Azerbaijan GP: Thursday’s press convention


DRIVERS: Daniel RICCIARDO (Pink Bull), Nico HÜLKENBERG (Renault), Kevin MAGNUSSEN (Haas).


Q: Daniel, if we may begin with you, final time you have been within the press convention room you have been very emotional after successful in China. Having had two weeks to mirror on it, why did that win imply a lot to you?

Daniel RICCIARDO: I haven’t had many, I suppose, so that they nonetheless really feel very particular. The wins. I suppose it had been a reasonably very long time since Baku. A reasonably very long time between drinks, the final win and the entire race, I suppose the weekend in Bahrain, the sort of… I simply really feel that the largest disappointment in racing is being out of the race in the beginning, y’know, earlier than it’s actually began. You’re out of the race on the primary lap or one thing, it’s robust – since you’ve labored all weekend to get to the Sunday after which it’s over like that. After Bahrain, I used to be clearly relieved to have a race the weekend after and have an opportunity to again it up. Properly, to strive once more. After which yeah, the entire weekend, Saturday, FP3, one other kinda head-down second, however then to get out for qualifying and the way the race turned out. It was cool. I suppose jsut quite a bit emotion, joyful feelings for positive. Yeah. The highs and lows of the game can try this to you.

Q: Have you ever seen sufficient from Pink Bull Racing to consider the Championship this yr?

DR: In all probability haven’t seen sufficient from everybody but! So, I’m not fascinated about the Championship in that sense. Clearly, I need to take into consideration being there. However yeah, naturally as a result of we received everybody’s asking can we combat for the championship now? It’s nonetheless early – however I feel we’ve proved, if we’re there, we will do quite a bit with it. That’s the plan: to proceed to be there for the subsequent few races.

Q: Nico, approaching to you, you’ve qualifying seventh at each race since Mexico final yr. You’ve solely been out-qualified by a team-mate as soon as within the final 27 races. It’s a powerful stat, so let’s begin by speaking about qualifying. Have you ever made a step on this space?

Nico HÜLKENBERG: I feel I’ve simply managed to… yeah… to hit it on the top every time. I fairly get pleasure from qualifying, I like getting on the market the place it counts and placing a lap collectively. I really feel additionally the final 20 or so races I additionally had a automobile that permits me to do this and offers me the help driver wants additionally. Since final yr, with this era of automobiles, when you’ve the downforce, you’ve bought extra grip to work with. It’s simply been a bit extra enjoyable and possibly helps the best way I drive additionally, a bit bit.

Q: Let’s speak about the place Renault are battling within the Championship. It seems to be, on the minute, a decent combat between yourselves, Haas and McLaren for fourth. Is that this the place you see your self destined this yr – or do you assume you can begin to problem the man in your left?

NH: No, I feel for now it’s extra, such as you say, about Haas and McLaren, these sort of groups, to attempt to maintain them at bay but it surely’s very tight. Every weekend will likely be a bit completely different relying on the tyre compounds, completely different tracks and layouts. What favours one automobile greater than one other one. However for positive it’s a giant improvement race within the midfield additionally. However yeah, we’re attempting to get forward however nonetheless bought plenty of areas to work on to catch all of the three guys forward.

Q: Kevin, approaching to you. Whereas we’re speaking about this battle for fourth place, maybe we may ask you about Haas. Do you assume they’ll keep their present degree of competitiveness, going forwards?

Kevin MAGNUSSEN: It’s not going to be straightforward for positive. We’ve began with automobile and finished job over the winter. I feel we’re on this state of affairs and we haven’t had an ideal begin to the yr so I feel there’s extra in it if we will get by means of the races and filter out any errors. Then I feel we’re in fine condition. Whether or not it’ll keep like that for the entire yr, I feel it relies upon quite a bit on how the opposite groups do: clearly, Renault and McLaren. Final yr, consistency wasn’t our largest power, so I feel that’s an space we have now improved, it appears. Our automobile this yr is a bit simpler to work with and looks like it has a broader window for its efficiency. I’m hoping that we will at the very least be far more aggressive thought the entire season than final yr – however whether or not we will maintain as much as these massive guys, it’s not going to be straightforward however we’ll do our greatest.

Q: You talked about consistency, and one space the place you’ve been very constant is qualifying. You seem to have made a giant step since final yr. Are you able to clarify how that’s come about?

