GP Azerbaigian, conferenza stampa del giovedì–22/06/2017
Q: Kimi, if we can start with you. We’re back at a street track this weekend. You took pole position in Monaco a couple of races ago – how confident are you of a repeat here?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Unfortunately it doesn’t give you any guarantees. It’s in the past, and a completely different circuit. Not really any similarities than Monaco, but nevertheless I think we have a good car everywhere. We’ll see how it goes, we can only give our best. Hopefully we’ll be at the front again; we’ll see what happens.
Q: Pirelli are turning up this weekend with slightly harder tyre compounds than in Monaco. How do you think that’s going to affect the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes?
KR: I don’t know. It’s been close, more or less every race this year. Obviously, like I said, the circuits are so much different and it’s not a big surprise that the tyres are slightly different here. I don’t know. I’m not really interested in guessing what will happen, but I guess it’s going to be close like it’s been at other races; I’m surprised if it’s only one team is way ahead of another.
Q: You don’t want to guess what’s going to happen this weekend, but after the technical problems you had in Canada last time out, do you feel you’re due a lucky break here?
KR: No, not really! It’s not something you can count on it. I’ve had some not so good luck for quite a few times, but it’s an unfortunate thing to happen, something completely new that we never found out and it’s fixed now. Things usually go wrong when it’s the worst time it could happen, but at least we managed to finish the race and at least score some points. Obviously it was far from ideal, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Q: (Ben Edwards – Channel 4) Question for Kimi, the situation in the championship between Mercedes and Ferrari is obviously pretty tough; it’s very tight at the moment. Are you in a position where you have to play a support role to Sebastian now in the way that in the past things have happened when you’ve been at Ferrari? Obviously Felipe helped you a bit in 2007, you returned the favour in 2008. Are you in that position now of having to help Sebastian?
KR: I think we have very clear roles in the team — what we’re allowed, what we’re not allowed, and what the team wants us to do. You know, it goes by those rules and, I don’t know. I don’t know if I have any interest of, to do, to tell what we talk inside the team in here. I think Maurizio has said something and nothing has changed and we know exactly when things will go either way. That’s fine, that’s how it’s always been, at least in the teams where I’ve been. When I don’t have a chance mathematically anymore to fight for the championship, for sure I will help him. I have no issues with that, I never had in the past. I think it’s just a very easy decision for all of us, at least in our team, and obviously the first thing is to try to make sure that we can be on the top with Ferrari. That’s the most important thing. And then obviously if Seb can win, then fine. If I don’t have any chance then that’s how it goes. The first thing is to work for Ferrari, to put them in the best possible position.`
Q: (Livio Orrichio – Globosport.com) Kimi, using the same subject. In your view, what is the reason for the difference in points? You have some difficulty with this car? You were unlucky in some races? Because it’s big difference.
KR: It’s a big difference. When you have bad races, you adapt, and obviously Seb has done very good races so far and has been strong everywhere. I was not starting very well the first races — I was not too bad, but I was not where I want to be. Here and there little problems, we have one DNF, the last race was not ideal. That’s how it goes, unfortunately. When your teammate is on the podium more or less every time, a lot of points quickly. That’s racing.
Q: Just as a follow up to the towing in qualifying that Daniil was asked about, is it something, given the length of the straight here this weekend, that you’re going to work with your team-mates during qualifying to get a tow to improve your lap-time? Kimi, perhaps you could answer that one?
KR: No, we haven’t had any plans. I mean, we haven’t really done it in any place so I don’t see that’s going to happen. Probably the biggest reason is that it’s very difficult to manage with all the cars you get. The most important thing is to try to get the free lap for yourself. When you try to plan it like that it’s actually quite difficult to make it happen every time and it can easily make more harm than good for both of you. So…