Formula One: Bahrain Quotes
Continuing my regular feature of selecting the best quotes of the race weekend, and come the end of the season I'll pick my favourite ten.
Last time out in Shanghai Flavio Briatore couldn't keep his mouth shut, this time in Bahrain it was a more mixed bag.
Thursday's Press Conference
Kimi Raikkonen was asked about what he would do with his time between now and Barcelona and whether he would go to the factory. His response, "I have some other work to do anyhow. I don't know if I will go to the factory or not."
What is this "other work" that Kimi has to do? Maybe he has to go and promote ice cream somewhere?
Race Build Up
Bernie Ecclestone rang Sebastian Vettel to congratulate him on his win in China, Vettel nearly didn't take the call, though. "I had someone calling with private number, and I wasn't very keen to pick up the phone, but I did and it was Bernie, so I was very happy. He said I did a very good job. He was joking quite a lot on the phone, which I wasn't prepared for, so he got me on that one."
Bernie cracking jokes, maybe there is hope yet for the future of a British Grand Prix if he isn't a cold hearted troll.
Lewis Hamilton was trying to clear-up rumours about wanting to leave McLaren, "I'm here, I'm enjoying myself and my time at the team. I don't abandon my team when times get tough. We ride the bad and good times together, so I am happy where I am."
Sounds like Lewis has been watching Bad Boys Two. "We ride together, we die together. Bad boys for life!"
Former F1 driver and now BBC pundit David Coulthard slated his former McLaren team mate Kimi Raikkonen, saying he couldn't develop a car, "Raikkonen is a former team-mate of mine and the Finn has never shown me he can lead a car's development."
"Sure, he has blistering natural speed, but I suspect Ferrari will improve dramatically if and when Fernando Alonso arrives."
Raikkonen responded to Coulthard with his own bitchy comment, "I don't know any driver who develops the cars. I think it's pretty funny to hear comments like that from people who never really achieved anything. It's none of my business, what a guy."
Richard Branson was in the paddock to promote his Virgin Galactic programme and Barrichello and Niki Lauda have already brought their tickets, paying £136,000 each for the privilege of going into space.
Branson revealed that former three-time F1 champion Lauda, a fully-trained pilot after owning his own airline, will also learn to fly the Virgin Galactic plane. "Myself and my family will then go up on the first flight, and Niki, when he is finished, will be capable of flying both."
Lauda is achieving a personal dream, "I have been a professional pilot for many years, and although I've flown Boeing and Airbuses, my only dream was to fly the Space Shuttle.”
"I was always looking at that, but that was impossible because the Americans do that, so when I saw this project I was the first knocking on the door."
Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo, attending his first race since last year's Italian Grand Prix in a bid to raise morale said, "I want to understand why we are in the middle of a black tunnel.”
He went on, "When I know the reason (for problems) I am confident, and when I don't know the reason I am worried. I know the reason, my people know the reason, and they are fully committed, so I am very confident."
Di Montezemolo then remembered he was here to boost morale and quickly made excuses for their poor form, “But then I am very upset for other reasons that are nothing to do with the team. Totally unhappy.”
Hamilton admitted this weekend in an interview with the BBC that he had considered quitting F1, "I wasn't 100 percent sure I wanted to be here (in F1 with McLaren) for the next five years."
"Do I want be in the spotlight where I can't even go to go to the fish and chip shop or the cinema and have fun without people taking pictures of me? But if I want to race this car and if I want to continue doing this, that's what I've got to do."
Eating fish and chips in peace, or driving an F1 car all over the world, I know what I would pick.
Friday Press Conference
Christian Horner team principal of Red Bull was asked when we would see a new diffuser on the car and he replied, "We heard that Flavio has set up a business for diffusers with holes in. He is coming to the market very shortly with it, so I am sure we will be taking one very soon. No, in all seriousness, Adrian (Newey) has again stayed home this weekend to focus on integrating it onto our car."
Briatore responded, "We need to catch up to Red Bull. Red Bull have the best car without a diffuser in the business at this moment and we need to catch quickly Brawn and all the hole people. We need to catch up these people."
Yeah better watch out for all those "hole people" Flavio!
Jonathan Legard of the BBC asked Flavio, "How much confidence do you have in Nelson Piquet to perform as you want and as the team would like?"
Briatore wasn't too impressed "This question is not really a great question. But you see the performance as well, everybody is watching TV, including me...difficult for him and in a moment like this you don't kill anybody. What you need is to support and hope he will get better."
Lets not kill anybody Flavio and as you say lets "hope he will get better," Piquet can't get any worse can he?
Frederic Ferret from L'Equipe asked Sebastian Vettel, "What do you fear from this race?"
Vettel simply replied, "Sand storm."
Meanwhile his team mate Mark Webber was busy getting "nailed" and "screwed." "I don't usually get caught out with that problem and that was the worst place to get nailed, as it wrecked both my flying laps.”
"Q1 is the worst session to have had that problem, as now we're at the back for tomorrow, my race is screwed."
"Wow, that was hot!" Button said in the post-race press conference and he wasn't kidding, as he had burnt his left buttock during the race, “As for the heat, my feet were warm and I've burned the top of my left buttock on a box...It's a little bit burned, so hopefully we can solve that issue.”
Whilst Button was talking Sebastian Vettel had reached over to consolingly rub Button's shoulder and Jenson wasted no time in making Vettel turn red by saying, "I'll get you stroking it (the buttock) later Sebastian, don't worry."
Ed Gorman from The Times pointed out that Anthony Davidson had told listeners of Radio Five Live that he considered this to be the finest race drive of Buttons career.
Jenson replied, “I'd certainly say it was the finest first lap of my career, for sure...And thanks to the Ginger Racer, as I call him, for those nice comments.”
Sebastian Vettel must be the only person in F1 not to have noticed what KERS equipped cars are capable of at the start, "I was surprised at the start because I was passed by Lewis, I guess he pressed his special button (KERS).”
Martin Brundle working for the BBC approached Rubens Barrichello on the grid just before the race and asked what music he was listening to on his iPod, Rubens replied "It's Brazilian music, you won't like it."
Brundle also asked Barrichello about the weather and he came out with a classic quote, "If you went to the beach today you would say it was too hot and would come back tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen was living up to his "ice man" tag. "I am happy to have picked up a few points but I can't be that pleased with our performance level. I've been around long enough not to get very excited about a sixth place."
Felipe Massa though was too busy eating at the start to worry about scoring points, "I didn't have a great start and had a big sandwich in the first corner between Rubens and Kimi.”
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali proved he is a thoroughbred Italian. "It's just a pity we started the race with our cars touching at the first corner. That left me saying Mamma Mia!”
I would have been left saying something else, but I'll leave you to ponder exactly what!
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