KM: It’s solely been three races however I feel the automobile is clearly higher than final yr. It’s performing, as I mentioned, it has a broader window for its efficiency and it’s simpler. You possibly can set it up for what you like as a driver, in your driving fashion and it’ll nonetheless work. It’s just a bit simpler to drive. A little bit extra forgiving, extra predictable and it clearly has extra grip. When it comes to aero it’s extra constant. I favor a constant automobile, particularly on the rear, a rear that I can belief and rely on and predict. This automobile has consistency in that regard. I feel that helps – however typically simply being extra aggressive makes issues simpler.


Q: (Arjan Schouten – AD) Query for Daniel. You received in China from sixth place. Solely one of many earlier 72 races, there was a driver beginning outdoors the highest 5 who additionally received. That was you, right here in Baku. What’s your secret? Is it endurance? Are you able to inform me one thing about it?

DR: I’d wish to qualify on the entrance row. It’s not all the time the case. I don’t know. Clearly the race is the race and qualifying is super-important within the sport however you may also have a unique automobile on Sunday. You possibly can take extra alternatives and extra alternatives can current themselves within the race – and that’s finally what we get to the weekend for, is the Sunday. The race clearly had the mid-race security automobile in China and bunched everybody up and gave me a second likelihood to assault. I sensed a chance and made positive I capitalised on that. I feel that’s one thing I actually demand from myself and, I suppose, anticipate from myself. A bit like Baku final yr. Mid-race we have been on the again but it surely was kinda simply… you see a automobile in entrance and also you attempt to move them, you see the subsequent automobile, you attempt to move them, you see the subsequent automobile and attempt to move them. Clearly, I knew Seb was going to have the penalty, Lewis had the headrest factor. It was loopy – however once more I sensed a chance and knew the restart was super-important to attempt to move the Williams in entrance and in the long run, for me that was the race-winning transfer, so I feel yeah, simply being conscious of what’s accessible. As a result of we’re not successful each weekend, when you’ve a sniff of a victory, that’s all of the motivation and the starvation I want. It’s pleasing when you’ll be able to see it in entrance of you.

Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Query for you Daniel, you’ve a giant determination to make sooner or later over what you do for subsequent season, which crew you’ll be driving for. Pink Bull is an setting you already know extraordinarily nicely, it is going to be a giant change of surroundings when you did go to a different crew. Lewis was in the same state of affairs a couple of years in the past, left McLaren for Mercedes. How curious are you to seek out out if the grass is greener some other place?

DR: It’s a great way of placing it. I don’t know. The curiosity won’t overcome the info, I suppose, when it comes to what choices I’ll have, I suppose after which which automobile is finally the quickest I might be with. Clearly that’s actually high of my listing. So yeah, I wouldn’t simply… to reply that otherwise, I wouldn’t simply go some other place only for a change. If I did transfer on clearly I’d need to be certain it was one thing I really feel would probably be higher. That’s all actually.

Q: As a follow-up to that, do you’re feeling a loyalty to Pink Bull?

DR: There’ll all the time be a little bit of that, for positive. It’s sort of like, the beginning of it, 2008, it’s ten years since I used to be within the Pink Bull Junior Crew. So it’s a very long time and so they actually set it up for me, to make all this occur. There’ll all the time be that. Sooner or later you’ve bought to weigh-up what does what however regardless, there’ll all the time be one thing and I’d all the time present love, I feel, nonetheless.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Daniel, you mentioned you’ll be able to go to 1 place probably higher. After watching the final race, we noticed Kimi competing for Sebastian, not for himself, and he was quicker than Sebastian all of the weekend, besides in qualifying. Aren’t you frightened that finally, when you think about the potential for Ferrari, that individuals you ask the identical operate as Kimi, to work only for one other driver and never for himself, being a world champion like him?

DR: These are actually issues that I might… wherever I could also be, or go, I might all the time ensure that there was some readability. I wouldn’t need to go someplace the place I didn’t really feel I had an opportunity. In the intervening time that’s what I’m chasing is to try to be world champion. That’s my aim, my dream, one thing I actually imagine I’m able to, so yeah, if somebody mentioned ‘we’ll let right here however you’ll be able to’t do that’, that’s not an attraction choice to me. Is that the case someplace? I don’t know. I actually don’t know what’s happening with different groups. At Pink Bull there’s all the time been actually good readability and I might say equity, since 2014, since I’ve been there. That’s been actually a pleasant setting and I might anticipate that setting all over the place.

Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS) A query for Nico, Kevin and Daniel. How stunned are you that Mercedes didn’t win but and do you assume it’d change this weekend? Is it good for the game?

NH: I feel there have all the time been some circumstances that stopped them from successful. In Melbourne it was a security automobile, in Shanghai as nicely, in Bahrain I don’t bear in mind. I have a tendency not to have a look at their race a lot. I feel they may get a shot at it fairly quickly. Once more, I feel they’ve among the best packages, so it’s only a matter of time.


KM: Nothing so as to add to that.

Are you stunned?

KM: Oh yeah, very stunned.


DR: They’re nonetheless very aggressive and possibly for circumstances and possibly not executing the right race but are maybe why. I feel it’s a matter of time. It’s good for the game, I feel, to have that little little bit of a change for now, however I don’t assume it’s going to be essentially a development. As Nico mentioned, I feel it’s a matter of time. They do have a quick automobile. They do have actually bundle. We’ll attempt to maintain holding them out so long as we will. However for positive, I anticipate them to be robust each weekend.

Q: (John McEvoy – Day by day Mail) Daniel, to what extent have you ever had any talks with Ferrari or Mercedes or Pink Bull about subsequent yr, and the way would you’re feeling going facet by facet with Lewis?

DR: So, I’ve solely had talks with Pink Bull. Even already final yr, we’ve been fairly open with one another, and thru the media as nicely, I feel everyone seems to be conscious they’re fascinated with protecting me. We’ve had some talks concerning that clearly. I’m conscious of different reviews, however there hasn’t been the rest. They’re not true, at the very least up till now actually not. Lewis: I might like to be challenged towards one of the best and Lewis is arguably up there, so for positive that might be problem. I’ve bought problem now clearly with Max and I had Seb, so I don’t need to say it’s simply Lewis I’m on the lookout for, however that might be problem.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Traces, Racefans.web) Daniel, thus far Pink Bull have managed your profession, so that you’ve pushed for them and so they’ve additionally been your managers. Now on the finish of this yr you’re by yourself. What kind of infrastructure do you’ve? Do you actually imagine you could possibly negotiate a vital contract to your future and focus on delivering your greatest on monitor this yr? Do you’ve a supervisor? Do you’ve some advisers? What do you’ve?

DR: Yeah, I’ve bought a small little group, a community, round me and so far as the actual negotiations go. I’ve bought a man doing that for me. Look, I’m clearly tremendous conscious and invested in what I would like and the place I see myself I suppose, however so far as the actual in-depth talks and all that, I feel it’s greatest for me to not actually give attention to that an excessive amount of. I’ve been getting requested the identical questions since Austin, since Max re-signed. I feel it was in Austin. So, it’s been most likely been greater than six months now, and it hasn’t bought me. I don’t overcomplicate it. I suppose with the individuals round me I maintain it fairly small and I’m proud of that.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Daniel, as a follow-up to the sooner query. Might you particularly rule out that you’ve any sort of pre-arrangement with Ferrari, as a result of that’s what the reviews have been in Italy?

DR: No, that’s not true. Yeah, I can say that.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Autobild Motorsport) The query goes to Daniel…

DR: I’m going to purchase these guys a drink… Jeez!

Q: (Ralf Bach – Autobild Motorsport) You’re courageous driver, I anticipate now a courageous reply. Do you assume you’ll have received the race in Bahrain with the Mercedes on this state of affairs?

DR: Oh, I answered this query in Shanghai. I do know you weren’t in Shanghai. All I mentioned is that I might have tried. I don’t need to say tried like… I might have had a glance in Flip 1. If it labored, I don’t know, I don’t need to say it, as a result of I wasn’t within the race and it’s most likely not truthful, and it’s most likely a bit disrespectful once I wasn’t in Seb or Valtteri’s footwear. However I might see myself having a lunge for positive, in order that’s the best way I might reply it.

Q: (Maksudov Teymur – Daniel, Baku was the one race you received final yr, and the way do you’re feeling now if you find yourself once more right here and does it offer you extra confidence earlier than the present race?

