Thursday Press Conference – 2018 Singapore Grand Prix
Thursday Press Conference (Left to Right) – Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Brendon Hartley
Race Weekend: 2018 Singapore Grand Prix
Below, you can see the first part of the driver press conference ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend.
Here, you’ll be able to see why Kimi Raikkonen dislikes speaking to the media and where I personally think that the media needs to have some respect for a driver – rather than pushing for a reaction or to create a story out of nothing.
A question was asked, Kimi Raikkonen replied however the interviewer pushed Raikkonen asking the same question in a different way to get a reaction to which Raikkonen replied (and correctly so)- “Why do you try to make it so complicated?”
Media – If you don’t know what else to ask a driver, respect the answer which has been given and move on to a different topic. Don’t push or annoy drivers for a reaction!
PRESS CONFERENCE – Singapore Grand Prix
Question: Kimi, if we could start with you please. You’ve been generating a few column inches this past week. Can you just talk us through what happened and why you’re on the move next year?
Kimi Raikkonen: “I guess you know what happened. I don’t know what else you want to know. This is what happened. As we’ve said many times before, it’s not up to me, it’s not my decision in the end.”
“Anything after that is obviously my decision but this is the outcome. At least we have an outcome.”
Question: You say it wasn’t your decision to leave Ferrari, but it was your decision to go back to Sauber, so just talk us through why you’re doing that?
Kimi Raikkonen: “Why not.”
Question: What is it about the team? On current form there is quite a performance differential between Ferrari and Sauber, so what have you been told…
Kimi Raikkonen: “Yeah, but then there’s a lot of differences between all the cars, you know. If you take other teams, there are not many cars, if you take this year, that are on the same level.”
“That’s how it has always been. I mean, see what happens in the future so…”
Question: But, Kimi, what have you been told about the performance? Tell us why you want to go back to Sauber?
Kimi Raikkonen: “Because I want to. Why do you try to make it so complicated? I don’t know anything more than you guys, purely where they have been finishing.”
“Obviously I don’t know what will happen next year, nobody knows what will happen next year when it comes to the speeds of the cars and the teams and obviously we can always guess but we will see what we can do.”
“Obviously I have my reasons and that’s enough for me. I don’t really care what others think and as long as I’m happy with my own reasons, it’s enough for me.”
Question: And you’re still passionate about racing? The fire…
Kimi Raikkonen: “No, I’m not actually. Just by pure head games for you guys I happened to sign and I’m going to spend two years there just not being happy.”
Well, Kimi, thanks for the insight…
Kimi Raikkonen: “No worries.”
Question: Let’s move on. Kevin coming to you now: this weekend is your 75th grand prix, a bit of a milestone for you. Do you feel you’re part of the F1 establishment now?
Kevin Magnussen: “I don’t know really. I haven’t thought of it like that. I didn’t even know it was my 75th race, so I’m just enjoying… it’s the best time I’ve had in Formula 1, at the moment.”
“It’s great fun and I’ll see how it goes this weekend and will hopefully have a good race.”
Question: Have you had any further thoughts about what happened between you and Fernando Alonso at Monza and will it affect your approach to qualifying here in Singapore?
Kevin Magnussen: “I’ll try to stay away from Fernando as much as I can! I think it was a pretty extraordinary thing that happened and it’s not something that will happen too often I think.”
Question: Thank you. Brendon, coming to you, it’s your first time here in Formula 1, so can you just talk us through the preparations you’ve done for this Grand Prix. It’s hot, it’s a long race, just talk us through what you’ve done?
Brendon Hartley: “Yeah, so everyone has told me that it’s the most physical race of the year, not only because of the heat but also the focus and stamina it requires being a long race and not many breaks on the tracks.”
“In terms of training, not much changes. I think all of us drivers are very race fit. We’ve had a long season already and many races to warm up to a tough one like this.”
“I’d say most of us drivers did a bit of heat training over the last week or so and for me it was just adding a couple of extra layers on when I was training on my bike. I came out a couple of days early as well, just to get used to being here. Actually, it doesn’t feel as hot as I expected.”
“I think in previous years it’s been hotter, but nevertheless it’s going to be a tough old race. On top of that I spent some time in the simulator, learning the track as best I can before hitting FP1 tomorrow.”
Question: Expecting a few Kiwis in the crowd I guess?
Brendon Hartley: “Yeah I actually me a few already on the streets of Singapore. It’s reasonably close for us, it’s half way, so I’m kind of half way home.”
“There should be a few expats around and the Aussies always seem to give me a few cheers, so I think they try to adopt me as their own as well.”
Question: We’ve heard from Kimi about his move to Sauber next year. What can you tell us about your plans for 2019? Have your talks progressed with the team?
Brendon Hartley: “Not really chatting at the moment. I have a contract going forward. Obviously there are always options and whatnot.”
“I’ve been saying it for a while that the best thing I can do is focus on one race at a time and doing the best job I can. I know, and I’m confident about the job I’ve been doing behind the scenes with the team. I know I’ve got stronger every race during the season.”
“The results don’t exactly show that, but I know that I am strong and I have been strong in the last five races and there have been a few circumstances which meant I wasn’t able to score points.”
“I seem to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of the time but I’m also looking at myself, and what I can do better there.”
“Honestly, I’m just focusing on doing the best I can one race at a time, and I hope that I’m on the grid next year, which is my goal.”
Question: Thank you Brendon, good luck this weekend. Lewis, on paper this is meant to be a bit of a bogey track for the team, but you keep winning. You’ve had two victories here with the team. What are your expectations ahead of this weekend?
Lewis Hamilton: “Honestly, I never even have expectations every time I come to a race, I must just tell you that.”
“I guess ultimately our expectation is for us to give it our all and try to perform as well, if not better, than in the past races. Collectively, as a team, we have done a tremendous job in the past races and we want to try and keep that quality of performance.”
Question: Your championship lead is now 10 times greater than it was at this stage last year – 30 points as opposed to three points in 2017. Talk us through that buffer. Is that a factor in your head and how you approach the race weekend?
Lewis Hamilton: “Honestly not. It might be subconscious but I’ve not really thought about it. I don’t change the way… at the moment there’s no reason to change.”
“There are a lot of points still available so the approach is exactly the same as it has been all year long. It seems to be working, so we’ll just keep that up for as long as we can. But we do expect there are going to be some difficult races ahead.”
“Obviously Ferrari have been ahead of us for the past few races, so keeping up with them, if not passing them, is going to be tough.”