando’s it’s pretty similar. I had a lot of understeer even today, but I’m not worried about that. We are on the first and second row, which is very important for the team. I’m looking forward to it. We are pretty sure to have the right strategy and the right car to win the race, or to get on the podium.


Q: (Anthony Rowlinson – Autosport) Jarno, could you explain a little bit about what’s been done to the car to make it so much quicker this season?
We worked hard over the winter-time. I think this is the first Gascoyne car and it’s absolutely better than the previous one in every area but there’s still a lot to do, but it’s definitely a good step forward, a good baseline on which to start. We have been continuing to update the car aerodynamically. Tremendous work has been done on the engine side to make it more powerful and more reliable compared to last year and compared to the first race, we have again updated the car aerodynamically so if we keep this trend, there is no reason why we can’t step ahead and be with the top runners. Obviously we have understood quite a lot from the first race. We keep understanding, and I must admit that I’m working well with Ralf, he’s a very quick and intelligent driver which helps. The other teammate will improve and push the team forward and the situation is brilliant at the moment. I didn’t expect to be on the front row in the first two races. I expected a team, which wants to grow and this is what is happening. But, OK, probably this race we are benefiting from special track conditions or whatever, but we seem quite competitive anyway, all through the weekend. We will just try our best during the race.

Q: (Dominic Fugere – Le Journal de Montreal) Question for Jarno, you’re starting in the same place as in Melbourne; you mentioned the importance of points, but in Melbourne you finished just outside the points. Do you plan on doing anything different? What do you have in mind to make sure that you hold your position?
Just push like hell! That’s it.

Q: (Livio Orrichio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) The temperature of the asphalt was generally more than 50 degrees. Were you worried about the tyre wear?
Well the conditions are very hot, they’re very tough for everybody. Michelins seem to work pretty well in these conditions and they we don’t seem to be suffering from any problems, so we’re not concerned at the moment, even if anything can happen in this race, especially with these new rules, because you are going to have one set of tyres for the whole race. Anything can happen at any time. 
The same. We don’t have too many worries about the tyres. We have prepared for the race quite well in terms of strategy and the set-up of the car. After Friday’s two sessions, we did a few changes to save the tyres a little bit more and we don’t have any problems at all. But as Jarno said, it is a very special race with these temperatures, especially the asphalt over 50 degrees, and this is completely new for everybody. After testing all winter with track temperatures around 15 or 20 degrees, this will be a new experience for Michelin guys, for the teams and for everybody. 
Well, we have quite a lot of data from Friday and it looks very promising. The Michelin tyres are working very well here, very hot conditions. We know it’s going to be very difficult over the last ten or 15 laps but we are optimistic about that.

2005 Malaysian Grand Prix - Main Page

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