DR: Properly finished, Baku. I’ve been ready to say that. Felt good! Clearly some good reminiscences. I feel while you come again to a monitor that you just’ve had success on, I don’t assume it essentially modifications your confidence. I feel each race you go to you come ready and that provides you confidence. So I’m not coming right here pondering I’m going to be higher than I used to be final week or something like that, however there’s a good feeling. There’s a pleasant feeling coming again, some good reminiscences, so there are joyful ideas, I suppose, and that’s good. However the strategy to the on-track stuff and the best way I’ll strategy the weekend, that doesn’t change.

Daniel, you’ve had quickest lap in two of the opening three races. Are you favorite this weekend?

DR: I wouldn’t go that far! Perhaps a fan favorite, is that what you are saying? I hope we’re shut, however I feel it’s too early to say we’re favourites. I feel we have now race automobile for positive. I feel one-lap tempo we’ve nonetheless bought to indicate a bit extra. At the least for Saturday I feel we’ll most likely not be there however Sunday, who is aware of, that may flip round.

Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS) I used to be going to ask you Daniel, however the query suits all three drivers: the three of you’ve had a greater begin to the season than final yr and I do know the season continues to be lengthy however does this give an quantity of confidence, a lift?

KM: Yeah, undoubtedly, it’s a significantly better season, getting off higher initially of the season so yeah, I might say the reply is sure, it’s a pleasant feeling and it’s extra and pleasing and simpler to look ahead to the races when you already know you’ve bought automobile and may combat for factors.

NH: Yeah, for positive. It’s undoubtedly enjoyable when you have couple of races and straightaway you get a few factors and good outcomes on the board. For positive that helps your self, you already know, but in addition the entire crew, all of the persons are working onerous; again within the manufacturing unit, it places a spring of their step and helps to create ambiance and motivation contained in the crew.

Q: And Nico, how are you having fun with the intra-team battle with Carlos Sainz this yr?

NH: I get pleasure from it, it’s good to date.

DR: Yeah, I feel the crew one’s a giant one. For positive it’s getting begin like that it’s… there’s lots of people again on the manufacturing unit and for them to have that sort of motivation and that drive, it’s an extended season and to get that kick-started early with some outcomes is basically essential. I undoubtedly really feel that and imagine that in order that’s cool and I feel from a private viewpoint I feel it’s simply good to get the season began nicely, as a result of there’s an extended break, clearly, between the… the low season, you then do your coaching and also you clearly put together in addition to you’ll be able to so when that then corelates to good outcomes on monitor that’s additionally a bit bit rewarding.

Q: Bahrain was solely two races in the past for you guys, are you frightened about reliability?

DR: I don’t need to use the phrase frightened as a result of, at the very least from my viewpoint, I’ve simply bought to drive the automobile. In a means it’s out of my management so I’m not going to drive round frightened. You’re going too quick and too centered to be frightened, however yeah, proper now I’m not likely within the quick time period. Perhaps as soon as we get later within the season it’s probably we’ll come throughout some penalties or no matter however proper now… baseline chill.

Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) We all know now that subsequent season Method One goes to lift the gasoline restrict barely. Out of your perspective, do you’re feeling a bit too pressured to handle your races for the time being and do you assume that is going to make a major distinction when it comes to flat-out racing subsequent yr?

NH: Yeah, it’ll undoubtedly assist the gasoline saving state of affairs and not likely having to fret about that an excessive amount of, on that entrance, undoubtedly lets you push to the restrict. Clearly it’s not all the time nearly gasoline typically, it’s linked in with what the tyres are doing, how they behave. Weekend for weekend that’s fairly completely different. There could be a few of that left nonetheless however for positive it’s a optimistic factor I feel and in the fitting course.

DR: Yup, I don’t see any actual loss for the… Like races like Melbourne, that’s fairly a excessive gasoline demand circuit – there’s most likely a greater phrase however you already know what I imply. So there’s plenty of lifting throughout the race, plenty of gasoline administration I suppose. All of us do it, a part of us, like now, we’re all used to doing it however for positive it’s going to be higher if we will race with actual intentions for each lap.

KM: Yeah, I feel it’s good that it’s been raised. There are some races throughout the yr that may be actually actually tough like Russia for instance, it may be virtually ridiculous there. So it’s good to see that going up so you’ll be able to push a bit extra. I don’t thoughts a bit little bit of gasoline saving…  typically even earlier than you had these limitations, like 5 years in the past they have been doing a little administration as a result of they’d begin the race with an anticipation of security automobiles or no matter. A little bit bit is okay however typically it’s an excessive amount of. I feel it’s change.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Traces, Racefans.web) Daniel, what precisely are you on the lookout for in your subsequent contract? You’ve been reported as saying you don’t need something longer than two years as a result of Method One’s going to be altering post-2020. The opposite high groups have all bought anyone established in there already. What are you truly on the lookout for? You’ve mentioned you’ve bought key necessities that you really want, what are they, please?

DR: Did I say key necessities, Dieter Rencken? I don’t actually know easy methods to reply any extra contract questions. I don’t know if I’m becoming bored of it however no, look, the actual requirement clearly is to try to put myself ready to win a World title. As I mentioned, it doesn’t imply the place I’m at the moment just isn’t that place however I feel that’s why I’m attempting to take my time with it as a result of it’s nonetheless too early. Clearly we received the final race, that was nice however realistically we have to win extra than simply as soon as within the season to combat for a title in order that’s why I’m going to take my time, however that’s the precedence for positive and I suppose the financials and all which can be undoubtedly behind that.

Q: Daniel, how involved are you in regards to the laws post-2020?

DR: I suppose I haven’t thought of it an excessive amount of. We’re conscious of it however I don’t know if I’m involved about it. I don’t know. I really feel like yearly one thing modifications, as in like life modifications, issues change, so wanting past, like two years after this, looks like a great distance away in order that’s extra for that however for the game itself, I feel all us drivers will do what we will to make it – any change – to make it for the higher, we’ll, for the racing, for the ambiance, for all of that. We’re, let’s say, investing a while in these discussions, amongst us drivers, however I’m not essentially involved in regards to the sport or the place it’s going. However yeah, for me personally, I feel simply fascinated about 2021 now looks like a very long time away.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Autobild Motorsport) Daniel, my final query about your future, for the second: you mentioned you didn’t communicate with Ferrari or Mercedes for the time being, solely with Pink Bull. However are you affected person sufficient to attend, that individuals come to you or do you’ve a deadline possibly in summertime and no person, aside from Pink Bull, was speaking to you? Would you then go to the individuals from Mercedes or Ferrari, to ask what’s happening? Or would you simply wait till they arrive to you?

DR: I suppose it’s not a nasty query. For positive, just like the summer season appears high-quality. I suppose I don’t actually worry not having a seat subsequent yr so I don’t really feel that I must signal one thing tomorrow or I’ll don’t have anything, so I suppose for that cause I really feel like I can see till the summer season what’s taking place. If nothing has occurred since then, then yeah, I suppose I consider Plan B or no matter that’s and if it’s solely then Pink Bull, then that’s the place I’m at so yeah, however I don’t actually really feel that I must push something till then.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – All of you drive automobiles with energy models which have received races this yr: Ferrari and Renault. Mercedes out of first place till now. Are you able to remark what enhancements your companion took for Renault to win the races and likewise Ferrari?

Q: Your ideas on the Ferrari energy unit this yr, Kevin, in comparison with final yr?

KM: Yeah, it’s a step ahead, not solely in energy – a bit step in energy however in reliability. We have to see a bit additional to make sure that the reliability is there fully but it surely looks like it’s. No complaints in regards to the energy unit. It’s not the facility unit’s fault that we’re not successful, for positive.

NH: Yeah, I feel for us at Renault it’s the step in reliability that we’ve managed to repair. Clearly the second half of final yr we had plenty of issues, misplaced plenty of factors and outcomes and I feel they’ve managed to remedy and repair plenty of the problems there. On high of that, additionally labored on plenty of the set up issues. Powerwise, I feel we’ve made a step too so that they’ve finished an excellent job on the Renault energy unit over the winter. Doesn’t imply that there’s no more work to do however I feel we’ve finished some good enhancements.

DR: I feel, in race trim, I feel on Sundays… I suppose it’s no secret we don’t have as a lot energy accessible on a Saturday as Ferrari and Merc energy models however I feel on Sunday, when every little thing sort of settles down and also you run a race mode-type of engine, I feel we’ve closed the hole on Sundays so yeah, following the faster automobiles in China, for instance, even Kimi in Melbourne, from what I bear in mind final yr, it felt like we have been actually shedding out quite a bit much less in these situations in order that was good, that was optimistic, for positive.